Nature-Inspired Christmas Tree with Handmade Decorations


Handmade mushroom ornaments, a DIY woodland paper chain garland, glass ornaments, and handmade star anise wreaths decorate this nature-inspired Christmas tree. I’m sharing how it all came together along with tips for recreating the look. 

decorated christmas tree in front of bookcase.

A Christmas Tree Inspired by Nature

Merry Christmas! I am excited to show you another one of my Christmas tree designs. It is my nature-inspired Christmas tree. 

This year I had the goal of a handmade holiday. In my designing process, I wanted to use a combination of decor that I already had and handmade items that I would make. And that’s exactly what I did. Last week you saw an example of this when I shared the Christmas tree in my family room. (You can see that HERE if you missed it.) For that tree, I crafted some clay cookie cutter ornaments and embroidery hoop ornaments; I even strung a popcorn garland

For my nature-inspired tree, I created two ornaments and a pretty spectacular garland (made from leftover wallpaper). Let’s take a peek at what I created. 

decorate christmas tree in living room.
close up of decorated christmas tree.
decorate christmas tree in living room.
presents under a christmas tree.

The Same But Different

I know I’ve mentioned the phrase “the same but different” a lot this holiday season; that’s because it’s been a big goal of mine and has influenced my design choices. Instead of buying a bunch of new decorations (which I usually do) I wanted to use what I have but in a different way. 

In retrospect, this tree has evolved into its current form over the past three years. 

1. Snowy Pinecone Christmas Tree

2. Blue Green and White Christmas 

To go even further back, I’ve also decorated this tree in all green HERE and navy and green HERE. In fact, the all-green tree was featured in Better Homes & Gardens magazine and their Christmas Ideas magazine.

Since moving into this home, the decor and color scheme in this room has remained the same so I design my holiday decor to fit into it. It’s been exciting and fun to come up with something the same, but different every year. 

decorated christmas tree with handmade ornaments and garland.
close up of christmas tree with handmade decor.

Handmade Christmas Tree Decor

I thought I would walk you through some of the handmade elements on this nature-inspired tree as you might like to recreate them in your own home. 

1. Paper Chain Garland 

When I was thinking about nature-inspired elements, I immediately thought of the wallpaper I recently used in my guest bedroom. I had some leftover pieces from the installation and thought I could use them to create a paper chain garland.

close up of handmade paper chain garland.

To elevate the look a bit more, I lined the wallpaper with emerald green and dark teal papers.  When I first started I was a bit nervous, but after making a few feet of the garland I knew I was going to love the look. In the end, I loved it so much that I decided to add some to my mantel!

Find the tutorial HERE

christmas tree with fireplace in background.

2. Rustic Star Anise Christmas Wreath

This was a project I wanted to make for a couple of years but never got around to it. When I started out, I originally thought I would make one and simply hang it as a wreath somewhere in my house.

star anise wreath on christmas tree.

However, I was having so much fun that I decided to make more of them and use them as ornaments on my tree. (I used some on my mantel too.)  I think these star anise wreaths add a wonderful natural element. As an added bonus, they add such a wonderful fragrance to my tree. I smell them every time I walk by.  

Find the tutorial HERE

christmas tree with handmade elements.

3. Clay Mushroom Ornaments

I had so much fun creating these. I love a mushroom Christmas ornament. (In fact, they have a special meaning when used on a Christmas tree. Read more about it HERE.)

handmade clay christmas ornament.

Instead of just going out and buying some new ornaments, I decided to craft my own and I’m so glad I did as I was able to customize the size, color, shape, and sparkle. What’s not to love? 

decorated christmas tree in front of a fireplace.

Find the tutorial HERE

And that’s a wrap on my homemade tree decor! 

Under the Tree

It’s also worth mentioning that I enjoy decorating under my Christmas trees. I never like to leave this space empty so I decorate it with things like:

  • vintage picnic baskets
  • wrapped presents
  • vintage thermoses and lunch boxes
  • vintage ornament boxes
  • vintage scotch tape tins
  • wooden trays/carriers
presents under a christmas tree.
presents under a christmas tree.

