Dream of a green Christmas with these plastic-free Christmas decorations

Dream of a green Christmas with these plastic-free Christmas decorations
From plastic-free wreaths to baubles and biscuits, invest in the best eco-friendly Christmas decorations from Hobbycraft, Lakeland, Bloom and Wild and more

Christmas is fast approaching and soon it’ll be time to start thinking about decking those halls and festooning the tree. While it’s lovely to dig out treasured baubles, it’s also fun to indulge in a new decoration or two. But if you’re looking to add to the festive cheer while also doing your part for the planet, then it does mean slowing down and making more considered choices.

Whether you’re looking for decorations that are ethically made, crafted from sustainable materials, eco-friendly or plastic-free – or all of those – the good news is that the number of options is growing as retailers begin to take notice of increased demand for more environmentally friendly products. It still can take a bit of digging to find ornaments that tick all the green credentials – and yes, the most environmentally friendly thing is, of course, not to buy anything new – but if you are going to indulge then it’s best to know what’s on offer.

If you’re shunning plastic, then you can quite easily find an array of decorations made from a variety of materials such as wood, metal, fabric, felt and paper. It’s a bit trickier when it comes to packaging, with some retailers still including plastic tags, wrappers and bags, so if you do end up with these, then it’s worth checking out if your local Sainsburys or Co-op has soft plastic recycling in-store.

How we tested

Our main aim was to try and find festive decorations and ornaments that were plastic-free and which we considered to be eco-friendly. This meant that we opted for products that didn’t feature single-use plastic, taking into consideration the packaging, delivery and general attitude towards sustainability from the retailers. Although we tried our best to find completely plastic-free options, there are some that may feature a plastic tag or band used in the packaging. Where possible, we’ve noted this.

We also tried to cover for a range of tastes and budgets, making sure that products were easy to buy online so that wherever you are in the country, it’s straightforward to shop for plastic-free Christmas decorations. Serious notes aside, we also had fun unwrapping, decorating and gazing at the festive delights and assessed them on quality, Christmas cheer and wow-factor.

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The best plastic-free Christmas decorations for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Traidcraft hanging handmade floral Kashmir birds: £14.85, Traidcraftshop.co.uk
  • Best edible decoration – Biscuiteers Christmas tree decorations luxe biscuit tin: £45, Biscuiteers.com
  • Best wreath – Bloom and Wild Christmas DIY wreath: £55, Bloomandwild.com
  • Best felt decoration – JoJo Maman Bébé Tree-rex felt tree decoration: £8.50, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best luxury decoration – Soho Home Rosendale baubles: £45, Sohohome.com
  • Best crackers: Lakeland gingerbread people bowling crackers: £19.99, Lakeland.co.uk
  • Best for a pop of colour – The Mamahood neon marbled baubles: £7.50, Themamahood.co.uk
  • Best garland – Felt So Good felt multi lightbulb garland: £18, Trouva.com
  • Best tree-topper – Nkuku talini tree topper: £19.50, Nkuku.com
  • Best paper decoration – Little Lulubel rainbow forest honeycomb decorations: £22, Littlelulubel.com
  • Best for customisation – Hobbycraft ceramic baubles with jute: £5, Hobbycraft.co.uk
  • Best bunting – Vintage Playing Cards personalised Christmas vintage bunting: £35, Vintageplayingcards.co.uk

Traidcraft hanging handmade floral Kashmir birds

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Coming as a set of three, these vibrant and joyful handmade bird decorations are sure to add a huge amount of cheer to any home. Beautifully crafted from papier-mache, each of the ornaments are made by one of 35 artisans employed by a family-business in India, using recycled newspapers and office waste. It’s a traditional craft which reportedly dates back to the 15th century and is being kept alive by artisans that have undertaken months of training to be able to create these unique pieces. They’re available for purchase on the Traidcraft shop, which is a handy retailer to know, as they offer a great range of Fairtrade and ethically sourced gifts. As beautiful as these papier-mache gems looked on our tree, we also think they would make for a sweet Christmas present too.

Biscuiteers Christmas tree decorations luxe biscuit tin

Best: Edible decoration

Rating: 9/10

One of the best things about decorating the Christmas tree is gazing at all those beautiful ornaments on it afterwards. Well, imagine being able to reach over and tuck into one of them. Sounds like the stuff of fairytales, doesn’t it? Thanks to Biscuiteers though, it’s a reality.

