The eco-friendliest Christmas ornaments and decorations are usually made within your own home and the experts on creating holiday Christmas ornaments are about ages 4-10.

Kids know it best when it comes to simple, home-made crafts so why not look to the little ones to make your spirits – or your tree – brighter  this holiday season?

Cranberry-Popcorn Garland

This old-fashioned traditional and country inspired Christmas tree garland is organic and easy to make, and can be used year after year!homemade-cookie-dough-christmas-ornament

You Will Need:

  • Popcorn Kernels
  • Air Popcorn Popper
  • Dried Cranberries or Fresh Cranberries and a Food Dehydrator
  • Needle
  • Fishing Line
  • Scissors

(If involving the kids in this one, make sure they are old enough to be handling a needle and thread)

1. Air-pop kernels in a popcorn maker; you definitely don’t want to use any popcorn that has butter or salt on it as it will discolour the popcorn, make it sticky and oily and unsuitable for hanging on the tree as well as for storing. Make sure you pop a significant number of kernels so the length of the garland can reach around the entire tree.

2. Either purchase already dried natural cranberries, or dry ripe cranberries in your food dehydrator. Make sure they are free of all moisture before attempting to use, and the number of cranberries coincides with the number of popcorn kernels.

3. Measure and cut enough fishing line to fully circle your Christmas tree, or make two shorter garlands, which will be easier to wind around the tree once completed.

4. Attach the fishing line to your needle, and tie a thick and sturdy knot at the end of the fishing line so the popcorn and cranberries can stay on the line. String popcorn and cranberries interchangeably, or in groups of as many as you wish to make a decorative line.

5. Remove needle and secure the beginning of your line so your garland stays in place.

6. Carefully wrap around Christmas tree and enjoy! (Don’t attempt to eat the cranberries and popcorn, and make sure you string high enough off the ground so pets can’t sniff out a treat)

Baked Christmas Ornaments

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • ¾ cup water
  • cookie cutters

(Make sure to use adult supervision around the oven while baking)

1. Mix ingredients until moistened and kneed the dough. Roll out so it is about 1/8 thick.

2. Cut the dough into fun shapes with your cookie cutters. Some options are tree shapes, or three circles to overlap and make into a snowman. Make sure to puncture a small hole in the top for a string to hang on the tree.

3. Bake on baking sheets for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Cool when finished.

4. Paint your shape with watercolours and cover it in shellac and dry. Another option is to cover your shape in glue and sprinkle with glitter so it catches the twinkle lights from the tree.

5. Tie string or fasten small wire hanger to ornament and hang from tree. If your ornament is heavy, such as the snowman made of many pieces of dough, attach with wire hanger to ensure it is strong enough to support the ornament.

For packing your Christmas creations away once the holiday is over, it is best to store in a Rubbermaid container to keep out moisture and dust. Wrap all homemade ornaments in tissue paper to protect them, or store them in individual boxes (recycle old jewelery boxes) so they don’t get crushed when pulling them out next year.

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