13 Unique Christmas Tree Alternatives

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Having a real Christmas tree certainly is lovely, but let's get real — it's not always an option. Whether you have a super small apartment, cats that tend to treat your trees like living prey, or you just prefer not to deal with the upkeep of a tree, there are still ways to make your space feel festive for the holidays.


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We rounded up 13 alternative Christmas tree ideas that are both easy and beautiful:

1. Use your existing plant life — just dress it up a bit.

If you'd rather not shell out for a Christmas tree, take a look at the larger plants in your home. A fiddle leaf fig can easily play the part when dressed up in some twinkle lights and simple ornaments.


If you're finding that your plants are less than inspiring (or equipped) for a Christmas makeover, grab this potted fiddle leaf fig from Bloomscape.

2. Create a "tree" collage.

A meaningful and minimalist approach, this is as easy as taping up letters, cards, or pretty pieces of paper in a triangle shape to channel a unique Christmas tree-like concept. To make your corner actually feel holiday-ish, add some greenery or candlelight.


Get started by grabbing some eye-catching holiday stationery from Paper Source. Mix and match, sprinkling in something cute, like this Bear Holiday Card Set, with something sentimental, like a Christmas card featuring your city.

3. Grab a branch and pom-pom it up.

Head outside and see if there are any small, spare branches around. Remove any excess leaves and then spray paint your branch white, silver, or gold. You can purchase a package of multi-color pom-poms for less than $10 and then use a hot glue gun to attach the balls to the ends of branches. You could either throw the finished product in a corner or in an empty vase or easily fashion a base with a piece of scrap wood.


And if you love this idea but your taste leans a little less rustic, swap out a branch for this gold beaded tree from Burke Decor, finishing it off with pom-pom garland.

4. Downsize with a miniature tree.

If it's not that you don't like Christmas trees so much as you don't like the typical ​size​ of Christmas trees, consider trying something smaller. An artificial, miniature tree still brings festivity to your home without taking up too much space.


This 24-inch tree from Pottery Barn comes pre-lit.

5. Jump on the pineapple trend.

Yes, this is trending: People are using pineapples as miniature Christmas trees. This is for those who say "Forget the snow, I've got time off work, take me to the beach!" It's the five-o'clock-somewhere approach to Christmas decor.


Go full tropical and decorate your pineapple Christmas tree with this set of fruit ornaments from Target's Wondershop. And why not grab a pineapple-hatted nutcracker to really enforce the theme?

6. Create an ornament display with a ladder.

You can still achieve the grandeur of a tree with a ladder that displays your ornament collection. Place gifts at the bottom of this alternative Christmas tree, and voilà: Christmas miracle.


We love this decorative wooden ladder from Kelly Clarkson's Home line on Wayfair, currently available in four colors.

7. Hang a macrame "tree."

It's the bohemian thing to do.


Etsy seller Braid Mate specializes in macrame wall art and isn't deterred by the holidays. The shop's hanging, hand-crafted Christmas tree is a subtle nod to the season and is available in two sizes.

8. Use tree scraps to make a mini-arrangement.

This is as easy as spending a few dollars at your local tree supplier, or better yet, getting a friend to give you their trimmings.

Beautify those trimmings by grabbing a vase for displaying them. A glass vase, like this one from Target, keeps things simple and, best yet, can be reused outside of the holidays.

9. Make a "tree" out of lights.

This DIY from A Pair & A Spare achieves the same warm and cozy glow that a tree would give you.

Make Home Depot your one-stop shop for this craft, where you'll be able to grab both wood and string lights.

10. DIY a small wood dowel tree.

Homey Oh My's DIY wood dowel tree is the perfect solution for your studio apartment.

If you're not wanting to take such a DIY approach, grab this Wooden Christmas Tree from Wayfair that comes topped with a matching wooden star.

11. Style it up with some succulents.

Who says a tree needs to be made of pine? Making a DIY mini succulent tree is actually quite simple.

Or, leave the crafting to Etsy seller Succulent Artworks and grab one of the shop's popular live succulent Christmas trees.

12. Create a washi tape display.

Washi tape is ridiculously handy. This idea could be particularly useful if you're Airbnb-ing for the holidays and looking for a temporary alternative Christmas tree solution.

Make it a little more special with Christmas-inspired washi tape, like this garland-decorated roll from Very Charms.

13. Make a geometric string display.

My Poppet's modern string DIY emulates the shape of a tree and also allows you to display holiday cards and trinkets.

To create this look, you'll need adhesive wall hooks, like these sold on Amazon, as well as your choice of string. We think that this leafed twine would make for a unique, eye-catching Christmas-string display.