Do it yourself holiday decor is taken to a whole new level when you bring items from nature into your home. Backyard finds can make for some really creative, artsy, shabby chic designs with just a little effort. Get ready to impress your guests with these amazing and easy holiday decor ideas.
Pine cones are so easy to work with, and they really make for some creative crafts and beautiful decor options. You can actually buy pine cones in the craft store, but why would you when you have a yard full of them for free? Cleaning pine cones so that you don’t bring bugs into your holiday decor is easy.
Simply soak your pine cones in a sink full of water with ½ cup of white vinegar for about half an hour. Rinse them and lay them out on a towel for a while and let them air dry while you prepare the next step. Line a large pan or cookie sheet with foil and bake the pine cones for an hour to an hour and a half at 300 degrees. Not only will this dry and disinfect your pine cones, but it will help them open up beautifully.
Here are some great holiday decor ideas for pine cones:
Paint the pine cones green and then either paint colored dots or glue tiny plastic balls and jewels to the spikes. Top your mini Christmas trees with stars or angels made out of paper, pipe cleaner, or mini figures found at the craft store.
Use pine cones to bring some winter wonderland into your home. Paint your pine cones in different coordinating winter themes. For example, paint some of the spines of the cones white, some silver. Spray paint some of the cones with glitter. You can do so much with these. You can scatter them along with your mantle, fill a large vase or glass dish, or use them as a centerpiece in a large bowl.
Sticks and branches found in your yard might seem like an odd choice for holiday decor, but you would be surprised at how beautiful they turn out. Disinfect leaves and branches the same way you did the pine cones. If you have items that don’t fit in the oven, that’s okay, as long as you are able to wash them down with vinegar and let them dry you should have no problems.
Here are some ideas for sticks and branches:
Use a bundle of long, thin sticks in a vase or large glass container. Fill the bottom of the container with white tulle and/or twinkle lights. You can run the lights through the sticks or not. Another option is to spray paint some of the sticks lightly with glitter and mix them in with the unpainted sticks for a touch of shimmer that won’t go unnoticed but will still look natural.
If you can find a long branch that will lay along your mantle, use it as a tea light holder. Use hot glue to secure some small glass tea light holders to be safe.
Leaves on Canvas
Do you ever wish you could preserve the beautiful colors of the falling autumn leaves? Well, now you can thanks to the miracle that is Mod Podge. If you haven’t heard of it already, Mod Podge is a popular craft sensation that is glue, sealer and finish all in one. All you need for this project is Mod Podge, a brush to apply the Mod Podge, a canvas that is primed (or you can prime your own with a product called gesso), some acrylic finishing spray, and your leaves.
Prime the Canvas
Start by priming your canvas if it isn’t already, and getting your leaves ready. Your leaves should be dry, and then you want to preserve the leaves so your artwork lasts for a long time. Use your Mod Podge to set and preserve your leaves. Do one side at a time, letting them dry completely before moving on to the opposite side- a full day is best for each side.
Arrange Your Leaves
Once all of your supplies are primed and preserved, arrange your leaves however you desire on the canvas. Remember the placement by taking a picture, or make small marks so you know how to arrange them again. Paint your canvas with a thin layer of the Mod Podge. Carefully arrange your leaves as before.
Then, being careful not to bend the edges of your leaves, use your brush to gently apply Mod Podge to your creation. You want a layer that isn’t so thick that it obscures the art but is thick enough to hold everything in place and preserve it. Let this layer dry and then paint on the second layer of Mod Podge. Let your art piece dry for another day or two to ensure it is properly dry, and then set the look by spraying it with acrylic finishing spray.
These are just a few of the beautiful displays you can create with items right out of your own backyard. People will be asking you where you bought your decorations, and just imagine their surprise when you tell them you made them yourself. Your home will be looking like a display in a magazine with these simple holiday decor ideas using items straight out of nature.