Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Tree Substitutes

1. A live plant
Who officially named poor pine trees Christmas trees, and who decided they should be cut down and killed to serve as such? Buy a potted baby tree and call it your Christmas tree this year. Save the trees, buy a potted plant!

2. A cardboard tree
Start with two pieces of cardboard. Cut them each to look like a tree, with branches upon branches, leaving a "trunk" of untouched cardboard in the center of each. Then cut a slit through the trunk of one and fit the other tree in the slit, making a standing tree.

3. A tulle tree
Arrange pieces of tulle together in the shape of a tree. Adorn with lightweight ornaments and garlands.

4. A pine cone (or a bazillion)
A potted pine cone makes for a little desk-sized tree. Or, you can make a bigger tree by gluing pine cones to a Styrofoam cone.

5. A tree-shaped wall arrangement
Make a Christmas tree outline with lights strung up on the wall. Hang lengths of string across the "tree" to hang ornaments from, and use tacky (or clothespins on the string) to hang things like photos or greeting cards.

6. A ladder
Set up a cute-lookin' ladder--perhaps a thrift store treasure find--and wrap string and lights all the way around it. Ornaments and things can be hung from the strings, and you can also wrap garland around the legs.

7. Pieces of spare wood
Take one long piece of wood for the "trunk" and nail perpendicular pieces to it, gradually increasing in length from top to bottom to look like tree branches. Add small nails or screw-in hooks in random places sticking out to hang ornaments and garlands on.

8. A driftwood tree
Nail together alternating pieces of driftwood starting with long pieces on the bottom and gradually decreasing to short pieces at the top.

9. A pile of books
Stack all the books on your shelves, making each layer more condensed than the last one to shape the sculpture into a tree. This one is pretty cool, too.

10. Suspended ornaments
Hang ornaments from the ceiling, lining them up to look and act like a floating Christmas tree!

What'cha got goin' on in your home this year?


  1. Great ideas! We do usually get a real tree but I was thinking about making one out of books too for upstairs. I'm not sure yet. And the pine cones! I have plans on painting them green with white tips and adding pom poms :)

    1. Ahh, I hope you get to it! I'm genuinely excited to see how cute your house looks for Christmas, you had such lovely Halloween decorations!

  2. Do people in the US actually cut down a new christmas tree each year!? We've had our tree for years, he just spends the year outside and then comes in at christmas time. My parents actually planted the first tree we had in our house and now it's pretty much the tallest tree in our yard, even bigger than our two storey house :P

    I like the idea of those hanging ornaments though! xx

    1. Not everybody cuts down a tree, but at least 30% of people I would guess! I think artificial trees are more common these days because of safety hazards with dried out live trees and hot Christmas lights. I LOVE the idea of having a live tree that stays with you all year long--for years and years, even! Is that the typical Australian Christmas tradition?

  3. I absolutely love these ideas, they are all so cute! And by the way, I tagged you for a favorite things about winter tag, you can find the post on my blog. :)
    Have a great weekend
    Amy xx

    Perfect Imperfections

  4. What great ideas for Christmas tree alternative! Will probably stick with the traditional tree at home, but can definitely see one of these ideas appearing in the office very soon!

  5. This are wonderful ideas! ♥ I'll probably do the ladder or the ornament tree :) In my country everybody cuts down a Christmas tree every year and I don't want to support this mass killing of live plants :(

    1. Ahh, yay! The ladder tree was my second favorite, after the live plant. And I know, so many poor innocent trees! I kind of get what people mean when they argue that Christmas trees in tree farms are grown to be Christmas trees, but it's still sad to me, just the same as it is to say beef cattle are raised to be meat--as if they're not living creatures that deserve a good long life! </3

  6. i love turning anything and everything into a Christmas tree! especially love your ideas here. i love love love multi colored lights so i'm always draping them over moms house plants and stuff. who says that a Christmas tree has to be a big evergreen or pine? once again, Carly, you've knocked my socks off with your killer illustrations and ideas.

    1. Ahhh thank you, Abigail! I know, right? And sometimes I even wanna have a year-round "tree" or something to decorate for all the seasons and holidays.

  7. I love these ideas, as always your illustrations are amazing ♥♥ The suspended ornaments are my favorite.

    Daisy ○ LittleKawaiiDaisy

  8. What a great list of substitutes, C! I'm actually really into the ladder idea.

    Uncustomary Art.


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