DIY Christmas Decorations: Seed Pod Ornaments

Updated: Apr. 24, 2020

Look no further than your own backyard for DIY Christmas decorations. Seed pods make great DIY ornaments adding a natural touch to your holiday decorating!

Cute snowmen made from the seed pods from the Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora).
Cute snowmen made from the seed pods from the Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora).

Are you looking for a unique way to decorate your home for Christmas? Or, maybe you are in search of a fun, easy and inexpensive DIY gift idea to give away as hostess and/or teacher gifts.  Well, did you know that the dried seed pods you see hanging from trees or scattered upon the ground can often make perfect ornaments for your tree?

Seed pods from the screwbean mesquite tree.
Seed pods from the screwbean mesquite tree.

The shapes of seed pods are so unique, which makes them a great way to add a natural element to your holiday decorating.  Of course, you can leave them in their natural state or you can embellish them with paint, glitter or even tied into a cluster with ribbon.

pine cone

So what types of plants produce seed pods that are suitable for holiday decorating?  Although the well-known is a pine cone, there are countless other seed pods from trees, shrubs, perennials and even vegetables that can be used to make ornaments.

How about the iconic seed pods from the sweet gum tree?  Add string and hang them from your tree or for a more sparkly appearance, spray with gold or silver spray paint.  Attach a small ribbon at the top and you are done!  You can also make a decorative ball from the pods by clustering them together and tying them with a decorative bow.  Click here to see how.

Seedpods for Christmas ornaments

Another great seed pod for decorating is that from the magnolia tree, which looks great when grouped together in a decorative bowl on the table or hung from the tree.  Paint them white or red for an extra splash of color.

Acorns are a fun way to add a personal touch to your holiday decorating.  Paint the base in your color of choice and add an initial.  Wouldn’t that be a great gift?  Click here for the DIY tutorial.

Seed pods hanging from a Texas Mountain Laurel
Seed pods hanging from a Texas Mountain Laurel

Plants that have great seed pods for decorating include Australian bottle tree, banana yucca, Canada lilies, dogwood, eucalyptus, mimosa, Hesperaloe, mesquite, milkweed, pine, smooth sumac, sweet gum, Texas ebony, Texas mountain laurel, and trumpet vine.  Of course, this is but a partial list of the many plants you can use.  A favorite Southern vegetable is also a popular choice for Christmas ornaments. Believe it or not, they can be transformed into a Santa Claus with his long beard. Click here to see how.

Creating little snowmen (pictured in the first photo) from the seed pods of Texas mountain laurel require a little white paint and Sharpie pens – that’s it!  Once you’re finished, simply add some fishing line with a little glue and you have a perfectly adorable ornament ready for the tree, or you can attach it to a gift tag.

Australian bottle tree
Australian bottle tree

The large seed pods from the Australian bottle tree can be cleaned out and then filled with whatever you wish, whether it is red berries, a small angel or baby – it makes the perfect little bed.

The steps to creating your own ornaments from seed pods are simple and can be tailored depending on whether you want to retain the natural color and appearance of the seed pods or if you decide to paint them or add glitter.

1. Make sure the seed pods are completely dried and no longer green.

2. Line a baking sheet with foil and ‘bake’ the seed pods at 200 degrees for 1 – 2 hours to kill any small eggs or larvae.

3. At this stage, if you want to keep them looking natural, spray with polyurethane to help preserve them and to give them a bit of a shine, attach fishing line or other string with a glue gun to the top of the ornament and hang from the tree.

4. If you want to paint your seed pods, regular spray paint will work just fine and is the best way to be sure to cover all the nooks and crannies in the seed pods.  Silver and/or gold spray paint is particularly effective when using seed pods ornaments on your tree – they are a great way to add a unifying theme when scattered throughout the tree.

The ways you decide to use seed pods are as unlimited as the types of seed pods you can use.  I encourage you to take a walk outdoors in your own backyard, neighborhood or park and look at the surrounding trees and plants with a new eye, imagining how their seed pods would look on your tree or decorating your home.

What other types of seed pods do you think would make great DIY Christmas decorations?  Add them to our list in the comments section!