At Hotmax, we know a fireplace can be one of the most important centrepieces in your home over Christmas time. From traditions like hanging up stockings and laying out mince pies for Santa, to providing a cosy place to snuggle up for a festive movie, a lovely roaring fire has the power to bring families together and keep them warm over winter.

This Christmas, we have 10 eco-friendly decoration tips to help dress your festive fireplace. Sustainability is very important at Hotmax: our eco-friendly heat logs are made from 100% natural, recycled wood dust. Burning cleaner than even the best kiln dried or seasoned logs, our virtually smokeless briquettes are one of the best fuels for your stove or wood burner this winter.

These fun hacks will help you create cheap and cheerful homemade decorations to make your fireplace look wonderful and wintery. It also provides a great arts and crafts afternoon for kids, or fun evening entertainment for you and your family!

Stick Sledges

Using lollipop sticks and a little bit of glue, these fun stick sledges can be easily created for on top of your fireplace. A little jingle bell or two and perhaps a sprig of holly can be perfect finishing touches. This is a great activity to do with kids!

Dried Orange Slices

These lovely decorations are another eco-friendly, cost-effective way to enhance your fireplace this Christmas. They can be easily made at home: simply cut oranges into thin slices and bake at a low temperature (say 150 degrees) for around 4 hours. Every hour or so turn them and check that they’re nearly dry, keeping a little moisture so that they keep their lovely colour. The resulting slices can be hung around your fire, on a tree or wreath, or used to decorate tables.

Lined Candle Jars

Lining a big glass candle jar can be a lovely feature to take pride of place on your mantel. Adding cinnamon sticks and some of your new dried orange slices can give a lovely Christmas-y smell, and placing sprigs of holly, ribbon or fairy lights round the outside can be a beautiful finishing touch to your new masterpiece.

Decorated Pine Cones

These creations can be as elaborate or as rustic as you like. All you need to do find some pine cones and decide how you want to decorate them. You can use silver or gold spray paint, glitter, or add a little ribbon and thread if you want to hang up around your fireplace.

Striking Star

Another easy, low cost decoration to match (!) your other plastic free Christmas creations. All it takes to make these fun and inventive stars is some matches, glue and brown paper or card to stick them onto. You can experiment with other geometric shapes too if feeling creative!

Rustic Twine Ball Ornaments

To make these beautiful homemade baubles, you will need (a lot!) of twine, some balloons and white glue (e.g. white glue for wood). First, blow up the balloons to the size you want your decoration to be. Then in a glass bowl, mix 1 part water with 2 parts glue, and soak the twine in the glue – around 10 metres or so. Next take one end and remove extra glue by pushing the glue along the twine with your finger and thumb. Begin wrapping the twine around the balloon in whichever way you like, keeping it tight and tucking the ends of the twine at the top. Hang up the balls overnight to let them dry, then pop the balloon and carefully take it out from inside. You can also add ribbons, different coloured yarn or little Christmas bells as finishing touches!

Salt Dough Decorations

Salt dough is a wonderful way to create cute decorations that will really last. To make the dough (which will be quite dry), mix together 1 cup of plain flour (around 250g) and half a cup of table salt (around 125g), then add half a cup of water (around 125ml). Fashion your dough into whatever shape you like – similar to Christmas cookies – leaving a little hole at the top. Place on a baking sheet and put in an oven set on its lowest setting for 3 hours, or until solid. Once cool, decorate with paints or glitter. Add a piece of string or ribbon and they’re ready to hang up! Stocking shapes will look especially great around your fireplace.

Twig Decorations

These nature-inspired ornaments are super easy to make, cost virtually nothing and would be a perfect activity to do with children after a wintery walk. All that’s required is some glue, twigs, some thread or ribbon and your creativity – have a play around with shapes, patterns and sizes!

Up-Cycle Baubles

Tired of seeing the same baubles year on year? Change them up! There are lots of different ways you can give older baubles a new lease of life: add glitter, feathers or try a fun marbling effect by swirling paints in a tub of water. Creating new baubles from old ones is a wonderful way to jazz up your tree and fireplace, without splashing out on a whole new set.

Christmas Song Decoration

These beautiful stars are a lovely way to share your favourite Christmas songs and are so straightforward to make. All you need to do is pick the colour of your card, get some string or ribbon and print off some sheet music, which can be easily found online.

Finally, of course, it’s important to make sure all your lovely new decorations are far enough away from the fire so that they won’t melt or become a danger!