Make your own natural tinsel for an eco-friendly Christmas

For a long time I have been looking at my collection of dried up paper daisies and feeling inspired to make some ‘natural tinsel’ with them. Paper daisies are some of our most spectacular Australian flowers, both in shape and colour, and because they last so well they could also make lovely house decorations beyond the festive season.  

Although I usually celebrate the Summer Solstice at this time of year, I thought it would be fun to actually have a Christmas tree this year and honour some of the traditions I grew up with.

A simple christmas tree made from tied together sequoia branches

I made a simple Christmas tree from fallen sequoia branches gathered near my house. I was inspired by Tokopa’s fabulous version (find instructions here), which is far lusher than mine, although I do enjoy the simple, rustic charm of my one. Paper daisy tinsel seemed like the perfect way to decorate it, keeping it simple and natural.

Here’s some step-by-step instructions in case you want to try it yourself. 

 

Natural flower tinsel tutorial

 

You will need:

A bouquet of paper daisies (or other flowers that dry out well, like rose buds)

String

A needle

Scissors

A bowl filled with paper daisies, a pair of scissors, a needle in string

 

Step one

Cut the stems of all the paper daisies. Cut a few metres of thread – you can lay all the flowers out on top of it to approximate how much you will need, or just guess. Thread your needle and push it through the front of the paper daisy to the back. Going in this direction stops it from getting squashed and breaking any petals. Pull the needle through the flower and push it to the end of your string. Tie it in place.

Fingers pushing a threaded needle through a paper daisy

 

Step two

Keep threading paper daisies onto the string, leaving as much gap between each as you desire. You may want to tie a knot before and after each flower, to keep them in place. 

Some paper daisies threaded on string, with more waiting to be added on

 

Step three

Once you have threaded all of your flowers, tie the last one in place and cut off any excess string.

A full garland of string threaded with paper daisies, arranged in a spiral on white fabric

 

Congratulations – your tinsel is ready to be wrapped around your Christmas tree or hung from the ceiling. Handle it carefully to avoid tangling the string.

Flowers threaded on string, wrapped around a christmas tree

 

Variation

You can also push the flowers up against each other, leaving no gap. This creates a lusher, more tinsel like effect. It also requires a lot more flowers for even a short length of string!

Paper daisies threaded on string, pushed firmly against each other

 

I hope this might inspire you to use natural materials to make your own Christmas or seasonal decorations. Pin the below image to save this idea for later:

A montage of all the steps involved in making natural tinsel from paper daisies

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