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Green Christmas: Christmas Door Decoration Ideas

Updated on January 2, 2013

Christmas door decorations offer a traditional greeting to loved ones and guests. Your front door is the portal that sets a welcoming mood. This year, make your door decoration ecofriendly, with a homemade door swag, wreath or garland.

The spirit of a green Christmas brings life-affirming generosity to your home -- the generosity that considers the environment, preserving habitats for wildlife -- and the quality of our air, water, soil and food. By reducing the use of Christmas lights you save energy and money. And by displaying door decorations created from natural materials, you help to reduce carbon emissions and waste.

Save money on this year's Christmas decorating. Make door decorations from yard trimmings, Christmas ornaments you already have, and common, reusable supplies such as wire and cloth ribbon for green Chrismas décor. Making your own Christmas decorations offers quiet -- or festive -- time in your home, bonding with loved ones, and creating memories to share and treasure.

Fruit Decorated Wreath

"Let's Get Festive" by megapixel13
"Let's Get Festive" by megapixel13 | Source

Christmas Door Decoration Types

A Christmas wreath remains a popular choice for door decorating. Usually a circle, wreaths in other shapes, such as ovals, stars or hearts also adorn doors at the holidays. This makes a good project for green Christmas decorating -- you can use materials you have on hand, such as greenery from your yard, wire, ornaments and ribbon.

A door swag is a spray of branches or other plant material, such as holly, fastened together and decorated. It hangs with the cut ends at the top, and often sports a bow, Christmas ornaments or pine cones.

A garland can drape over the top of the door and hang down each side, often in a smile shape. Any kind of evergreen works for a garland, although young, bendable branches are the easiest to work with and give the most graceful effect when you drape it over the door. If you make a garland, hang it high enough so tall visitors won't run into it. As with the instructions for making a door swag below, a homemade Christmas garland only requires bendable wire and greenery. You can also make a garland out of an unexpected material, such as a feather boa. That makes you green, thrifty and stylishly festive. Add a few bells and you're all set for a green Christmas door decoration.

Christmas Door Decorations

Festoon by Jenny Downing
Festoon by Jenny Downing | Source

Christmas Door Decoration Materials

Evergreen branches

Berry branches, such as holly

Grapevine or other flexible plant material for a wreath form, optional

Garden Clippers


Wire cutters

1-inch or 2-inch cloth ribbon

Decorations such as Christmas ornaments, action figures, small stuffed animals, pine cones, pears, costume jewelry

How to Make a Christmas Door Swag

  • Cut three evergreen branches 18 to 36 inches long, depending on the desired size of the swag. Arrange the branches on your work surface so the branches overlap and fan out, with the middle branch longer than the other two.
  • Wrap wire around the branches 3 to 4 inches from the cut ends.Wrap the wire firmly, three to four times. Twist the wire around itself three times to secure it.
  • Form a 2-inch loop out of the wire's loose end at the back of the swag. Twist the wire with the beginning end of the wire to hold the loop in place. Cut off the excess wire.
  • Add a spray of holly or a branch of pine cones in the center of the swag for color and texture, if desired. Alternatively, add three Christmas ornaments. String the ornaments together by running a wire through the hanging loop on the top of each ornament, twisting the wire into a loop and wrapping the two loose ends of the wire around the top of the door swag over the first wire. This displays the ornaments in a cluster. Alternatively, wire and action figure, stuffed animal or Christmas toy such as a Santa to the door swag.
  • Tie a bow around the wire holding the door swag together, leaving the loop in the back uncovered for hanging the door swag.

Large Christmas Door Swag

Front Door by Byrdiegyrl
Front Door by Byrdiegyrl | Source

Christmas Door Decoration Tips

Fruit, spices and other attractive plant materials add color and texture to a homemade wreath. Apples, cherries, holly and real cinnamon sticks adorn the Christmas wreath in the top photograph. Other wreathes on this page include colorful peppers, different kind tree cones, berries, big bows made from reusable cloth ribbon -- all inexpensive ideas for green Christmas décor.

Hardy fresh herbs, such as rosemary and bay, work well in door decorations. In general, plants with woody stems resist wilting longer than plants with softer stems. For example, basil and parsley aren't suitable for door decorations because they wither quickly after they're cut.

