Victorians would use all sorts of items found around their homes and gardens as decorations. Natural materials were popular, including pine cones, feathers of all sorts, evergreen boughs, sugared and dried fruits and berries such as cranberries. Fruits and berries were particularly popular as they added their fragrance to the surroundings. Spices as decoration were also popular for the same reason.
Before store-bought ornaments became available, ornaments were hand-made. Families often had their children make paper ornaments. These were most often flat and hung by string. However, chains made of paper loops, still popular today, were very common.
Bird motifs were also very common as a natural yet festive way to decorate trees. Eventually mass produced ornaments of glass or metal were used, but still often incorporating real feathers for tails and wings.
Ribbon. small hand-made toys and presents were often hung on trees until people started to buy larger presents which had to be placed underneath.