Its Christmas tree decorations luxe biscuit tin features 12 gingerbread baubles, each hand-iced with a decadent peacock-inspired design. We love the rich colours and vibrant designs that have been so intricately drawn on, and can vouch for their tastiness, even after having been left on display for days (Biscuiteers says the biscuits have a month’s shelf life after leaving their kitchens). We also really liked the decorative tin that the baubles came in – it’s perfect for housing knick-knacks, or maybe even more biscuits, once it’s been emptied. Simply pop the accompanying ribbons through the baubles, tie and slip onto a branch. One thing is for certain, tidying away these decorations won’t be a chore.

Bloom and Wild the Christmas DIY wreath

Best: Wreath

Rating: 8/10

Flower delivery service Bloom & Wild is a favourite for special occasions. Not only do its stems last really well, it always has a fab choice of beautiful arrangements that can be posted through the letterbox. The brand’s DIY Christmas wreath is another of these delights, and one that you can easily while away some time over with a glass of warm mulled wine in hand.

On opening the cardboard packaging, there is a mix of fresh foliage and dried festive adornments, plus wire, for you to craft your wreath. Handily, there is ample guidance so you can figure out where exactly to add your dried oranges, poppy seed heads, ruckus, limonium, canella berries, grevillea and pinecones. All that’s left is to hang it on the front door and let the compliments on your handiwork roll in.

JoJo Maman Bébé Tree-rex felt tree decoration

Best: Felt decoration

Rating: 9/10

Created sustainably from 100 per cent felted New Zealand sheep’s wool and AZO-free dyes, this little t-rex, or tree-rex, is a cute and fun addition to the Christmas tree. It’s sure to be a big hit with both little ones and guests too. We think it has a lovely charm and also like the fact that JoJo has partnered with a certified Fairtrade company, Felt So Good, who employ skilled artisans in Nepal to craft each hand-felt decoration. Although our hearts have been stolen by the t-rex, there is also a festive shark, koala, fox and ballerina bunny to choose from too.

Soho Home rosendale baubles

Best: Luxury decoration

Rating: 9/10

Soho Home knows interiors and it has certainly honed a signature style across its numerous worldwide locations. Always oozing an air of casual sophistication and understated luxury, it’s no wonder the private members’ club branched into its own line of homeware, replete with beautiful glassware.

We particularly love its mouth-blown baubles inspired by the glassware found at Dumbo House in Brooklyn and Soho House Amsterdam. Available in two colourways: opaque white and purple, our favourite is the latter for its richness and depth of colour. It also caught the light beautifully to showcase a spiral pattern and comes with a peachy velvet ribbon attached, which adds to the sumptuous feel of the decoration. The set of six rosendale baubles aren’t cheap, but they’re definite keepsakes that’ll come out to shine year after year.

Lakeland gingerbread people bowling crackers

Best: Crackers

Rating: 8/10

Crackers are a key culprit for plastic waste. So, forget the plastic paperclip or toy that’ll get swept into the bin, and embrace a more environmentally friendly alternative. We’re big fans of these adorable bowling themed crackers from Lakeland. First of all, they come in a cardboard box, free of any unnecessary plastic panelling on the front. Secondly, the easily recyclable cardboard cracker features a cardboard decoration and twine bow, rather than any glitter or tinsel, and thirdly the contents are really clever. Each of the six crackers contains a skittle in the form of a wooden gingerbread person (along with a gold hat and a favourite joke chosen by a Lakeland employee), which when paired with the felt bowling alley and wooden bowling ball in the box, doubles up as a fun game.

We loved how much enjoyment the wooden skittles brought (more so than any other cracker gift we’ve received) and how the skittles, ball and mat can be scooped up into the accompanying pouch to be tidied away and kept for playing with again in the future. The wooden items are also painted really nicely and wouldn’t look out of place as decorations, when not in use. It’s worth noting that while the mat does come rolled up with a couple of plastic bands, these can be reused when tidying it away.

Mamahood neon marbled baubles

Best: For a pop of colour

Rating: 8/10

If traditional festive scenes or Christmas colours don’t quite do it for you, then let us introduce you to something a bit more vibrant and unusual: neon hand marbled ceramic baubles. Available in either a pink and red option with a neon yellow grosgrain ribbon or pink and yellow with a bright pink ribbon, either is set to stand out amongst the more standard festive decor. We love that with them being hand marbled, each bauble is unique, and we think their fun pop of colour is just what is needed when the grey December days set in.

We also like the fact that they come in a Kraft cardboard box, wrapped in tissue paper, and are from a small business. Mamahood is a store and marketplace we love for its cute range of products from independent brands, all founded and run by mothers. It’s a great spot to find new names and quirky products, just like these baubles by Julia Staite.

Little Lulubel rainbow forest honeycomb decorations

Best: Paper decoration

Rating: 8/10

How gorgeous are these honeycomb tissue paper tree decorations from Little Lulubel? We absolutely adore how they quickly transform a table or corner of the room, giving it a sprinkle of festive cheer with ease. All you have to do is pop open the trees and secure them with the supplied paperclips.

We love the range of joyful colours and think the silver star on the top, which is covered in a plant-based eco-friendly glitter, adds to the festive occasion. Each pack of ten comes in a mix of two sizes, so you can either artfully arrange them all together or pop them in various spots throughout the house. Although they’re made of delicate tissue paper, we think that with some love and care, they certainly could last.

Felt So Good felt multi lightbulb garland

Best: Garland

Rating: 8.5/10

Does everything crafted into a felt copy suddenly become so much cuter? We think so, if this multi lightbulb garland by Felt So Good is anything to go by. Handmade in Nepal, this Fairtrade decoration is crafted from 100 per cent wool and runs to 2m in length. The felt multicoloured light bulbs work so well in a festive display, but the great thing is that this garland could easily be displayed throughout the year without looking out of place. String it up and just watch as it lights up your face with joy (no pun intended).

Nkuku talini tree topper

Best: Tree-topper

Rating: 7.5/10

No Christmas tree is complete without a topper and this stylish brass star from ethically focused brand Nkuku is a great plastic free option. Its geometric design brings a bit of modern edge, while the warm golden tone of the star means it even fits in with more traditional ornaments on the tree. It is a bit on the heavier side given its materials, but can be tied with ribbon too for a spot of additional security.

Hobbycraft ceramic baubles with jute

Best: For customisation

Rating: 8/10

There’s something so special about having a personalised decoration, and these white ceramic baubles are a perfect blank canvas for some customisation. You can paint, draw or write your loved one’s names on them – whatever takes your fancy really. But, if you do get stuck for ideas, then Hobbycraft has a whole load of handy suggestions on their website. The giant craft retailer is also hosting a Christmas ceramic brush lettering workshop in November which can be booked and attended in store or online and includes decorating supplies for the baubles.

We love the fact that these baubles are so simple to personalise and think they make for a lovely gift, especially if you have children who want to put their mark on something. You can either sit them down to customise their own decorations or decorate one for a friend or family member. Also, a pack of six for a fiver is pretty great value for money. You’ll want to get in there quick though as Hobbycraft has reported sales of its ceramic decorations soaring.

Vintage Playing Cards personalised christmas vintage bunting

Best: Bunting

Rating: 8/10

Vintage Playing Cards is a pretty cool company that creates bespoke products out of original vintage games such as playing cards. Its personalised bunting makes use of original cards from a 1930s spelling game and can be personalised with up to twenty letters. You can opt for a family name, a favourite saying or a festive greeting. We like the originality of this and the festive ribbon, which adds a nice touch. Again, you’ll be hard pressed to decide whether to get one for yourself or as a present for a loved one.

The verdict: Plastic-free Christmas decorations

There are so many delightful plastic-free and eco-friendly festive decorations out there, but we were won over by the TraidCraft hanging handmade floral Kashmir birds, as they’re so beautifully crafted and each purchase helps support an age-old craft. We also think the Little Lulubel rainbow forest honeycomb trees are a simple and effective way to incorporate some festive cheer, while the Soho Home rosendale baubles are beautiful ornaments to treasure for Christmases to come.

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For the latest discounts on homewares and Christmas essentials, try the links below:

Get ready to deck the halls with the best Christmas tree decorations for your festive fir

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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