28th Nov 2020
Ditch the plastic this year, and go for Irish-made decorations in gorgeous, naturally derived materials like wood, wool and ceramic.
As we ready our homes for the festive season, it seems that people are putting more effort into decorating than ever. And who can blame us? With little else to cheer us up at the moment, Christmas decorations and lights are popping up in windows earlier than ever, and we’re not mad about it.
If you want to add to your collection of decorations, there’s never been a better time to choose to support an Irish maker or retailer. While buying locally is inevitably better for the environment, ensuring products don’t have to travel far, our wonderful local craftspeople naturally also work with renewable materials like wood, glass and wool, so it’s definitely a greener choice.
Any of these decorations would also make a wonderful gift, such is the work that’s gone into them. Here are some of our favourite decorations from Irish makers and independent stores.
Made in Dublin from a solid piece of beech wood by father and daughter team Edward and Iseult O’Clery, this wreath would make a festive addition to your home year after year.
It measures 26.5cm wide and comes with a metre of ribbon, so would work anywhere from the back of a door to pride of place above a mantlepiece. Irish Design Shop have a great selection of Irish decorations available, so it’s worth checking out their other options, too.
This cheerful little robin will brighten up any shelf he’s perched on.
Handmade by craftsman Jamie Lewis from Merino wool, it comes in branding and packaging made from recycled card, and is posted in reused cardboard boxes or eco jiffy bags, with paper tape instead of plastic, so you can be certain this robin’s eco footprint is as diminutive as his real ones.
Made from porcelain white clay and handpainted with an adorable design, we absolutely love these hanging decorations. You can buy them individually to mix and match, or choose a set of four.
As each is handmade in Dublin, there is also an option to have them personalised, at a small extra cost.
Made by woodturner Harry Toner in Belfast, each of these wooden Christmas trees are unique thanks to the grain of the wood, as well as the nature of a handcrafted product.
They are available in three slightly different styles, and would look lovely either on their own, or arranged together as above.
How sweet are these ceramic French horns? Each is hand made and painted in Dublin, inspired by traditional Polish Boleslawiec pottery.
Pottery Corner also have baubles and other figures, such as Santas and elephants in similar colours, so you can create your own mix-and-match selection.
This elegant bauble would be a stunning addition to your tree. Each is mouth-blown, before being hand-cut by master craftsman Eamonn Terry in his Co Waterford workshop.
Its delicate star design would fit in with anyone’s Christmas style, from pared-back to those who love to go all-out.
Made from balls of pure wool, this garland will add a snowy touch wrapped around your Christmas tree or hung on a wall.
Wool is a durable natural material, and will be sure to be at the centre of your Christmas decorations for years to come.
Belfast-based ceramicist and illustrator Megan Clingman has made these gorgeous punch needle decorations available on her Etsy site.
Their wonderful texture is a fun alternative to traditional baubles. There are several designs and colours to choose from, although not many of each, so you’ll have to be quick. She also has some ceramic ornaments.
Another festive wreath that could brighten up your home year after year, these gorgeous reusable ones are made from walnut and oak strips, laser-cut birch plywood and metal rings.
They come with dried babala, lino vlas, thistle, bunny’s tail, eucalyptus, ruscus and feathers as decoration, but these can easily be swapped out for other seasonal flowers and foliage throughout the year, so your wreath doesn’t have to be packed away in January.
A perfect give for someone who hails from Belfast, or just anyone who loves the iconic Harland & Wolff cranes, this cute decoration is made by father and son team Sean and Conor.
It comes packaged in a matching box, ideal if you are giving it as a present.
These gorgeous porcelain birds are made by the duo Marz Lawler and Karen Cody in their studio in Kilkenny.
Each is hand painted, and there are a huge range of colours and designs to choose from.
Handmade by Mary Neeson in her Kerry studio, this beautiful bell is wonderfully simple, complemented by luxurious details like its satin ribbon, gold chain and prehnite semi-precious gemstone.
It would look equally at home hung in a window as it would on a Christmas tree. Mary also has several other bell designs to choose from, that could be grouped together.
These cute little trees are made from sustainable cork, and an arrangement of them would look so festive on a shelf or mantlepiece.
They’re made up of two pieces slotted together, and are small enough to fit inside a Christmas card when flat, so can easily be sent as a gift.
Made in Dublin, this assortment of handmade decorations would add a unique touch to any tree, with every box containing a slightly different selection.
Presented in woodwool packaging in a natural card gift box, they would also make a wonderful gift.
Dublin-based studio Snow creates these decorations by laser-cutting alder wood, giving each a wonderful natural texture.
There are four intricate designs in a set, or you can choose to buy them individually, too.
This stunning mouth-blown bauble is ideal for those who like to keep things simple: guaranteed to catch the twinkle of the Christmas lights and draw your eye.
Each is made in Co Kilkenny, where Jerpoint have been blowing glass for more than 40 years. If it’s for a special present, there’s also the option to have it engraved with a name or date.
Made by hand-weaver Liz in Co Monaghan, these cute sheep will add some fuzzy fun to your Christmas decor. Also available in white or green, you can have a whole festive-toned flock on your tree.
These sparkly decorations are made by hand by WildBird Studio in Dublin. Made from glass cuts from their other products, this set of snowflakes and stars will glint beautifully on your tree.
Made in Waterford by hand, these exquisite glass baubles would be a special addition to your tree.
This multicoloured one is perfect for a bright scheme, but there are also several clear options if your style is more pared-back.
Made from pure wool, these sweet holly sprigs could find their way into all sorts of festive arrangements.
Whether nestled into tree branches, wrapped around napkins for the Christmas Day table or popped into a jug on your mantlepiece, they’ll add a cheerful touch.
Handmade from natural beeswax, these candles would make a great centrepiece for a table, or look lovely on a shelf.
They come in a set of two, and have a burn time of between four and five hours.
Made from 70 per cent recycled cardboard, this pack comes with two trees that slot together to create a 3D decoration.
It’s blank so your little ones can decorate it as they wish, and can be folded flat again, so it’s easy to store away until next year.
Made from biodegradable paper, these simple baubles are perfect for a low-key look. The set of contains three different subtle designs.
Made by hand by ceramicist Babs Belshaw in her Causeway coast studio, these porcelain decorations are inspired by Chinoiserie. Each has a unique abstract pattern, and is finished with a shiny glaze.
Read more: Let’s revive the tradition of Christmas cards: 14 Irish ones to buy now
Read more: 50 Irish makers to buy from this Christmas
Read more: One of our favourite Irish independent interiors shops has just launched a massive online store
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