As the decorations come down, at this most bleak and blue time of year, it can feel like the end of the world rather than the beginning. No more Christmas trees, no more tinsel, no more tinkling bells hanging off of the fireplace. There’s a communal sense of loss in the world, as the living rooms and lounges that once felt so warm and bright now feel cold and empty without their festive sparkle. Our attics and cupboards are fully stocked once again with the Christmas decs we can’t keep up.But what do you do with the decorations that won’t survive the long months in the attic? The tiny Christmas trees we picked up from the garden centre, the bowl of nuts cluttering your dining table, the dried oranges that ultimately have an expiration date… No one wants to throw them away, as the post-festive household is already so down in the dumps.So why not up-cycle them? Turn them into something seasonal yet entirely un-Christmassey? Give them a new destination in your household, one full of the joys of winter, rather than the merriment of Christmas. With the terrarium being listed as one of today’s most popular household trends, you can keep them looking stylish for a little longer too!
To make this DIY Winter Terrarium, you will need:
- A clear glass container or terrarium
- Small pine branches and needles
- Pine cones
- Assorted long-lasting nuts e.g. hazelnuts, brazil nuts, etc…
- Dried oranges, lemons or limes
- Holly or mistletoe leaves
- Holly berries (plastic)
- Small twigs
Cinnamon sticksIt’s so easy to create this terrarium, I actually ended up making three separate ones to sit on my coffee table! Each box had a different assortment inside but it created such a nice effect, and even looks pretty with a little tea light inside, drawing out those amazing winter scents of pine, cinnamon and orange.
(But obviously make sure to keep an eye on the tea lights…no one wants a toasted terrarium!)1. Find your terrarium. The boxes I’ve used for my Winter Terrarium were actually from Waitrose, coming in at £6 each. They also had them in a smaller size if you wanted to make mini-terrariums for different rooms or smaller spaces! But any clear container will do, whether it’s a vase, empty candle jar, potpourri bowl or even a drinking glass might work.2. Find your assortment. The items you can use will entirely depend on the size of your terrarium, and the look you want inside. For example. if you want a colourful, richly scented centrepiece, I would recommend sticking to the dried fruits, cinnamon and pine branches for your terrarium. However if you fancy a more rustic selection, then twigs, nuts, pine cones and even small pebbles can make for an interesting design.3. Decide on your layers. One of the trickiest parts of building up any terrarium is making sure each side of your container looks appealing. So make sure you’re certain of what’s going where, and how it looks from the outside as you start layering. My advice is to start heavy and dark, and work your way up to light and bright. This means bulkier, darker items such as pine cones and larger nuts work better as the base, as you build up to the smaller and lighter items like pine branches and holly berries. Dried oranges always look attractive slotted against the sides of your terrarium, as do those soft green mistletoe leaves.
4.Start your assembly. At this stage, it’s simply a matter of combining all the elements. If you plan to use these terrariums as a permanent feature in your home, then you could always attempt to glue your items to the container, holding them in firm position. However, as with mine, real pine branches and dried oranges do tend to run the risk of eventually going off, or changing colour over time, so I’ll simply leave them be for now.5. Pop them in pride of place. Once you’re happy with your terrarium, you can simply pop them in place, or perhaps finish them off with a tie of twine, raffata or rustic ribbon for added effect. These terrariums are designed to be displayed, so find a spot where your guests can enjoy them – windowsills, hallways and coffee tables make for great display surfaces!So many of these winter items are found lying around our homes at Christmas time, you might just be overwhelmed by choices.But if you fancy making the dried oranges yourself, it’s super easy to do. Simply slice up your orange, lemon or lime, gently pat them down with some kitchen towel to draw out a little moisture and then pop them in the oven on a low-medium heat for 2 to 3 hours. In my experience, lemons tend to dry faster than oranges, so if you’re mixing your fruits make sure to check them every half hour or so!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope this post has inspired you to get creative with your own left over Christmas decorations!
Have a fantastic week!