Make your own eco-friendly holiday ornaments

Every year we challenge ourselves to make our holiday tree theme both festive and relevant to our mission. In the recent past, we’ve seen many beautiful decorations made from seed pods, hand-colored native plant images, and “upcycled” holiday cards. This year, most of the ornaments were made from edible elements that can later be consumed as a snack, composted, or put out for birds or animals to eat. We’ve gotten many questions on how these ornaments were made and so are including links to instructions below. Special thanks to the volunteers from Blackman and Sloop and the NCBG who helped assemble ornaments and decorate!


  • Fruit of your choosing, such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, apples, and even quince!
  • Embellishments, such as dried bay leaves, fresh sage, pine sprigs, cranberries, anise stars, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  • Popcorn, candy, candy canes
  • Flour, salt and water for salt dough ornaments
  • Twine, thread, raffia, glue

Many ideas and instructions can be found online. Below are a few examples. (They will need to be adapted to remove unsustainable elements.)