7 Alternatives to the Classic Christmas Tree

Make an ornament mobile, decorate a houseplant, hang holiday art + more ways to go without a tree this holiday season

Start a new holiday tradition by putting a creative twist on a festive decor must-have

Whether you’re looking to minimize your environmental footprint or simply lacking the space for a true evergreen, a creative alternative can be just as good as the real thing.

Here are seven ways to substitute a Christmas tree.

DIY Pallet Tree

This rustic interpretation of a Christmas tree is made from recycled pallets, some elbow grease and a little bit of imagination. The wood acts as a neutral backdrop so you can hang an assortment of decor on it, though we’re quite fond of the idea to use it as an advent calendar.

Credit: Riazzoli

Dressed Up Houseplant

Take advantage of an existing houseplant by dressing it up in place of a tree. Whether your plant is living or artificial, the addition of a few bulbs or handmade ornaments will have it feeling like the real deal in no time. Additionally, indoor palms or cacti make for particularly cool Christmas centrepieces.

Washi Tape Tree

Available in a rainbow of colours and playful patterns, washi tape is a DIY-er’s dream. Use the Japanese adhesive to create the outline of a traditional evergreen, plus any decorations you fancy.

String Lights

A string of lights is all this makeshift tree requires. Opt for an all-white version for a chic, minimalist look or play with multi-coloured bulbs for a jollier feel. Don’t forget to top it off with a star!

Credit: Not Martha

Ornament Mobile

If you’re feeling extra crafty, this show-stopping ornament mobile is sure to make a statement for the holidays. Made from a steamer rack and jewellery string, the floating tree is hung from the ceiling, which saves precious square footage and allows ample room for presents below.


Few things look more festive than an armful of red winterberries, so why not use them in lieu of a tree? Pick up a bundle from your local gardening or craft store and place them in a glass jar with a number of ornaments. A collection of fallen branches works just as well.

Credit: Kirby Little

Hanging Wall Art

The easiest substitute for a Christmas tree? A picture of one, of course—you can print or purchase your own version and simply hang it on a wall. The post-holiday tear down is equally as breezy: just roll up and store away until next year.