20 Alternative DIY Christmas Tree Ideas

For trend setters and small space dwellers, a traditional Christmas tree doesn't always work. Here are some DIY Christmas tree ideas to spice up the holidays.

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DIY Triangle Wreath Tree

Recreate this gorgeous, space-saving wreath from Oleander and Palm. This modern triangle Christmas tree hangs on your wall, providing festive cheer without hogging any floorspace. Use real greenery to fill your home with a wintry pine scent. Here are a few tips to store your Christmas tree after the holidays.

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Wood Pallet Trees

Wood pallets have been all the rage in DIY for some time, but have you ever seen them used this way? Turn your leftover wood pallets into rustic Christmas trees. Leave them bare like these from @ironwood_nc or paint them red and green like Christmas Lights Etc.

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DIY Wooden Dowel Tree

Repurpose your craft and baking dowels to create this merry DIY. This one from northsouthhomecollective uses gum leaf garland for an original twist, but you could use any kind of garland. Try classic pine garland for a more traditional look.

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Rustic Wood Tree

This rustic tree is made from reclaimed wood for a one-of-a-kind design that can be placed in the corner of the living room or on a tabletop, depending on how big you make it. Find some wood and grab a saw, hammer and nails to create these primitive Christmas tree alternatives. While you’re at it, learn how to build a Christmas tree stand.

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Christmas Tree Alternatives: Book Tree

Is there a book lover in your home? This book tree works well in a small space decorated with a strand of mini Christmas lights. Learn how to make a book Christmas tree.

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Craft Project Tree

Kids can help create these alternative Christmas trees with simple craft supplies such as sticks, pipe cleaners and glue. When finished, hang some of your favorite little ornaments from the “branches.”

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Reclaimed Wood Tree

Pinterest has lots of ideas for turning reclaimed wood into alternative Christmas trees. And once completed, add some paint or stain and wrap a strand of lights around the finished project.

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Decorated Branch Tree

Christmas decorating doesn’t get much easier than this hanging branch Christmas tree. Go outside and find a branch, or purchase a plastic one from a craft store. Place it in a vase or pot or hang it from the ceiling or a chandelier, then decorate it with your favorite ornaments. This would work great as a centerpiece or atop a living room table.

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Christmas Tree Art

If you have a fireplace and no room for a traditional tree, try decorating the mantel with some DIY tree art. Find a piece of reclaimed wood or even canvas for a backdrop. Use wire to form a tree shape or simple zigzag, and decorate with ribbon or strips of fabric tied to the wire. This ombre effect is on trend! Make your tree look even brighter with these zig zag Christmas lights.

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Plywood Tree

This tree is made from sheets of birch plywood with stars cut out for modern Christmas tree alternatives. Search for “plywood Christmas tree patterns” online for dozens of additional options. And a scroll saw works best for cutting the large pieces of plywood for a tree this size.

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Felt Tree

This felt tree is a great project to get kids started in DIY. These types of Christmas tree alternatives work great in small spaces, even in a child’s bedroom.

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String Tree

If you have room, consider recreating this tree. Hang some string from the ceiling and attach ornaments or even paper snowflakes from the end. Place gifts underneath.

If you’re going with a real Christmas tree this season, get in a festive holiday mood by building this sturdy DIY Christmas tree stand:

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Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Decorated Handmade Tree

Try making a smaller handmade tree with scrap pieces of wood or even sturdy cardboard. Then decorate the tree with beads, ribbon and ornaments.

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Gift Tree

Simply stack some wrapped gifts on top of each other to create a tree shape. Top with decorative items such as pine cones, ornaments or even a Santa hat.

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Twig Tree

Bring in some twigs from outside or pick up some fake twigs from your local craft store. Stick them in a decorative vase and hang some ornaments. Remove the ornaments in January and this holiday tip becomes year-round decor.

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Kostikova Natalia/Shutterstock

Hanging Tree

Young kids will love hanging this DIY Christmas tree in their bedroom. Try decorating some paint stir sticks and then tie a string on the ends to create a hanging tree. This craft is small enough that you could still have space for a live tree.

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Eugeniya Pavlenko/Shutterstock

Wooden Tree

This would be a great project for using up some pallet wood. Simply take a pallet and cut it so it is shaped like a tree. Decorate the tree with lights and your favorite ornaments. Check real and pallet Christmas trees for bugs before bringing them inside.

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Chalkboard Tree

Look for a small chalkboard at a craft store and draw a Christmas tree on the board. Put it on a shelf and place items such as pine cones and evergreen branches at the base to add holiday cheer to any room.

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Upside-Down Tree

This alternative Christmas tree will take some planning, but when completed it certainly makes a statement. And toddlers and cats can’t get at it! Find out if Christmas trees are toxic to cats.

Take precautions when hanging it to make sure it won’t come crashing down on anything breakable. Hanging your tree like this will keep your ornaments safe from pets, and it frees up more floor space for gifts. Store your Christmas tree properly after removing it from the ceiling.

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Kostikova Natalia/Shutterstock

Cone Trees

Decorate some cones so they look like trees. Bend sturdy construction paper into a cone shape and attach the sides with tape. Then decorate it with markers, yarn or paint and add buttons and string. They’re inexpensive but super chic — the perfect holiday decorating tip.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham spent years working in newsrooms, for television and newspapers, and has won several awards for her writing. In 2015, she left her full-time job as a newspaper editor to focus on freelance writing and editing. She has been a Family Handyman contributor since 2017.
In 2019, Rachel lived through a major remodeling project on her home, and she uses that experience to inform her Family Handyman content. She's also an avid gardener (both native plants and vegetables), enjoys keeping up with decor trends and spends a lot of time traveling, cooking and hanging out with her family and their giant dog.