Take a cue from Mother Nature and use natural items to bring the spirit of the winter season into your home. Bailey and I can usually take a short walk and find plenty of options. I’ve found that most people are happy to have you gather up what they consider yard waste but always ask before doing so! Here’s are my top ten favorite ‘au naturale’ items to use in my winter décor.
1. Pinecones. Let’s start out with the most obvious item and the easiest to find – pinecones. As soon as you get back home with them, pop them on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a 200 degree oven for 45 minutes to kill any little bugs hiding in the crevices. Once baked, they’re ready to use!
Bleached and whitewashed pinecones are a beautiful alternative to straight off the tree. Watch my tutorial on White Pinecones to make some for yourself!
2. Burr Oak Acorns. There’s something extra about these giant acorns with cozy-looking little caps! It’s as if these acorns know how to dress for the winter! Bake them following the same process as noted above to kill any unexpected little intruders. I love painting the acorn a silver or gold and then reattaching to the cap with hot glue for a little ‘glam’.
3. Evergreen branch cuttings. There is a myriad of ‘evergreen’ options but my favorites are: cedar, boxwood, holly, and pine.
Create wreaths and garland or use single branch cuttings arranged in vases, planters, or even buckets.
4. Winter berries. Winter berries provide a gorgeous pop of color and can be used either alone or incorporated into any of these other ideas, like berries with evergreen branch cuttings. Ensure the berries are kept away from pets and small children as they are poisonous.
5. Birch logs. All types of logs have a beautiful textural element to their bark but there’s something elegant about the thin white bark of a birch.
Some craft stores sell small logs to use in décor but you can also make your own with empty canisters and some birch patterned craft paper.
6. Chestnuts. We don’t find chestnuts on our walks but they’re easy to find at the grocery store or online. Boasting a warm, nutty brown hue, chestnuts make for excellent filler and can either stand alone or be paired with other items.
7. Twigs. Contrasting with evergreen branch cuttings, naked twigs give a more minimalistic look and can also be used to make wreaths and bunched together in vases.
8. Grapevines. These can be harder to find on a walk but thanks to the internet, are easily purchased no matter where you live. Use them for rustic wreaths and garland and either dress up with other natural items, weave tiny fairy lights throughout, or leave plain.
9. Tumbleweed. These brittle bundles of wildness are plentiful where I live so I like to use them in my décor when they blow by.
Leave them intact and string them with fairy lights...
...or break off tree-shaped pieces and spray paint with a glam metallic gold color.
Watch my tutorial on 'Tumbleweed In Decor' to make a gorgeous Tumbleweed Chandelier:
10. Epsom Salt. Yes, it’s a natural element (to be specific, it’s a naturally-occurring compound). You won’t find it on a walk but it’s an inexpensive purchase in the pharmacy or health and beauty section of your local store.
It’s a great way to incorporate the look of snow with the benefit of not making a melty mess! Use as filler in a vase.
Or spray a little adhesive on twigs, evergreen cuttings, or other items and sprinkle with Epsom to make it look like they’re snow-kissed.
Watch my tutorial on Glowing Snowballs (using Epsom salt for that snowy look!):
Which is your favorite? Watch the Top Ten video below: