21 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas (That Prove Traditional Isn't Always Best!)

21 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas (That Prove Traditional Isn't Always Best!)


Who says Christmas trees have to be traditional? They can look just as beautiful and festive in any shape or form.

Whether you're tight on space, on a budget or just looking for something a little different to try this year, you're sure to find something perfect in our list of Christmas tree alternatives.

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in December 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in December 2018.

Budget Christmas trees alternatives

Cut the cost this Christmas with this marvellous selection of budget Christmas tree ideas.

1. 2 in 1 Advent Calendar Christmas tree

Cheap and cheerful.
Cheap and cheerful. ©MarthaStewart

Save money and space by combining both your Christmas tree and Advent Calendar this year. All you need is 24 coloured envelopes and some chocolates or sweets to pop inside.

Write numbers onto the envolopes, fill and seal them, and attach them to your wall in a Christmas tree shape for a new, interactive take on a classic tree.

2. Frugal but fabulous newspaper tree

Who says Christmas has to be expensive?

With a bit of upcycling, creativity and patience, you can create something really special out of something super simple - newspaper sheets!

Roll sheets into cones then glue together to form the shape of a Christmas tree...you'll be surprised at how magical they look. For extra effect, you may want to spray paint the tree once you've done.

3. Egg carton Christmas tree

Calling all environmental-activists who aren't afraid to stand out - an egg box Christmas tree could be the one for you this Christmas.

Ask all your friends and family to save their egg cartons and paint them various shades of green. Once dry, strategically stack them to create a magnificent tree (you may need some glue to help you).

4. IKEA bookshelf tree

Swedish style.
Swedish style. ©IKEA

Take inspiration from this IKEA catalogue and move the books on your bookcase to resemble a Christmas tree. The Swedes...so resourceful!

This is an extremely cheap Christmas tree idea and looks pretty sophisticated too. It gets a thumbs up from us.

5. Yuletide charm tree

Grab some large sticks on your next walk around the woods. Paint them in festive colours and place them on top of temporary nails for a rustic effect.

This is not only cheap but a super unique way to decorate your home for Christmas.

6. Stack of books

Here's one for you bookworms!

No money? No problem. Grab all your textbooks, novels and dictionaries and stack them on top of each other to form a tree. All you need to do to bring it to life is wrap some fairy lights around the circumference. Follow the video above to make yours.

You could even open them up for a mini desk version...

We reckon this has a sort of Hogwarts appeal!

Space-saving Christmas trees

If space is tight in your home or you have mischievous pets, a real Christmas tree might not be your best bet. Here are some nifty ideas that fit the bill.

7. Wall sticker Christmas tree

Why not invest in a cheap and oh-so-cheerful wall sticker this Christmas? Whether you're going for a traditional or modern look, they can be super stylish.

They're affordable, take up no space, you don't have to deal with dropping pine needles! Plus, they take just seconds to put up and take down.

christmas tree alternatives wall sticker
Tradition with a difference! ©Wayfair

8. 'Christmas on a shoestring' tree

Take a string of felt pompoms and some thin nails or blue-tack and create the shape of a tree. The effect is lovely and simple, plus, it's oh so cheap.

9. Trinket Christmas tree

Who needs a tree when you have trinkets aplenty! Use heavy duty UHU re-usable white adhesive to stick baubles, decorations and photos to your wall for a charming no-tree effect.

10. Christmas tree shelf

An excellent alternative to a full-sized tree.
An excellent alternative to a full-sized tree.

Hate clutter? Invest in a neat Christmas tree wall shelf and fill it with your presents to keep everything compact, tidy, but full of Christmas cheer.

Edible Christmas trees

We all know Christmas is a time to indulge, and what better way to begin than with an edible Christmas tree.

11. Wine bottle tree 

Invest in this Christmas Tree Wine Bottle Display Rack and create a beautiful wine bottle tree this Christmas.

Keep the wine bottles on hand (it is Christmas after all) and replace each bottle as they get opened...chin chin!

12. Candy Cane tree

Love candy canes? They're cheap, delicious, and the perfect building blocks for an edible Christmas tree! Construct a candy cane Christmas tree and blow your guests away - plus, they make great little presents!

