Far from the tech-oriented trends of previous years, 2019 has seen a decorating move toward natural elements, according to Décor Aid.

From sprigs and greenery to acorns and tree branches, there are many ways to incorporate natural decorations during the holiday season.

Try these DIY-inspired decorating ideas to create a warm, inviting place for guests to linger and connect with nature:

1. Choose Naturally Green Decorations

Photo credit: Laura Seabolt, founder of YouShouldGrow.com

Purchase local, green plants in pots and use them in your overall decorating scheme. Small trees can be decorated with Christmas ornaments. After the holidays, you’ll be able to keep enjoying the greenery.

“Plant them outside when the weather is correct,” says Pablo Solomon, an artist and designer who lives on a historic 1856 ranch in Texas.

If you have evergreen trees in your yard, clip some branches to use table decorations. Magnolia leaves can be used to form a table centerpiece for a holiday meal.

2. Use Pine Cones in Displays

Photo credit: BarterDesign 

Pine cones can be a lovely natural decoration, but first make sure they are dry.

“If you don’t dry out your pine cones, you’ll be left with a sticky mess from the sap that slowly leaks out on to your table, and you’ll be inviting all the bugs that are living on the pine cones into your home,” says Brett Elron, owner and lead designer at BarterDesign, an interior design consultancy and blog based out of Vancouver.

Use dry cones in table arrangements or shelf displays. To add some sparkle, spray paint the pine cones in metallic colors. For a colorful look, use hot glue to add mini pom poms to the tips. Then hang the pine cones on a Christmas tree as ornaments.

3. Collect Natural Materials

Take a hike in an area park or stroll along a nearby river. Look for rocks with patterns or colors that  fit your home’s holiday décor.

“Use natural stones and crystals for ornaments, candle holders and displays,” Solomon says.

Acorns can be interspersed in greenery for a mantelpiece display. Driftwood might serve as a focal point of an arrangement.

4. Fill the Air

Put a pot on the stove filled with water. Then add cloves, pine needles and berries. Bring the mixture to a boil shortly before guests arrive to create a welcoming, earthy scent.

If you have pine cones in your yard, collect a few and dip them in essential oils to add a fragrant smell.

Tie cinnamon sticks together and place them near lit pillar candles. The warmth will help the cinnamon scent waft through the air.

5. Decorate with Food

A large glass bowl full of red or green apples can be set in the middle of the dining room table and surrounded by baubles or tea lights.

For a craft project, invite guests to have a popcorn-stringing party. Pop kernels of corn and then string them to create a garland for the Christmas tree. “Put them out after the holidays for the birds to nibble,” Solomon says.

6. Adorn With Berries

Photo credit: Laura Seabolt, founder of YouShouldGrow.com

Cranberries can be added to a glass bowl filled with water and floating candles to add a touch of color. Or fill a Mason jar with red berries and wrap a piece of twine around the middle of the jar.

To bring holiday cheer to the kitchen, place greens and red berries in a white pitcher. Place it in a prominent spot as a stand-alone decoration.

7. Design a Christmas Wreath

Photo credit: BarterDesign

Start with evergreen branches or sprigs to form a circle. Then add flowers, foudn objects or bows for flair.

“I like to incorporate colors rather than just the classic green, with my favorite being red,” Elron says.

Make sure the size of the wreath is suitable for the door. For a standard-size front door that is 36 inches wide, a wreath between 24 and 30 inches will typically be a good fit.

“This will help to give you a full looking wreath but it won’t look over sized on your door,” Elron says.

8. Add Some Logs

Photo credit: Laura Seabolt, founder of YouShouldGrow.com

If you have small logs for firewood, saw them into sections. Then set them on a mantel or shelf and top them with votive candles for a natural look. You can also drill holes in one log and place stick candles in the hole. Use the decoration on an entry table or stand.

For a fireplace, several logs can be tied together with twine and placed inside or nearby. You might also slice a log and use the sections to create easy DIY ornaments. Paint a picture of a snowman or snowflakes on wood slices and hang them on a Christmas tree.

Rachel Hartman