25 Christmas Tree Alternatives to Try This Year
A traditional Christmas tree is only one way to decorate for the holidays. Consider one of these less familiar options to bring the Christmas spirit to your home in a new way this season.
For many, getting ready for Christmas typically involves cutting down a fir or spruce tree or unpacking a realistic artificial Christmas tree. While these traditional options can certainly get your home into the Christmas spirit, there are several Christmas tree alternatives to consider. Whether you’re allergic to live trees, tired of dealing with the hassle, or simply want to try something new, there’s bound to be holiday inspiration that suits you below.
1. 3D Wood Christmas Tree
Stray from the traditional look with this modern wood Christmas tree. The tree features adjustable “branches” made from wooden slats of varying lengths. Leave the slats parallel to one another, or twist them for a beautiful three-dimensional tree-shaped spiral. Pull out a few of your favorite ornaments to hang on the slats or leave them bare for a minimalist look.
2. Living Christmas Tree
An eco-friendly option is a live Christmas tree. Living Christmas trees come with their roots still attached, allowing you to plant them in your yard after the holidays. While they may be smaller than most Christmas tree farm picks, they don’t contribute to the waste produced by trees that get discarded each year. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the tree for years to come, watching it grow and mature. Another benefit is that living Christmas trees smell even better than cut trees!
3. Zero-Waste Christmas Tree
Wall-hung Christmas tree ideas are a great space-saving option, so consider DIY-ing a zero-waste Christmas tree like this one. Gather materials from the yard or around the house, such as twine, sticks, pine cones, dried fruit slices, and cinnamon sticks, and hang them on the wall. Don’t forget the star on top of the tree, which can be made with five or more sticks of similar size.
4. Rustic Wooden Christmas Trees
Adorn your porch or an interior with one of these rustic wooden Christmas trees to set the mood for the upcoming holiday season. The hand-cut trees are crafted using pine board. The pine board is then painted and distressed, resulting in the ideal addition for a rustic- or farmhouse-inspired space. Multiple size and color options are available to match your home’s decor.
5. Recycled Bottles Christmas Tree
If you want to make your own Christmas tree for the yard, one innovative idea is to use recycled green plastic bottles. String the bottles together, starting at the base of the tree, and create additional layers that gradually get narrower. Once the tree is assembled, you can DIY your own decorations using plywood or other materials.
6. Stacked Books Christmas Tree
With some imagination, a variety of different materials can be used to make a substitute Christmas tree. In this example, books are laid out and stacked together in multiple tiers to create the general shape of a tree. For a more cohesive look, consider wrapping the spines and covers of each book using coordinating paper or fabric, or leave them unwrapped so the tree can double as a way to display some of your favorite titles and authors.
7. Upcycled Ladder Christmas Tree
Do you have an old ladder collecting dust in the shed or garage? Upcycle it with some garland and other decorations to create a rustic Christmas tree alternative for your home. Presents can even go under the open ladder, conserving space wherever it’s displayed.
8. Succulent Christmas Tree
While a tree made of succulents may not be the first Christmas tree alternative that comes to mind, it actually makes an elegant tabletop tree when properly styled. This haworthia succulent Christmas tree features soft lighting and a few eye-catching decorations. After the holiday season is over, disassemble the tree and place the succulents in soil for year-round enjoyment.
9. Driftwood Christmas Tree
If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas tree for a nautical theme or beach house, look no further than this driftwood Christmas tree. Handcrafted from lake driftwood, the tree can help transform your space and get everyone into the Christmas spirit. This pictured tree is about 84 inches tall, but custom heights between 3 feet and 8.5 feet are also available.
10. Upside-Down Christmas Tree
Get a little topsy-turvy this holiday season with a fun upside-down Christmas tree. With its inverted shape, this 7-foot artificial tree is certain to be the topic of conversation at holiday get-togethers. The unique upside-down design also helps to save precious floor space, leaving more room for presents, furniture, and other decor.
11. Cactus Christmas Tree
Cactus Christmas trees also offer the opportunity to move away from the traditional, while still filling the home with an authentic yuletide spirit. You can decorate Christmas cacti with small LED fairy lights and a few hanging ornaments. Placing some pine cones along the base of the cactus can also help set the seasonal mood.
12. Wooden Slat Christmas Tree
For a minimalist tree, consider trying one of these decorative Christmas trees made from wooden slats. You can select a freestanding tree with a base or a space-saving hanging version. With eight finishes and three heights to choose from, you can customize the look of these trees to match your preferences and other Christmas decorations. Display the trees as is, or decorate them as you would a traditional tree with string lights and hanging ornaments.
13. Hanging Modern Christmas Tree
Give your room a sophisticated, new-age look with this hanging Christmas tree, which comes in white, red, green, and blue finishes. The spotlight at the tree’s base makes the hanging satin bulbs shine and casts a unique shadow on the ceiling and any nearby walls. After New Year’s, the tree collapses flat for easy storage.
14. Red Christmas Tree
Green may be the customary color for a Christmas tree, but nothing’s stopping you from changing things up a bit. This artificial red Christmas tree will help do just that. The vibrant faux-pine tree stands 9 feet tall, making it a gorgeous addition to a great room or other living space with tall ceilings. 900 adorning LED lights should give the tree a magnificent glow.
15. Pistachio Shell Christmas Tree
This pistachio shell tree is handmade with (you guessed it!) real pistachio shells. This exquisitely non-traditional Christmas tree—available in 6- and 9-inch heights—can be customized to match your decor preferences. Leave the pistachio shells their natural brown color, or request for them to be painted with any desired colors to match your holiday decor.
16. Macrame Christmas Tree
Follow the downloadable pattern and follow the directions to craft your own elegant hanging macrame Christmas tree. The step-by-step instructions for this beautiful tree are designed to be easy for even macrame beginners to follow. They include images, patterns, and video tutorials to walk you through the process of creating your own festive work of art.
17. Christmas Tree Wall Tapestry
If you lack the space or desire for a tree but still appreciate a splash of evergreen color, Christmas decor without a tree is definitely achievable. This Christmas tree wall tapestry offers wintry holiday spirit without needing a physical tree in your home. These linen tapestries include six small loops for easy hanging and removal. Choose from three different pine tree designs, with each tapestry available in small or large sizes.
18. Wooden Plank Christmas Tree
Make this wood Christmas tree DIY project with just a few wooden planks. Cut the planks to varying lengths and attach them to a center post, with the shortest planks on the top and the longest on the bottom. Once assembled, paint the tree using your desired color and hang a few ornaments along the planks. For some extra DIY flair, use a saw to cut a wooden star as a tree topper.
19. Cardboard Christmas Tree
Making cardboard Christmas trees of any size is a breeze, and they provide a blank slate for your desired festive customizations. To build one, draw a simple Christmas tree shape that matches your desired tree width and height. Trace the tree twice on one or more sheets of cardboard, and cut out both tree shapes. Cut a straight line down the center of one cutout, almost all the way to the base, and insert the second tree to create a finished product that pops in three dimensions.
20. Wrapping Paper Christmas Tree
Stacking a handful of gift-wrapped boxes in a pyramid is a smart way to create a low-maintenance Christmas tree. To achieve the pictured results, wrap six similarly sized boxes and stack them in tiers—three on the base, two in the middle row, and one on top—mimicking the triangular shape of a real tree. String some ribbon and a few ornaments around the boxes, and your tree is done! You could even wrap the boxes with sparkly tissue paper to make your own tissue paper Christmas tree, if desired.
21. Bookshelf Christmas Tree
One of the easiest ways to decorate for the holidays is to use items already in your space to your advantage. For example, a bookshelf can be turned into a Christmas tree of sorts by rearranging books in descending tiers. Start with just a couple of books centered on the top shelf, then add a few additional books to each subsequent shelf. Add a few Christmas decorations in the empty spaces on the shelf to enhance the holiday look. With enough green book covers or homemade dust jackets, you can make this minimal Christmas tree display look even closer to the real thing.
22. Tomato Cage Christmas Tree
If you want to hang your favorite Christmas ornaments outdoors but don’t want a full tree this year, you can make your own using a vegetable garden must-have. This Christmas tree made out of lights and an upside-down tomato cage mimics the shape of a traditional Christmas tree and offers space to hang treasured ornaments, without all the hassles of caring for a real or artificial tree outdoors.
23. Contemporary Branch Christmas Tree
Handcrafted from sustainably sourced maple wood, this minimalist Christmas tree is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. It adds a contemporary touch to any living space, while offering several branch-like hooks for hanging Christmas ornaments. The tree is easy to assemble and take apart for compact storage.
24. Pasta Christmas Tree
Create a truly unconventional DIY Christmas tree centerpiece using only a cardboard cone, uncooked pasta, and hot glue. Glue the pasta around the cone, starting at the base and working upward. Conchiglie pasta shells or farfalle bow tie pasta both work well for this project and help to create a nice, full tree look. Elevate this culinary tree by painting the pasta green (and perhaps even add splashes of ornament-like color), or leave it plain for a more natural and edible look.
25. LED Tabletop Christmas Tree
This 18-inch LED Christmas tree exudes holiday spirit without demanding as much time and effort—even compared to regular tabletop trees! This simple tree comes with battery-powered LED lights (available in cool white, warm white, red, or blue) strung across its wooden frame, which comes in red, green, or black-and-silver finishes, or a natural unfinished look. Custom frame colors are also available upon request.