Everyone loves a Christmas tree, but there are times when you don’t have the space or budget for a live tree, or don’t want to buy a tree for sustainability reasons, or are looking for a Christmas tree alternative that allows you to reinvent this holiday tradition in an original modern way.
Check out these creative and non-traditional Christmas tree alternatives for ideas on how to craft a festive ode to the season that won’t add sweeping up pine needles to your holiday checklist, and can be enjoyed for years to come.
01 of 42
Create a Still Life
This deconstructed wall-mounted Christmas tree still life from photographer Michael Wiltbank is made from a tree-shaped assortment of branches that are artfully draped and spaced, then strung with a smattering of small rose gold ball ornaments to add dimension. This look would be perfect for a blank wall in an airy, white-walled minimalist living room or a studio apartment that's short on floor space.
Continue to 2 of 42 below.
02 of 42
Use Scavenged Branches
Australian travel photographer Kara Rosenlund assembled a tall and striking DIY wooden tree from scavenged branches. Then she softened the look by decorating it with plenty of white and silver ornaments to fill the spaces between the branches. The tree perfectly complements the timeless modern feel of the neutral-toned open living and dining room while adding a note of rustic charm that contrasts with the cool white and marble finishes and furnishings.Continue to 3 of 42 below.
03 of 42
Build a Cardboard Forest
Blogger Chelsea Foy of Lovely Indeed created a forest of life-sized corrugated cardboard trees that are easy and inexpensive to make and fold flat so that you can store them until next year. Cardboard is 100 percent biodegradable, so take care to recycle it properly when the times comes.Continue to 4 of 42 below.
04 of 42
Make a Framed Vintage Ornament Wall Hanging
This framed ornament tree wall hanging from Inspired By Charm is a festive DIY way to corral a collection of colorful vintage ornaments. The framed ornament tree can be hung in a dining room, hallway, or bedroom to amp up the festive holiday vibes, or be hung over the mantel or the sofa in a smaller space to act as the main event.Continue to 5 of 42 below.
05 of 42
Add Scandinavian Style
For Bulgarian blogger Ivelina from Frichic, an understated DIY wood dowel tree hung with simple modern ornaments adds a streamlined Scandinavian-style vibe to this neutral-toned modern living room.
Continue to 6 of 42 below.
06 of 42
This 6-foot-tall, cone-shaped DIY Christmas tree from Lia Griffith is made with copper pipe tubing strung together with copper wire, propped up by a copper bucket, and wrapped with string lights. This contemporary minimalist take on holiday decor nevertheless adds a warm metallic glow that complements the soft gray walls of this living room. And the modern silhouette of the tree adds contrast with the traditional style fireplace mantel, demonstrating the benefits of mixing old and new architecture and decor.
Continue to 7 of 42 below.
07 of 42
Hang a Tree-Shaped Advent Calendar
Blogger Annie Diamond of Most Lovely Things made this charming tree-shaped DIY advent calendar using clay tags, driftwood, and greens that functions as wall decor but could easily sub in for a conventional tree in a smaller space.Continue to 8 of 42 below.
08 of 42
Light a Big Bunch of Branches
A large, tall bunch of spindly salvaged tree branches lit with large warm-toned LED string lights create an easy, atmospheric Christmas tree alternative in this dining room from Lobster and Swan. The natural look of the illuminated branches feels festive for holiday entertaining but is versatile enough to stay up all winter long.Continue to 9 of 42 below.
09 of 42
Repurpose Antique Spindles
This Christmas tree DIY from blogger Liz Marie is made from repurposed antique spindles that give it a vintage look that's perfect for neutral, shabby chic and modern farmhouse interiors.Continue to 10 of 42 below.
10 of 42
Create a Foraged Tabletop Tree
This tabletop Christmas tree alternative from Most Lovely Things was made from foraged branches strung with simple ornaments that complement the natural holiday decor throughout the house.Continue to 11 of 42 below.
11 of 42
This full-sized DIY kraft paper Christmas tree from Lia Griffith uses a humble everyday material to create a festive and original focal point and conversation starter that makes as big an impact in the room as a traditional tree.
Continue to 12 of 42 below.
12 of 42
Add Boho Style
This boho-style Christmas tree wall hanging from Designing Vibes is a simple DIY project made with faux pine stems and a wooden dowel that adds a low key festive vibe to a neutral interior.Continue to 13 of 42 below.
