How to Create a Sustainable Christmas

Christmas is the most magical time of year, especially so when seeing the excitement build through the eyes of a child. As adults we can feel overwhelmed with trying to create the picture perfect Christmas, thoughtful presents, stylish decorations and a family feast all come at a cost, to both our wallets and the environment.


After a less than ordinary year maybe it’s time to break with some of those Christmas habits that aren’t serving us or the planet. With more time spent indoors, this year is a great time to think about kicking off the season in sustainable style. Avoid a mass produced plastic Christmas by creating your own gifts, decorations and wrapping paper with your family. A lovely way to connect whilst getting into the festive spirit. Making decorations and gifts with your children is the perfect opportunity to educate the younger generation around reducing plastic use and waste at Christmas.


Here we have rounded up the best of Christmas craftiness to inspire, educate and delight…

Ian Mankin curtains in living room at christmas Ian Mankin curtains in living room at christmas

Home made wrapping paper:

Who hasn’t felt guilty at the sight of all that discarded wrapping paper on Christmas morning? Get creative this year with homemade. For small gifts, think beautiful fabric off-cuts and ribbons, wrapping a gift within a gift! Alternatively, spend an afternoon with the kids decorating simple brown paper with your own designs, finish with a freshly foraged sprig of holly for extra prettiness.


Natural decorations:

For beautiful and sustainable decorations look no further than your own back garden, take inspiration from the Japanese art of ikebana and appreciate the beauty of modest arrangements; an artfully placed branch adorned with fairy lights is simple yet so effective.


For the more ambitious a home made wreath is the ultimate Christmassy activity, after a family walk to forage for foliage, think about taking heads from your favourite garden flowers, (dried hydrangeas look fab, as do poppy seed heads.) Create a base by layering up willow and then get creative using gardeners twine for fixing. Don’t overthink it, wreathes can look absolutely stunning with only a few simple sprigs, and don’t forget a few dried oranges for the full sensory experience!

dried flowers in a sink
christmas decorations

Home made gifts:

A time of year when thoughtfulness far outweighs the extravagant, consider making Christmas gifts. Beautifully packaged chocolate truffles or shortbread always delight, and for the more organised among us home made sloe gin is a fantastic idea! Add your own handmade tags for a personalised finish.


For those extra special gifts from the kids scrapbooks are a lovely idea. Spend time reflecting on the past year, adding photographs, special moments and drawings into a homemade scrapbook will make a truly delightful keepsake.


There is something magical about the warm glow of candle light, especially during the festive season. Give the gift of glistening tranquillity with home made candles. Buy some soy wax pellets (the most eco friendly option) and some wicks, both available in craft shops or online, heat to the required temperature, add a few drops of your favourite essential oils then pour into whichever container you fancy, repurposed glass jars or vintage tea cups look especially effective.