What no tree? How to create Christmas focus, no foliage required

You don't need to raid your local forest to create a festive vibe. Here are six modern ways to get a tree in the house, without having to chop anything down!

One of the great signs that the festive season is nigh is the sight of people lugging freshly cut fir trees home after a trip to their local Christmas forest. With good reason, a tree is an essential decorating requirement for a festive home – providing a decorative focal point, somewhere to gather, and a fitting backdrop for gifts! They also smell pretty darn good. However… not everyone wants the hassle of daily needle hoovering. For environmentalists, chopping down perfectly fine trees for a few short weeks seems extravagent. Or maybe you’re going away, and don’t want the expense of a real tree extravagent, yet still are keen to instill a festive vibe. Perhaps, you just want something a little bit different to what’s gracing the front room of all your neighbours. Fret not. We’ve got some great alternatives here to traditional trees that are clever, crafty and just that little bit different.

Such a simple idea, but so effective. Clear of a set of shelves and using drawing pins, shape either ribbon or colourful Washi tape into the shape of a tree and hey presto, you’ve got an instant focal point (and handy storage place for displaying gifts).

A virtual tree still makes you stop and stare, ooh and ahh. Project an tree image onto a blank wall, then decorate the wall directly with baubles. Mrs Jones at No. 18, will be green with envy.

Like all great ideas, the simpler the better and this is so clever. Simply shape coloured envelopes into a tree form, adding numbers (for an advent calender) or names to make it personal.

Similar idea but this time done with Post-It notes, attached to a mirror. Add personal messages or Festive slogans if you like, or draw on snowflakes, and Christmas decorations to make things really post-modern.

Waste not want not… Pinking sheers and some old newspapers or magazines are all you need to craft this cool centrepiece. Cut squares in a series of diminishing sizes, then spike them on to a knitting needle, then revolve them randomly till they create a tree shape. Brilliant!

Hang it high! Print a large scale image onto a canvas or roll out a photo print wallpaper such as this A Tree is For Life (not just for Christmas) by Deborah Bowness

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