13 of 42
Use Pallet Wood
These rustic Christmas trees from Thistlewood Farms are made from recycled pallet wood that makes them affordable and greener than the average Christmas tree. Make them in a small size to decorate a sideboard or hutch, or a larger version for a more dramatic effect.Continue to 14 of 42 below.
14 of 42
Reinvent a Classic
This Christmas bedroom vignette from Lobster and Swan was inspired by the Nutcracker's Sugar Plum Fairy. The dreamy seasonal decor is embellished with florals and crowned with a sideways pine branch festooned with twinkle light garlands that looks like a miniature tree.Continue to 15 of 42 below.
15 of 42
Use Your Words
This simple wooden DIY Christmas tree wall hanging from A Beautiful Mess is decorated with a holiday message designed to spread cheer on any wall and can do double duty as a Christmas tree alternative in a small space.Continue to 16 of 42 below.
16 of 42
Hang a Christmas Poster
German designer Myra von Busekist of MYK Berlin created a large-scale Christmas tree photo poster printed with ecological ink on high-quality recycled paper using more than 200 small toys and decorations. Shadow casting creates a 3D look that adds texture and dimension to the design. Hung from a simple wooden dowel, the colorful and kitschy Christmas tree alternative is full of details and unexpected juxtapositions that is designed to delight kids of all ages.Continue to 17 of 42 below.
17 of 42
A neutral-toned hutch filled with white dishware becomes the backdrop for a deconstructed Christmas tree alternative from Thistlewood Farms thanks to a restrained arrangement of vivid red ornaments and seasonal greens that create a high-impact effect with minimal effort.Continue to 18 of 42 below.
18 of 42
Paint It On
This hand-painted DIY Christmas tree tapestry from blogger Lucy Akins at Craftberry Bush evokes the charm of a real tree and is timeless and classic enough to suit any interior.
Continue to 19 of 42 below.
19 of 42
This non-traditional Christmas tree from Lia Griffith is made with poplar wood shelves held together with macrame knots, and styled with dried pine branches, DIY crepe paper ornaments, and white candles. In the off-season absent of holiday decor, it turns into a triangular wall shelf that can be styled with books or plants.Continue to 20 of 42 below.
20 of 42
Display Vintage Ornaments
If you live in a small space and don't have room or inclination to decorate a tree, try turning a tall free-standing bookcase into a holiday installation. This living room bookcase from Inspired by Charm is decorated with an assortment of decorative vintage trees, woodland creatures, and a Merry Christmas sign that celebrates the season without taking up additional floor space.Continue to 21 of 42 below.
21 of 42
Blogger Lucy Akins of Craftberry Bush spray painted a small wooden triangular tree-shaped mantel ornament in gold and glued in some shiny bauble ornaments that look suspended within the frame to create a striking modern Christmas tree alternative for her mantel.Continue to 22 of 42 below.
22 of 42
Redecorate Open Shelving
Laura Gummerman from A Beautiful Mess used a bright red message board with a cheeky song lyric as the centerpiece of a floating shelf altar to the holiday season replete with kitschy ornaments and family photographs, a simple solution for small spaces.Continue to 23 of 42 below.
23 of 42
Supersize Your Wreath
This rustic stone fireplace styled by Emily Henderson Design features an oversized wreath above the firebox that has all the charisma of a full-sized tree. Wall-to-wall bench seating is decorated with a vase of bright red holiday berries, and an assortment of modern Christmas-themed throw pillows and decor in shades of blue, red, white, and green to tie it all together.
Continue to 24 of 42 below.
24 of 42
Light Up the Built-Ins
Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Carmona likes to decorate her living room built-ins for the holidays instead, adding greenery, objects, ornaments, candles, and stacks of books to create a homey and simple seasonal arrangement.Continue to 25 of 42 below.
25 of 42
Use Salvaged Greenery
This Christmas tree from Thistlewood Farms was made by attaching leftover greens to a vintage style chalkboard for a modern farmhouse look. This simple project could work with fresh or faux greens depending on what you have on hand.Continue to 26 of 42 below.
26 of 42
Dress Your Windows
If you're short on wall or floor space, use the window as a backdrop to suspend a row of sparkly and festive holiday baubles, like this Christmas display from Thistlewood Farms made by hanging ornaments on long pieces of colorful ribbon at slightly varied heights.Continue to 27 of 42 below.
