10 Last-Minute, Alternative Tree Ideas That'll Make You Forget All About the Real Thing


The holidays came fast this year, and no one would blame you if picking out the absolutely perfect Christmas tree wasn't at the top of your to-do list. Alternative trees have been trending for quite some time now...and they might just be your holiday savior this year. If you're in need of some quick-fix yuletide cheer before the in-laws come a'knocking, go ahead and explore these 10 tree alternatives you can make (or buy) in a jiffy.

1. Favorite photos tree

No room for a Christmas tree this year? Or just want another...print out photos of all the fun times you've had this year and create a 2D christmas tree.

Nothing says "I love you" quite like plastering your wall with family members' faces. Especially if those faces form a giant, festive tree-shaped collage. Your friends and family won't even have it in them to give you hell for not getting a "real tree" this year when they see their debut appearance on your wall.

The best part? You can print enough photos to make a tree for less than a few bucks...meaning more money in your pocket for food and drinks (or as we like to call it...the "coping with family fund").

2. Wall decal tree

It's hard not to be charmed by adorable wall decals, especially when they're wishing you a happy holiday.

"These are a lot of fun," says designer Ana Cummings of ANA Interiors. "I've seen really beatuiful decal trees made from Post-it notes, too. You can't make a mistake, anyone can participate, and the best part? No mess to clean up...and the walls remain pristine."

So, head over to Etsy to shop the amazing selection of wall decals. Or to your local office supply sore for some Post-its.

3. Holiday card tree

Much like the photo tree, your friends and family will be so charmed that you liked their cards enough to display them that they'll barely even notice there isn't a pine needle in sight. We'd also bet you have enough cards by now to make a whole forest of trees, but don't worry...one is plenty.

4. Wood pallet tree

"Love farmhouse and industrial decor? This pallet tree is the perfect update if you already have pallets in your house," says Annie Thompson, owner of DIY Decor Mom. "Just add lights!"

Cut the pallet to the shape of a tree, or simply deck it with lights and decor.

5. Space-saving tree

If you want more of a real-seeming tree, consider making your own with this DIY space-saver tree. You'll need a few wood scraps and some pine boughs, but you can easily craft your own tree that comes just a few inches out of the wall.

"For small-space dwellers who want to get into the Christmas spirit, this is the perfect solution: a wall-mounted tree made of faux garland or real pine branches, decorated with ornaments, ribbons, or even beads," says Amanda Amato-Scotto, CEO and principal designer of AMA Designs & Interiors. "If you're worried about putting nails into the wall, have no fear...this tree can be supported by Command hooks that won't damage walls."

6. Ladder tree

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely is your...ladder?

Have a ladder? Grab some faux garland, string lights, or even just a few Christmas ornaments and bam! You've got yourself a tree.

"I love this idea," Emily Cummings from Emily Cummings Design says. "Especially if you have a vintage ladder, or a colorful one with character."

Give your old ladder a fresh coat of red paint to complete this festive alt tree.

7. Garland wall tree

This wall-mounted DIY tree is sure to bring some leafy evergreen goodness into your place, without requiring you to rearrange the furniture. String up some real (or faux) garland on the wall using command hooks, then add your favorite lights and ornaments.

"These are nice for small rooms that require a festive touch," Cummings says. "It's so simple and cost-effective. Great for minimalists who want to show a little glitzy flare."

8. String lights tree

Much like the garland tree, all you need for this one are a few Command hooks and a string of festive lights to pull off this alternative tree. Hang them in a tree-shape on your wall, and complete the look with your favorite decorations or Christmas cards.

9. Kid-friendly felt tree

Looking for a fun alternative that even the kids will enjoy? Consider ordering one of these felt trees from Amazon. No mess, no cleanup. and you can have stick-on ornaments for the kiddos to decorate.

"Definitely fun for the little ones," Cummings says. "You can have a different-styled tree every day! I love the ability to add and subtract and add again without making a mess, and it's great for keeping little kids busy."

10. Colorful pompom tree

Another crafty favorite, this DIY alternative tree is for all the apartment dwellers looking to add a few pops (or shall we say poms) of color to their decor this holiday season.

Source: Larissa Runkle, Realtor.com


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