I’ve been a Scrooge for the past 8 years…
I have a good reason, though. Remember how we’ve lived in basically half a house for the past 8 years? Yup. That’s why. We could squeeze into the house decently well during most of the year, but adding a Christmas tree plus all the decorations to the mix was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I would hold off on putting up my ONE box of decorations until the last minute, and then take them down the day after Christmas. I just. couldn’t. take. it. It was decoration suffocation, y’all.
When I found myself suddenly in the mood to decorate after Thanksgiving for the first time EVER in my adult life, I almost didn’t know what to do with myself…
So I loaded my happy little self into the car and drove to town with the intention of stocking up on some fancy-shmancy decorations, considering my collection is rather meager.
Annnnnnd I came home with an empty car… Nada. Zilch. Zip. (Ok, I did come home with a pillow and a little wooden tree, but that was IT).
I have nothing against glitter and reindeer and Santas with sparkly beards, but they just aren’t ME. I like natural, and rustic, and vintage.
So what’s a homesteading gal to do?
Grab some tree trimmings from the backyard, tin cans, Epsom salts, and make her own. That’s what.
I had an absolute BLAST last Saturday gathering what most people would considering trash and making decorations from it… I’m loving my decorated house for the first time ever, and the best part? It’s totally me. 🙂
Rustic Homemade Christmas Decorations
I’m sorry, but I just can’t hack the fake greenery that looks like a green Hawaiian Lei. Thankfully, even though we live on the high plains with few trees, we do have an old juniper in the backyard in need of some trimming. Perfection.
I trimmed a few of the branches from the bottom, arranged them in a line (overlapped a bit), and tied the branches together with a bit of string. Floral wire would have been ideal, but I didn’t have that hanging around, and was too impatient to wait until I went back to town. Thankfully, you can’t see the string at all. (And even if you could, who cares?)
I also took a few of the leftover branches and placed them strategically around my “displays” for an added touch.
You can also make your own wreaths with real greenery. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list.
Dried Orange Slices
When I first saw dried oranges used as Christmas decor, I knew that was gonna have to happen, STAT. I hung mine through out my garland, but you can also use them as ornaments for your tree.
How to Dry Orange Slices:
- Cut oranges into 1/4″ slices
- Place directly on your oven rack and bake at the lowest temperature possible for several hours, or until dry. (My oven goes down to about 180 degrees). Alternatively, you can use your dehydrator.
- Poke a hole in the middle and tie a circle of string through it.
Frosted Mason Jars
Tutorials abound for frosty-looking mason jars, but many of them call for items I don’t normally have hanging around (Mod Podge, special paint, fake snow, etc) and you guessed it– I was too impatient to wait until I could drive to the craft store.
So glue and Epsom salt it was.
I made a glue/water mixture of 3:1 (Three parts glue to 1 part water. I just used regular Elmer’s school glue) and then painted it on the mason jars.
After that, I sprinkled/rolled the glue-covered jars in Epsom salt and let them dry. You can add a tea light inside if you wish.
I think they look pretty darn awesome, if do I say so myself. They do shed a bit, but hey– I’m willing to put up with that in exchange for their mason jar awesomeness.
Tin Can Luminaries
“Honey, why are there tin cans full of water in the freezer?”
“They’re Christmas decorations…”
After ten years of marriage, Prairie Husband doesn’t even question my craziness anymore… I’m so glad we’ve finally made it to this point.
Anyway, I’m loving these DIY tin can luminaries. Here’s how to make them:
DIY Tin Can Luminaries
- Wash and remove labels from tin cans of your choice.
- Fill them with water, and place into the freezer until they are frozen solid
- Map out a design on graph paper. I made a starburst-style design, but you can make shapes, letters, etc.
- Tape the graph paper over the frozen can, and use a nail and hammer to carefully punch out the holes. The ice keeps the can from bending as you punch.
- Run hot water over the can until the ice falls out.
- Dry the can and paint with spray paint.
- Add a tea light and enjoy!
Christmas Tree From Book Pages
I fell in LOVE with this idea the moment I found it on Pinterest and knew I had to make one. Here are the directions I followed.
Yup– these were free from my backyard, too. And bonus– the Prairie Kids gathered them for me.
Thankfully, these were just right outside my door in our firewood pile. I did cut a few of them down so I could have a variety of heights, but it still doesn’t get much easier than this. Use your log pedestals to display candles, jars, votives, pinecones, or other decor.
A Bucket of Stuff
That’s my not-so-elegant way to describe my front deck decoration, but I actually do think it’s pretty darn charming. I used an old metal pail, and arranged logs, pinecones, and leftover juniper trimmings in it. It looks even better when covered in snow.
So there you have it. I’m still tweaking and creating a bit, so I imagine my rustic homemade Christmas set-up will continue to morph, but I’m loving what I have so far. Its quaint, yet elegant. Natural, yet still noticeable. And it suits me just fine. 🙂
Other Rustic Homemade Christmas Ideas for your Homestead:
- Make a popcorn & cranberry garland
- Make wood slice ornaments or gift tags
- Burlap. Burlap everywhere! Runners, stockings, you name it.
- Make a Christmas tree from pallets
- Wrap gifts with brown paper and string
What are your favorite rustic DIY decorations? Tell me about them in the comments!