Christmas Needn’t Cost The Earth: Eco-friendly Makes for Yule.

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Christmas Needn’t Cost the Earth.

Christmas really does not need to cost the earth. In this article, I’d like to share some eco-friendly ways to decorate your home, welcome guests and make presents without a glimpse of plastic, imported crap or throwaway junk.

Just like the Blue Peter advent crown, I’m going to add to this article a week at a time. There’s far too much to share in one sitting and besides, I’m busy sewing little cerise corduroy frocks for the grandchildren and getting ahead with Christmas baking. Evenings are spent knitting and Tim’s out in the garage like one of Santa’s elves making gifts. Of course, I can’t share these makes with you just yet. Walls have ears you know.

Christmas Ice Sculpture

Christmas Ice Sculpture

Let’s start with this ice sculpture to hang from the front porch, a tree, over a flat balcony, or a railing. It’s easily made and costs nothing apart from a bit of time and freezer energy.

You will need:

  • a tray of some description – a sandwich cake tin would be fine, a foil tray, a tea tray – anything with shallow sides that will withstand being frozen. We have a circular metal tray that’s quite big, but any size will do.
  • Secateurs
  • Garden foliage, greenery and berries
  • Length of string 30-40cm
  • A flat space in the freezer
Christmas Ice Sculpture

Christmas Ice Sculpture


Gather greenery – some berries add colour – and arrange it in your tray or tin.

Add a small length string to the top and lay it so the loop is hanging over the edge. This will freeze in the water and give you a hanging loop

Fill with water and lay flat in the freezer being careful not to spill. You might want to sort out a flat space in your freezer first.

When the weather is frosty, remove it from the tray and hang it outside to welcome your guests into your home. I find running the base of the tray under a cold tap for a couple of minutes is enough to loosen the ice.

Of course, as soon as the weather goes above freezing your ice sculpture will melt. We have the dubious fortune to live in a frost pocket in Northumberland, so ice sculptures tend to last for several weeks!

Tea Light Ice Sculptures

Tea Light Ice Sculptures

Tea Light Sculptures

Another idea is to make tea light holders once using the same method and the bottom 20-30cms of two plastic bottles.

Tea Light Ice Sculptures

Tea Light Ice Sculptures

You’ll need one that is smaller than the other so that when suspended with tape there is a gap at the sides and underneath. See photo.

Then it’s the same as for the tray method – fill the gaps with Christmas greenery and berries, fill with water, leaving the centre cavity clear. This is where your tea light will go. Freeze and then remove them from the plastic bottles before you place them outside on a frosty evening. So pretty!

Tea Light Ice Sculptures

Tea Light Ice Sculptures





Let us know how your ice sculptures go or share any inventions on this theme on social media.

Next week we’ll look at natural Christmas decorations from gathered seed heads and grasses.

Part 2 Natural Christmas Decorations




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You might enjoy some of the writing and ideas in other sections of this website, as we look towards leading more sustainable lives by growing our own food and creating dishes in line with seasonal eating, or head to our handy ‘Month by Month’ guides to find out what we have been doing here at Bridge Cottage as the months go by:

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Tim & Sue in the Bridge Cottage Way garden



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