Artists and craftpreneurs are spreading the jolly festive spirit with handcrafted decorations

Artists, craftpreneurs and enterprises are celebrating Christmas with sustainable creations

Updated - December 22, 2023 09:44 am IST

Published - December 22, 2023 08:46 am IST

Etikopakka Christmas tree set by Gulab Tribe

Etikopakka Christmas tree set by Gulab Tribe | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

‘Tis the season to be jolly and rejoice in the warmth of Christmas. Homes have decked-up Christmas trees with shimmering ornaments and twinkling lights as baubles gleam like captured memories suspended in time.

This year, artists, craftpreneurs, eco-conscious groups and enterprises are celebrating sustainable creations with wooden ornaments, cloth baubles, paper bells and stars and environment-friendly Christmas DIY kits. Here, we present some individuals and brands.


Tholu Bommalata Christmas kit by Potli.

Tholu Bommalata Christmas kit by Potli. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Seamlessly blending creativity with global traditions, Potli’s DIY kits for Christmas are a slice of traditional Indian crafts neatly packed in a box. The block-print kit enables you to make your own snowman storybook and others include the tholu bomalata (shadow leather puppetry) Christmas puppet making kit and Christmas hanging kit with Gond art. Potli’s offerings foster a deep connection with craftsmanship and a commitment to a greener and more eco-conscious celebration.

One of the oldest art forms of Andhra Pradesh, the tholu bomalata kit is its latest offering that has Christmas decorations in parchment leather, which can be used as puppets that glow against light.

“The integration of Indian traditional crafts and arts with Christmas festivities not only enhances the visual appeal of the celebrations but also promotes cultural understanding, inclusivity and the preservation of valuable heritage. This is our way to celebrate the richness of global traditions and create meaningful connections between different cultures,” says Pooja Ratnakar, founder of Potli. Started by Pooja, an NIFT graduate, in 2008, Potli’s objective is to preserve the artistic heritage of India by blending traditional techniques with contemporary design.

Potli kits are available at

Gulab Tribe

A child paints a Christmas tree set from Gulab Tribe.

A child paints a Christmas tree set from Gulab Tribe. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Shilpanjani Dantu’s venture Gulab Tribe is a social enterprise aimed at children, with a passion for preserving India’s cultural heritage. The focus is on Etikopakka, wooden toys handcrafted by skilled artisans of a quaint village in Andhra Pradesh. Last year, when Shilpanjani participated in an international expo in Italy with the Etikopakka Christmas tree collection and other wooden toys, she was greeted with a warm response for her products that are rooted in sustainability.

“There is a growing demand for environment friendly traditional wooden toys in the international market and more and more people are looking to celebrate the spirit of Christmas while minimising their carbon footprint. The Etikopakka toys serve as decorative products and can be reused every year,” says Shilpanjani. Gulab Tribe’s Christmas offerings include an activity set of five Etikopakka Christmas trees which can be painted; and a forest tree set of five which are painted with natural dyes like turmeric, jaffra seeds, indigo, myrobalan, jaggery and manjistha. These toys are skillfully crafted from Wrightia Tinctoria wood, also known as ivory wood or white wood. “This lightweight and durable material is responsibly sourced by either using fallen trees or chopping the branches. The regenerative nature of these trees to regrow their branches ensures a continuous supply of this valuable resource, while also eliminating the prospect of deforestation,” says Shilpanjani, who works closely with two units of Etikopakka artisans.

To order, visit them on Instagram @gulabtribe

Dash Decor

Christmas decor by Decor Dash.

Christmas decor by Decor Dash. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

P Tejani’s enterprise Dash Decor has a collection not commonly found in local markets. These are sourced from various parts of Southeast Asia. Made of resin, ceramic and wood, the products include miniature nativity sets, snowman in different sizes, Santa ceramic bowls, reindeer bell and bowl, sheep butter tray, a 23-centimetre tall Christmas tree décor with lights, a 12-centimetre wooden gramophone with music and magnets and hanging decor.

“Most of the decorations at local markets are plastic ones and once damaged, end up in trash cans. My idea was to offer a carefully-curated Christmas decor which also serve as collectibles and have vintage value as well,” says Tejani.

They also stock Santa Claus figurines, in big, small and mini sizes, which according to Tejani are quite popular and so are the nativity sets which are sold out this season.

Tejani’s customer base is mostly in Kerala, Karnataka and Goa including emerging markets of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Instagram handle @dashdecor

Upcycled by Manasa

Paper craft Santa by Manasa Priya in Visakhapatnam.

Paper craft Santa by Manasa Priya in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Paper snow globes, snowflake cards, decoupage soya candles – Manasa Priya’s Christmas craft basket is beaming with creativity. Manasa has been busy with Christmas workshops in Visakhapatnam where she helps participants make Christmas decorations with paper, engineered wood products, with a dash of creativity. “This year, I made a small Santa Claus with 220 GSM paper which holds a chocolate. This is a popular return gift option for Christmas,” she says. Her collections include jute potli in bright red which can be customised with names, tree ornaments like candy cane, gingerbread man made with paper and other environment friendly products. “These products can be reused. You also get the satisfaction of making your own decorations,” says Manasa.

Check out her works at @upcyledbymanasa_vizag on Instagram

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