Natural Chinese Lantern Ornaments

If you love foraging, you'll enjoy collecting the delicate natural materials required for these exquisite Christmas tree decorations. Look for red Chinese lanterns and other vibrant plants to add a splash of color to your tree.
Chinese Christmas Lanterns on Trees

Chinese Christmas Lanterns on Trees

Photo by: DK - A Greener Christmas © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - A Greener Christmas, 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

As well as gathering the papery red Chinese lanterns that appear in late summer and fall for these organic ornaments, look out for moss, rosehips, crab apples, thistles, Old man's beard from clematis and anything else that catches your eye.

If you want to mix your homemade tree decorations with some bought decorations, choose fairly traded and ethically sourced products that have been produced from sustainably grown, natural materials.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 length of thin wire, approximately 12" long
  • 1 small piece of twig
  • knitting needle or skewer
  • an assortment of found natural materials, including seed heads and small fruits with their stalks left on, and then dried

Step 1

Wrap one end of the length of wire around the small piece of twig a few times and secure the end neatly.

Twig Wrapped With Wire

Twig Wrapped With Wire

Photo by: DK - A Greener Christmas © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - A Greener Christmas, 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 2

Use a knitting needle or a skewer to pierce a hole through a crab apple fruit or a berry, as close to the center as possible.

Skewered Crab Apple

Skewered Crab Apple

Photo by: DK - A Greener Christmas © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - A Greener Christmas, 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 3

Thread the wire through the fruit, then push it carefully through the Chinese lantern. Make a knot in the wire below the lantern.

Chinese Lantern

Chinese Lantern

Photo by: DK - A Greener Christmas © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - A Greener Christmas, 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 4

Wrap the remaining wire around the stems of a thistle and a seed head, leaving enough wire at the end to secure in a loop.

Thistle and Seed Head

Thistle and Seed Head

Photo by: DK - A Greener Christmas © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - A Greener Christmas, 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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