Weird Christmas tree alternatives

13. The optical illusion Christmas tree

Scour your home for green objects and stack them against a floor-length mirror to create a super cool Christmas tree illusion.

Forget a Christmas tree - this is a piece of art!

14. Ladder tree

For a scandi look, decorate your plain old wooden ladder this Christmas. Place it in a dark corner and Hang fairy lights and decorations on it to spectacular effect.

15. The tulle Christmas tree

No winter wonderland is complete without a tulle Christmas tree...if you're handy with arts and crafts, make this pretty fabric tree by following Charmaine Dulak's YouTube tutorial.

It'll make your home look like a real-life fairytale!

Easy Christmas trees

16. The re-usable Timbatree


Timbatrees are billed as the wooden Christmas tree that's 'fun, alternative and makes forests happier'. No needle, screws or nails, just plain timber! With a British design and build, it promises to last you a lifetime, and you can give it a whole new look every year.

17. Twig tree

Sometimes simple is best, and a twig tree shoes Christmas doesn't need to be green to be beautiful. Hang decorations and battery-powered candles on its bare twigs to bring it to life.

18. No-fuss pre-lit tree

No time to waste? An eye-catching alternative to a traditional tree is a pre-lit Christmas tree. There minimalistic but enchanting and will bring the outdoors into your cosy, Wintery home.

19. Hanging bauble tree

bauble mobile christmas tree
Which will you choose? ©NotMartha

Speaking of minimalism, here's another idea for modern homes. With some hooks, transparent cord and some baubles, it's easy to create a beautiful, floating Christmas tree that looks almost magical!

Fabulously flamboyant Christmas trees

Christmas only happens once a year after all, so why not go all out with these fabulously flamboyant Christmas tree alternatives.

20. Hanging wreath tree

A Pinterest favourite. Space-saving, easy to make and pretty darn special. Check out the Make Them Wonder blog for inspiration.

21. Christmas tree dress

christmas tree dress
Isn't it wonderful?!

Last but certainly not least is this ambitious Christmas tree dress. You will need a mannequin for this, so it's ideal for fashinistas or dress makers.

It may take a while but the results sure are beautiful. Head over to The Home Depot Garden Club if you're up for a challenge!

How are you styling your Christmas tree this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Anushka F


A keen money-saver and fan of all things natural, Anushka enjoys making her own beauty products and is partial to a bit of crafting. Never short of a clever tip or two, she's always looking for new ways to make her money go even further.

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  1. Author Audrey Naylor on December 18, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    OMG what beautiful trees. Some really georgous trees amongst them, I am never going to buy a tree again, I haven't got one up now, as I decided I didn't want to put it up. It looks fine, there is only 3 of us adults, my partner isn't keen on decking the place with decs and trees and stuff, it goes up for me really.

  2. Author Jacqueline Wilson on December 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Absolutely brilliant am in awe how ingenious trees are. They look great love wine tree as advent wine drinker this suit me well. Will try out painting on wall tree for my wee 4yr old granddaughter .

    1. Author Anushka F on March 9, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Really happy to hear you like the ideas!

  3. Author santa on December 2, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    This article gave me such a laugh after a long hectic day.Especially the "lovely glove tree" which resembles a cows udder!?? I was waiting on the slogan "should have gone to spec savers"popping up below them!??

    1. Author Anushka F on March 9, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Hahah that's brilliant. Some of them are just for inspiration ;)

  4. Author Katie ctow on December 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    What a brilliant array of loveley trees..very clever..love the book one and the T like one!

    1. Author Anushka F on March 9, 2017 at 11:09 am

      The book one is one of my favourites and looks so impressive with a garland of twinkly fairy lights.

  5. Author Angela Downie on December 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Anushka, I just finished my "TREE" today-It consisted of a Branch from a local tree and looks a bit like your number 14. I will certainly use some of your others in future years. Best Wishes & a Happy Christmas and Peace in the World in the New Year for every one. Angela Downie Edinburgh- Scotland

    1. Author Anushka F on March 9, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Hi Angela, firstly I apologise I had not seen your comment until today! A very belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you. I'm so pleased you tried out the branch idea - I love that one! Great to hear you'll be trying out a few others too, alternative Christmas trees are the way forward :)

  6. Author SUE on December 5, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Can I still get a timbatree from anywhere? (December 20180


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