There’s a long tradition of bringing nature into the home at Christmas, from wreaths to mistletoe and boughs of fir – and the Christmas tree! We’re embracing the joys of the great outdoors by sharing our own contemporary take on natural Christmas decorations.
These beautiful natural Christmas decorations designed by Becki Clark and Olivia Watkins are a brilliant way to bring nature onto your Christmas table. In this guide, we’ll show you how to make gilded pears, how to dye napkins using avocado stones (yes, really!) and how to make your own sage napkin rings.
The golden pears are real showstoppers – and if you use edible gold, you’ll be able to eat them afterwards too! Add a little handwritten label to the stem to transform them into elegant place settings.
For a darker pink colour, leave the napkins in the unheated dye bath overnight. Avocados are great for natural dyeing as they contain their own mordant, which helps the dye adhere to the fabric. Some natural dyes can stain, so make sure you use old pans and bowls.
You can team up these projects with a slate grey tablecloth and pink-toned candles to recreate the look. If you’re looking to add some more rustic natural Christmas decorations to your home this year, you might also enjoy our DIY wooden candle holder centrepiece, how to make a Christmas wreath and candle centrepieces for tables tutorials.
Read on to learn how to make natural Christmas decorations…
How to make rustic natural Christmas decorations
Where do you buy edible gold leaf sheets? What twine should you buy? Here are a few shopping links to save you time:
- Buy edible gold leaf (30 sheets) from Amazon for £13.97
- Buy gift tags (pack of 50) with jute twine from Amazon for £3.99
- Buy jute twine from Amazon for £5.89
- Buy an Eaziglide aluminium pan from John Lewis for £55
- Buy floristry wire (pack of 22) from Amazon for £6.49
- Buy floristry tape from Amazon for £6.43
You Will Need
For the golden pears
- Pears (1 per person)
- Edible gold leaf sheets
- Gift tags
- Twine or cord
For the plant-dyed napkins
- Avocado stones and skins (6)
- Water (4 litres)
- Large aluminium pan
- Cotton/linen ready-washed napkins
For the sage napkin rings
- Fresh herbs, we used sage, but you can use other herbs
- Floristry wire, Cut it to twice the size of the folded napkin
- Floristry tape
How to make the golden pear place settings
Use a paintbrush to dampen each pear with water, this will ensures the gold leaf sticks. Be careful when handling the gold leaf as it is extremely delicate, tear off pieces ready to apply.
Press the gold leaf over the pear and smooth it down. Once dry, you can use a dry paintbrush to brush off any excess gold leaf. To finish, tie a name tag to the stalk of the pear (we used a faux leather cord).
How to make the plant-dyed napkins
Simmer clean avocado stones and skins for an hour. Increase the heat until the water turns a reddish pink, but don’t allow it to boil. Remove the stones and skins and leave it to sit overnight.
Strain the dye into a jug or a bowl through a muslin cloth to remove any remaining bits of avocado flesh, which can cause uneven dyeing results.
Place your napkins into the pan and pour over enough dye to cover them. The napkins should be able to move freely to ensure even dyeing results, so add more water if you need to. Simmer and leave for up to an hour depending on the shade of pink you wish to achieve.
When properly cooled, take the napkins and wring them out above the dye bath to remove any excess dye, then hang them outside to dry on the washing line. Next, leave the napkins for about a week before ironing them on a medium heat to seal in the colour, then machine wash once more on a cool setting.
How to make the sage napkin rings
These herb napkin rings are an easy way to add a natural flourish to your Christmas table settings. Attach a sprig of herbs to a piece of floristry wire using floristry tape. Continue to attach individual sprigs to the wire at alternate angles to achieve a fuller look. Apply tape all the way down the length of the wire for a neater finish.
Place the arrangement across the folded napkin. Wrap the wire around the back of the napkin, tuck it under the herbs at the front and snip off any excess wire.