These homemade Christmas tree decorations have been featured in a recent book, The Ultimate Christmas (by HCI, publishers of the legendary Chicken Soup series).
Gilded walnuts & apples are easy Christmas ornaments to make, and the tradition goes all the way back to sixteenth-century Alsace, Germany, and Switzerland.
So if you're looking for simple homemade Christmas ornaments with a traditional, rustic European country twist, these quick Christmas crafts would be the perfect country Christmas tree ornaments for you!
Historically, a wealthy Old-World household would have used walnuts covered in real gold leaf, thereby reflecting both the candlelight and the owners' prosperity.
But it's easier, faster, and far less expensive to re-create the "rich" look by using gold paint for these DIY Christmas ornaments. So create your own version of these homemade Christmas tree decorations - they're very easy Christmas ornaments to make.
You will need:
For a convincingly rustic country look, gild only some of the walnuts and leave the rest in their natural colors.
(1) Cut a little notch into the bottom, or crack the two halves open just a fraction at the lower tip, and wedge the wire into the notch (the way I've done here).
Then (2) pull the wire up along the 'seams' and lock it tight at the top.
Finally, (3) create an eyelet for your homemade Christmas tree decorations by winding a strand of the wire around the end of a pencil or knitting needle. Secure and cut the leftover bits off.
Alternatively, just hot-glue a little loop or metal ring to the top. That should work, too - a nut isn't exactly a heavy load!
The advantage of making the slightly more involved wire construction is that if you lock it tightly, it can't really fall off, and you can conveniently hold the walnut by the wire eyelet whilst you're smothering it in gold paint.
In a tradition where Christmas trees went up on December 24 ("Holy Evening") and were dismantled on January 6 (Epiphany, or Three Kings Day), apples were perfectly suitable homemade Christmas tree decorations.
This has changed - we're now used to central heating and much warmer rooms, and Christmas trees generally stand for considerably longer than just 14 days.
But here's how you can still use apples as homemade Christmas tree decorations:
I'm sure there are many ways to construct the apple ornaments to create unique Christmas tree decorations. Here's mine:
You'll find more ideas for homemade Christmas tree decorations in the box below: