With the rise of zero-waste lifestyle and an increased focus on sustainability, low-waste holiday decor is making its way onto the scene.
On TikTok, where myriad craft and do-it-yourself videos are uploaded daily, the holiday season has ushered in a new wave of DIY decor that focuses on natural, sustainable and eco-friendly options. Crafters behind the movement look for new ways to use old materials such as plastic bags or seek biodegradable materials to deck their halls.
We’ve rounded up some of the most popular ideas for your to try at home. They’re also a great activity during the pandemic because most supplies can already be found at home, are inexpensive and are great as boredom-busters. Happy crafting and happy holidays!
Orange slice garland
One of the most popular trends on TikTok is to turn citrus into a Christmas garland, with @plantedinthewoods’ tutorial garnering more than 152,400 views.
What you’ll need: An orange, lemon or any citrus you have on hand; twine or string and an oven.
What you’ll do: Cut the orange into thin slices, arrange on a backing sheet and bake at 175 degrees for 3 to 4 hours, flipping occasionally until dry. String your slices onto your twine and hang.
- If you want to add even more color to your citrus garland, add different fruit. Vary the citrus you use or add cranberries as beads between your slices. You can also add clippings from your garden such as flowers or greenery from bushes to the garland for an extra outdoorsy look.
- Another classic garland addition is popcorn, which you can incorporate just like the others by simply stringing it on a thread.
- Remember, this garland is versatile and doesn’t have to go just on your tree. It can be used on your mantelpiece, entertainment system or stair railing. You can also create individual ornaments with a single citrus slice and a few cranberries or popcorn.
Pine cone creations
This one is pretty simple: Pine cones are an easy way to bring an outdoorsy, holiday feel into your home. They make especially great low-cost and biodegradable ornaments.
What you’ll need: Pine cones and string or twine.
What you’ll do: Attach the string to your pine cone and voila! You have an ornament.
- Although a natural pine cone look is beautiful on its own, you can spruce things up by adding some paint to the tips of your pine cone scales, as demonstrated by the @craftylumberjacks’ tutorial below.
Salt dough ornaments
Want to add another style of ornament to your citrus creations? Salt dough ornaments are an easy, inexpensive (and biodegradable) way to personalize decorations.
What you’ll need: 1 cup warm water, 1 cup salt and 2 cups flour, according to @plantedinthewoods’ TikTok recipe.
What you’ll do: Mix ingredients together and knead; roll and cut out shapes; poke holes for the strings; bake at 250 degrees for two hours; add twine.
- Add a bit of cinnamon for a darker hue that resembles gingerbread!
What the heck is plarn? It’s the combination of “plastic” and “yarn” and it’s a way to recycle old grocery bags so they don’t end up in the trash.
You create the plarn by cutting up the bags and stringing them together (click here for a tutorial from TikTok’s plarn queen @diysustainability). Once you have your plarn, you can use it to knit, knot and create any sort of ornament you set your mind to. @diysustainability shared a tutorial on how to make a snowman ornament.
What you’ll need: Plarn made from plastic grocery bags, which involves cutting the bags into strips and tying the strips together to make a long strand. For the ornaments, you’ll need a crochet hook, hot glue and a variety of plarn colors, including white (for the snowman body), gray (for a hat), brown (for arms) and orange (for the nose). You can also grab paint or a marker to fill in other details like eyes and a mouth.
What you’ll do: This one is easier to watch than to read, but you start by taking your white plarn and crocheting two balls to make the snowman body. Then you crochet the rest of the accessories (the hat, arms, carrot nose) and attach with hot glue. Check out the video below to learn exactly how to make the snowman ornament.
So, this isn’t home decor per se, but it’s an important part of decorating your presents: Gift wrap. Instead of using paper, try out a few low-waste ideas from TikTok, including:
- Putting your gift in a reusable tote (two gifts in one!)
- Use a bandana to wrap small gifts
- Use a scarf to wrap larger gifts
- Re-use old newspapers or magazines for your paper instead of buying new gift wrap.
Check out the video above for a way to tie your fabrics into an eye-pleasing knot.