Avoid using fabrics or decorations that are fragile or that aren't color-fast on door décor that's exposed to the elements. For example, delicate angels or heirloom Christmas decorations might be damaged by wind, and certain red fabrics or ribbons might bleed dye in the rain and leave stains. Dabbing at the fabric or ribbon with a damp white rag will show if the dye bleeds. If you see pink on the rag, the item isn't color-fast.

Use evergreen decorations for outdoor decorating. These tree branches are flammable and can pose a serious fire risk indoors.

Many Christmas berries, including holly and mistletoe, are toxic. Keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

Author's Note: Green Christmas: Christmas Door Decoration Ideas

I grew up with creative women. My mother and grandmother each had many skills and great creativity. They made Christmas scenes, homemade decorations, handmade gifts -- their creations were heartfelt, enhanced the home, created lasting memories -- and saved money for the family. They're both gone now, and this series of articles honors the values and skills they gave me. Because of all the things I learned from them, I can create an attractive environment using flowers and plants I grow. My work as a floral designer and home furnishings consultant came out of an early appreciation for color, line and spatial relationships that I learned at home.

I hope some of you who read this will share your creative gifts with people you love -- and take time to make things with people you care about during the holidays. Time passes so quickly -- and it's the things we share that give us the memories that sustain us when things aren't as bright.

For kids' projects or as an alternative to wire, you can use fishing line, string or twine to tie evergreen branches for garlands. Making a loop out of the tying material makes a garland, swag or wreath easy to hang. Save wreath forms to use next year.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it.

Trent Adams, aka HikeGuy, California

Updated January 2, 2013

Copyright Travis Arts 2011, 2013, all rights reserved. Protected by Copyscape.

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    • torrilynn profile image


      5 years ago

      @hikeguy thanks for this hub. decoration are always best especially for christmas. voted up.

    • HikeGuy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northern California Coast

      Bay makes wonderful door decorations because of the aroma. Floral water tubes might keep them hydrated much longer. Look for the larger, longer tubes to hold as much water as possible.

      You might have to refill them, but they have fitted rubber stoppers that go over the branch ends, so they're easy to take off and put back on. Strategic ribbons, bells, or wiring some small stems to extend over the tubes will conceal them.

      I tend to avoid spray fixatives -- I don't like to breathe them. If you try the water tubes, let me know how it works out. They're also great for decorating with cut holly berries and poinsettias for the holidays.

      It's best to cut greenery in the morning when the plants have the most moisture in their leaves and stems. Cut the bay branches at a 45-degree angle so they'll have good water uptake in the tubes.

    • Greekgeek profile image


      6 years ago from California

      Last year, I let my California Bay tree (shrub, really) go wild so I had enough branches by December to trim it down and make a wreath. The bay leaves smelled and looked great, just like the holly wreaths I grew up in PA minus the scalloped edges, but they dried out really, really fast thanks to the low humidity out here.

      Any ideas on how to hold in the moisture and keep them from looking leathery? I suppose I could use a spray fixative, but it's probably not very eco-friendly, is it?

    • HikeGuy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northern California Coast

      Grapevines make great wreath forms for holiday wreaths and for door decorations for any season.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I always use the trimmings from my grapevine to make wreaths. Thanks for all the decorative ideas.

    • HikeGuy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northern California Coast

      SanneL -- Thank you! I've been making it a priority to buy local and grow things myself. I celebrate the season with decorations from my yard and organic herbs I grow on the patio.

      Mondkill -- Good point. Homemade often *is* better than store-bought. I avoid plastic as much as possible -- my decorations come from all natural materials that don't harm the earth, water supply and wildlife.

    • mondkill profile image


      6 years ago

      I totally agree to you SanneL, think before you buy things If you can make your own Christmas decoration this coming Christmas... You might be shock that your own creations is better than the store....

      Nice have too.... interesting... useful...

    • SanneL profile image


      6 years ago from Sweden

      Before we run out to the stores and start buying all the glittering and sparkling Christmas decorations, we should stop for a moment and think what we can do to reduce carbon emissions and waste in this world. Starting by making your own ecofriendly door decorations for the holidays is a great start, and shows true spirit of a green Christmas.

      Well done! Very important hub.

      Voted up and I will share this with others.

    • HikeGuy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northern California Coast

      AliciaC -- Glad to hear it! This is one of the quickest and most gratifying Christmas decoration projects -- I enjoy how it looks each time I come home to my decoratated door.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've always decorated my house for Christmas but I've never decorated my front door. Thanks for the suggestions for green door decorations. This just might be the year that I decorate my front door for the first time!


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