As you can see, there’s a trend toward vintage. Ha! If you like vintage Christmas decor too, this post HERE is for you. I talk all about my favorite vintage Christmas decor and how I like to style it.

I may write an entire post about under-the-tree decor in the future. I think that would be fun! 

presents under a christmas tree.

Trimming the Tree: 

In other blog posts over the years, I’ve talked a lot about the process I use when decorating my trees. Therefore, I won’t get into that here. However, if you want more info, here are a few resources. 

1. Check out my other tree HERE where I shared a handful of my best tips

2. Learn how to add ribbon to your Christmas tree HERE. It’s my foolproof method. 

3. I’ve designed over 26 Christmas trees,  so if you just need a little inspiration or design ideas, check out this post HERE

christmas tree with handmade ornaments.
close up of christmas tree decor.

That’s a Wrap! 

And that’s about it! 

It’s amazing that after 14 years of blogging and designing/decorating 26+ Christmas trees I still have something to say about them. Let’s hope I always do! 

I also hope that you enjoyed this little tour of my nature-inspired Christmas tree. It was so fun to style and a joy to share with you! 

Merry Christmas! 

decorate christmas tree in living room.

Enjoy this Christmas tree and want more decor ideas?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

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Comments

  • Rhonda at

    Even after all these years, you are still by far my favorite. I love this vibe…and truly believe it’s your finest. Thank you. Merry Christmas from coastal Maine.

  • Stacie at

    This tree is absolutely gorgeous and I really love the little anise wreath ornaments you’ve made. What a beautiful space for Christmas you have created!

  • Marla at

    Love your “the same but different” approach. No need to start from scratch every year. Always beautiful, inspiring and “you.” Merry Christmas!

  • Anita at

    Your tree is amazing. Such a refreshing take on decorating for Christmas and much appreciated. It’s nice to see that you designed your trees for you and not just based on decorating trends. Love your wrapping papers also- would love sources on those! Merry Christmas!

  • Cheri at

    Looking forward to the “under the tree” post! You are amazing at staying under the tree, in fact, that might be my favorite part of your trees!

  • Sherry at

    No other words..stunningly inspiring! Thank you for all your hard work! It brings so much joy! And motivation!

  • Rebecca at

    I always love your ideas and style. I, too, reuse my Christmas decorations year after year and your decorating style is an inspiration to use them in new and different ways. Thank you!! Merry Christmas!!

  • Lynn W at

    Wow! This is a beautiful combination of ornaments and I love the vintage and handmade touches!!
    The paper chain takes me back to grade school when we would make them to decorate our classrooms!! This is an elevated version for sure Thank you for taking me back to that time ❤️

  • Bri at

    Michael,
    With a tree this beautiful and so wonderfully decorated, it’s almost hard to say that Robert Browning’s quote of about less being more comes to mind. But rather than buying all things new, you pared down, reused, and created anew. Less “stuff” and more purpose. More thought given to the holiday and what matters to you (and so many others) at this time of year. The result expresses your passion and warmth so thoroughly. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all. Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years to you.

  • Liz at

    ahhhhhh…finally…I can see why it took so long- but it was totally worth the wait! I would check every day.
    It’ stunning. You are 100% my Christmas go-to and have been for YEARS.

  • Linda F at

    Hi Michael! Over the weekend I made mini versions of the star anise wreath into ornaments as a gift for each of my staff to go along with their Christmas cards this year. Had a bunch of the star anise leftover so put some into a stove top potpourri along with a cinnamon stick, orange slices and cloves. Made the house smell very Christmasy! Thanks for all the easy and wonderful ideas.

  • Linda F at

    Hi Michael! Over the weekend I made mini versions of the star anise wreaths into ornaments for each of my staff with their Christmas card this year. Have a lot of the star anise leftover so I also through together a stove top potpourri with a cinnamon stick, orange slices and clove. Made the house smell wonderful and Christmasy! Thanks for the great and easy ideas.

  • Diana Rose Hubbard at

    Love the colors and I love the paper chain.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Amy Marty at

    Your decor takes my breath away. Absolutely beautiful! You have inspired me (and my son) this year in our decorating.

    Happy Holidays.

    • Michael Wurm Jr. at

      You made my day! Thank you so much!

      xo Michael

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