27 of 42
Interior designer Mel Bean of Mel Bean Interiors decorated the countertops, pendant lights, window, and island of a neutral-toned kitchen with a collection of Christmas tree statuettes for a glamorous, pastel-hued take on Christmas decor in the most popular room in the house.Continue to 28 of 42 below.
28 of 42
A tabletop tree made of paper, some shiny holiday baubles, and a smattering of holiday greenery creates a candle-lit Christmas vignette in this dining room from Emily Henderson Design that could substitute for a full-size tree in a small space.Continue to 29 of 42 below.
29 of 42
Skip the Tree
In this holiday dining room from Lobster and Swan, fairy lights placed behind a gauzy warm toned linen curtain behind the dining room table and a string of Christmas tree ball decorations hanging from a nearby wall sconce create an abstract Christmas tree effect without the tree. The softly wrinkled linen adds a dreamy filter of ambient light that is perfect for a Christmas meal, but is subtle enough to work throughout the winter season.Continue to 30 of 42 below.
30 of 42
Make Your Marquee
Part of the fun of Christmas is creating your own traditions. This DIY Christmas marquee from A Beautiful Mess features a turquoise tree on top of a pink sports car, a kitschy, lighthearted ode to the holiday that is personal, unexpected, and fun.Continue to 31 of 42 below.
31 of 42
Make It Edible
This sweet little gingerbread Christmas tree from Sugar and Charm is a homemade labor of love that can serve as decor and dessert. Perfect for a holiday table centerpiece or a Christmas tree alternative in a small space, it is made from edible ingredients but is durable to hold up throughout the holiday season if you're strictly using it for decor.Continue to 32 of 42 below.
32 of 42
Make a DIY Yarn Tree
These colorful DIY yarn-covered cone-shaped Christmas trees from A Beautiful Mess are simple to make and look striking against a white wall.Continue to 33 of 42 below.
33 of 42
This rustic Christmas tree from A Beautiful Mess was made with upcycled wood pallets that were cut, sanded, and covered with matte sealer, then decorated with small gifts and treats strung up with push pins.Continue to 34 of 42 below.
34 of 42
Light It Up
Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made By Carmona made color-changing LED-lit, DIY scrapwood trees to create a holiday focal point on the mantel.Continue to 35 of 42 below.
35 of 42
Plant a Bottlebrush Forest
This sideboard holiday display from A Beautiful Mess features a forest of multi-colored bottlebrush Christmas trees and a mirror decorated with gold stars to add a festive touch that will delight the kids.Continue to 36 of 42 below.
36 of 42
Transform Your Rags
These DIY rag ribbon Christmas trees from Craftberry Bush have a vintage look thanks to ribbon imprinted with French script that makes them perfect for a coffee table display.Continue to 37 of 42 below.
37 of 42
Cut Up Some Cork
Cork is an eco-friendly material made from the naturally regenerating bark of the cork oak tree that can be used for flooring and other decor. This DIY Christmas tree corkboard from A Beautiful Mess creates a place to pin up Christmas cards in plain view, but a larger-scale version could also work on a spare wall in the living room or a small studio space.Continue to 38 of 42 below.
38 of 42
Use What You Have
Look closely and you will see that there is a tree-like form in the structure of built-in bookcases in this living room from Emily Henderson Design, which are decorated with colorful Christmas objects, while a nearby railing is hung with striped stockings.Continue to 39 of 42 below.
39 of 42
Stitch It Up
A Beautiful Mess mixed hand-stitched DIY felt Christmas trees with succulents and books to create a Christmas mantel-top vignette that could complement or substitute for a full-sized tree.Continue to 40 of 42 below.
40 of 42
Transform a Flea Market Lamp
This primary bedroom from My 100 Year Old Home gets a low key Christmas makeover with a red, white, and green quilt, a row of white house-shaped votives on the mantel, and a little tree-shaped bunch of seasonal greens tied with a red ribbon and attached to a flea market lamp in the corner that looks like a little Charlie Brown tree when you squint your eyes.Continue to 41 of 42 below.
41 of 42
Use Non-Traditional Colors
Using a non-traditional Christmas color palette is another way to set your holiday decor apart. This advent calendar from A Beautiful Mess is hung with multi-colored stockings, and could work as a Christmas tree alternative centerpiece in a small space.Continue to 42 of 42 below.
42 of 42
Keep It Simple
If you live in a tiny space, the smallest accessories can make a statement. Keep it simple with a Christmas tree pillow cover that you can trot out every December, like this one from Emily Henderson Design, with its embroidery, tassels, and little golden bell tree topper.