Yule is close, and in this time of the year, creative or not, we all use our fantasy to decorate our houses and bring the yuletide spirit in! So, instead of spending a lot of money on something ordinary, why don’t you create something special and unique? I thought about gathering 3 DIY ideas to make Yule homemade decorations! Hope you’ll find some food for thoughts!
Creating unique candles for Yule is probably one of the easiest ways to make something that looks good and doesn’t make your wallet cry at the same time. Most importantly, you can really let your fantasy run free! The basic idea is to make decorations for your house, but why not making some (maybe charged with a specific purpose) to gift to your beloved ones?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 pillar candle (or more, depending on how many of them you want to make). For colours, a white one is probably the best way to go since it’s neutral, especially if you decide to charge it with essential oils. Otherwise red, silver, gold, green work fine too!
- Cotton String (4mm), you can buy a reel like this and use it for more candles or other DIY ideas. In alternative, twine will fit as well!
- Charms of your choice: dried orange slices, star anise, cinnamon sticks, pentacle pendants, but this is completely up to you!
- Essential oils (optional)
- A plate (can be in ceramic, or wood!)
- Glue gun (if you don’t have it, liquid glue will work fine. Mind you that some of them are inflammable, so be careful on which one you choose)
- Cardboard roll (for instance, you could recycle the duct tape roll once finished!)
Now, the procedure is quite simple. If you decided to charge the candle for a specific purpose (money, health, love etc.), anoint it with the essential oil of your choice. Remember that, when in doubt, rosemary can be the substitute of any essential oil, what matters is your intention. If you don’t want to charge it, but still give your candle a boost of scent, the orange essential oil smells wonderful and I totally recommend it! Some say that cinnamon essential oil is great too, but unfortunately I’m deadly allergic to cinnamon, so I can’t really tell. Up to you!
Once you anointed your candle, let it absorb the oil for a few minutes. Meanwhile, you can switch your glue gun on.If you decided to use pendants, I would recommend to tie them to the string at this point, since once applied on the cardboard roll it might get hard to add the pendants. You can use a fishing wire for this purpose. Why not writing down your wishes (or messages, if it’s a gift!) on a little piece of paper, roll it and add it as a decoration to your string?
Take your candle and consider the height of your cardboard roll from the bottom, that will be used to apply your decorations and the cotton string.
Take the ending of the string and put a drop of hot glue on it (be careful not to burn yourself). Place it on the bottom of the cardboard roll and start wrapping the string around it and cover it all. Once you’re satisfied with the result, cut the string, burn softly the ending (this will ensure a clean job) and pour another drop of hot glue on it. Let it dry for a few minutes.
Let’s move on to charms. If you opted for pendants, they’re probably already on your string. If you decided to use dried orange slices, star anise, small pinecones, it’s time to grab your glue gun again!
Pour a little drop behind your décor and apply it on the string with a little bit of pressure. Let your imagination run free and decorate it as you like! Place the candle inside the cardboard roll, which will serve as candle holder.
Once your candle is ready, you can add a fancy plate under it. It’s optional, but it’s a nice addition indeed. I would recommend choosing a nice plate that can be reused for other purposes. Your candle is ready! This is just a version, I’ve seen some around decorated with cinnamon sticks only, with a sort of wreath on the bottom… whatever you like, will be great! Just be careful and make sure to make everything safe! Here some examples of Yule candles:
Yule Witch balls.
You probably already heard about the “Witch balls”, an ancient pagan tradition. They look like simple Yule/Christmas ornaments, but there is something more hidden behind the curtains. They had (and still have!) the purpose of protecting and keeping away evil spirits and influences from the places they were kept. Let’s see how to make them! What you need:
- A transparent ball, the ones you use on the Xmas trees. You can choose if you want it in glass, in plastic because your cats will probably take it as a toy. You can buy a new one or even recycle an old one from your Christmas decorations. Up to you. If you need to buy a new one, here’s a link!
- Herbs and “natural elements” that you want to add, based on your purpose. Could be rosemary, white sage, lavender, cinnamon sticks, salt. As long as they stick with your purpose, it’s fine.
- Crystals (optional). If you have small spare crystals and you were wondering how to use them, this could be one idea. I’d recommend to charge them with your purpose before adding them to your witch ball. If you don’t know how, here’s a link to my article!
- Pendants and other ornaments (optional): pentacles pendants are often used to make witch balls, for their protection symbolism. But you can add whatever you feel like adding, feathers, messages, pictures…let your imagination run free!
- Thread. The colour and the size is up to you, just keep in mind that if you knot and loop it, it would be better, since it would work as a “trap”/”filter” for negative energies.
Once you have all your ingredients ready in front of you, it’s time to fill your ball! Mind you, when you’re in the process of making it focus on your purpose. For instance, if you’re making a witch ball for protection, focus on that. Maybe a shield around your house, or around you? Decorate it as you wish, and once you’re done, you’re ready to hang it wherever you want. Yes, because these balls aren’t ONLY for Yule/Christmas. You can use them during other times of the year too, at your workplace, in your car, for instance. Here you have some examples of witch ball:
Pinecone Ornaments that smell…great!
A few years ago I came across an article that explained how to make scented pinecones ornaments. I was thrilled because my yard is always full of those and I finally found a new way to recycle them. What you’ll need:
- Pinecones. As many as you wish.
- Herbs and spices in powder. You can choose which ones you want. I’m allergic to cinnamon for instance, so I never use it. Could be ginger, nutmeg, lavender, cinnamon… just make sure to add them in the same amount.
- Paintbrush (a small one or a medium one)
- Glitters (optional)
- Glue and water (consider a ratio of 1:1)
For a final touch to the decoration of the pinecones, you can even use fake spray snow! First of all, you have to wash your pinecones, then lay them on a piece of a baking sheet and put them in the oven (250° for about 15-20 min). The heat will make them open up a bit more and most importantly, will kill any trace of bacteria. Wait until they cool down. At this point, grab your paintbrush and pour the mixture of glue and water all over the pinecones. Before it dries out, put the glitters, the herbs and spices of your choice into a big bowl or in a bag and shake/roll them until they’re completely covered.
Let it dry again, then choose where you want to place them! You can hang them to your tree (in this case you can just use a ribbon wrapped at the end of the pinecone), place them on a fancy plate as a centrepiece, maybe with a candle in the middle!
Hope you’ve found these ideas inspiring! Happy Yule and enjoy your house decorating!
If you’d like to stay in this Yule atmosphere, I suggest the reading of The Yule Cat!