Alternative Christmas tree ideas are fast becoming the most popular focal point for festive decorating schemes. Breaking away from traditional firs, we're seeing alternative trees designed to make more of small space living and offer a fun alternative to a classic Christmas tree.
Whether you're looking for a Christmas tree idea to make a bold statement in place of your living room fir tree or as an additional tree for the hallway or even a bedroom – an alternative tree is sure to make a statement.
Alternative tree ideas
When a real Christmas tree is too much maintenance an alternative Christmas tree idea is the prefect solution. From best-selling artificial trees to DIY balloon designs, there's a quirky extra tree to suit any room, whatever the decor of choice.
1. Try a flat-pack tree
If you're short on living room space or want a secondary tree to brighten up an empty hallway, opt for a simple silhouette tree. Made of lightweight metal, it's super-easy to decorate, with rungs and pegs that you can hook baubles and decorations on to. Or if you'd like a little sparkle, try wiring on a set of fairy lights.
2. Save space with a slimline tree
Big doesn't always mean beautiful. This super-pretty blossom-covered tree takes up minimal floor space, but makes an eye-catching focal point without the need for any extra decoration. Bulbs are pre-wired, so there are no cables to get in a tangle and with 270 warm white bulbs, it looks ultra-twinkly after dark.
3. Light up a corner with a twinkly wall tree
Create a fun and festive display to fill empty wall space above a console table or chest of drawers with an alternative Christmas tree idea that becomes a Christmas tree wall decor idea as well.
Use pages of an old book, some hand-written notes or a selection of festive postcards, positioned on the wall to create a tree-shaped arrangement. Use Blu tack to secure and wire in a set of micro lights, topped off with a sparkling Christmas star.
4. Keep it simple with a Scandi-style wall-hung tree
If you haven't got the space for a floor-standing real fir Christmas tree, you can still get your festive fix with a simple wall-hung design. A picture hook is all that's required to hang it from and the lights are pre-wired so need no adjusting.
If you fancy a little extra sparkle, try hooking on a few mini baubles or use wooden pegs to display Christmas cards on the branches. And then once Christmas is over, it can be rolled up into a tube, taking minimal storage space in the loft.
5. Go bonkers with a balloon tree
Add fun to a family room with a bonkers balloon tree. With balloon arch ideas being one of the most popular trends of the year it's no wonder the experts at Ginger Ray have turned to alternative Christmas tree ideas too.
The quirky kit comes complete with 100 assorted balloons to create a show-stopping alternative Christmas tree. Just be sure to have a balloon pump on hand to save your poor lungs. Be aware not to put this design need a radiator, because the heat may cause the balloons to burst!
A cool hallway is the ideal place for this fun design to wow guests the minute they arrive
6. Create a Christmas card tree
Brighten up a dull door or gloomy corner by creating a tree-shaped Christmas card display. Decide on a spot, then start your display by sticking on a wide length of ribbon, positioned centrally. Grab a small selection of favourite cards, sticking your first card a couple of inches down, using strips of washi tape to secure.
Then simply add further rows, working your way down and adding a couple more cards with each row to create the tree-shaped effect. Top with a felt star as a festive finishing touch.
7. Style it out with a spiral
Create a festive focal point with a hanging Christmas tree. A brilliant way of creating height, without lots of bulky branches, it would make a great showstopper hung in a stairwell or hallway.
Trimmed with 40 LED lights, greenery, bells and pine cones, the spiral unfurls to a length of approximately a metre and is battery powered so there are no trailing cables to worry about.
8. Get artistic with a set of fairy lights
Fashion your own festive arrangement with just a set of lights, some ribbon and a few sparkly baubles. A dark backdrop will set off a display like this to dramatic effect, so is ideal if walls are painted a dark colour. Or alternatively, try painting a narrow panel of black or navy in a living room alcove.
Start by marking your wall with pencil at the point you want to be the peak of your tree and hammer in a small tack. Find the middle of your lights and drape over the tack, so there is an equal amount of light string on both sides.
Secure at the bottom with invisible tape, arranged so that the lights create a triangle. Decorate with long lengths of ribbon and silver and glass baubles to finish.
9. Get festive with a Christmas banner
Christmas trees are often the focal point of the festive decorations, but if you've absolutely no free floor space or are worried about children and pets breaking the baubles, then this is the ultimate fuss-free option. Simply remove one of your regular non-Christmassy pictures and replace with this chic canvas wall-hanging for the holidays.
Featuring a tree silhouette with space for the family name to be added underneath, it looks chic and stylish and there'll be no annoying pine needles that need sweeping up.
10. Downsize with a twig tree
Swap a full-sized tree for a twiggy tabletop arrangement using large branches foraged from outdoors.
Stand the twigs in a sturdy vase, weighted down with sand so it won't topple, adding a layer of dishwasher salt at the top to create a snowy effect. Then simply decorate the branches with mini baubles and hanging icicles.
11. Fill wall space with a Christmas collage
Instead of using up shelf space to display Christmas cards, create a collage of your favourites and display on the wall. Arrange in a pyramid effect to mimic the look of a fir tree, starting with one card at the top and adding extras on both sides as you work your way down.
Use Blu tack to secure cards at the back, overlapping them in places to create more of a relaxed, randomly-placed look. Add a string of micro lights as a sparkly finishing flourish.
12. Chalk up an easy instant tree
Here's one that little ones will love and it makes a cute idea for decorating a play room or family den. You'll need a chalk board panel as your backdrop - if you don't already have one, you can buy tester pots of chalk paint for under £10 at most DIY stores.
Once your backdrop is set, simply draw on a Christmas tree shape using white chalk. Position a few thumb tacks here and there on alternate branches and let the children hook on their favourite tree ornaments to decorate.
13. Go big with beautiful baubles
Break with tradition and swap the festive fir tree for a contemporary hanging arrangement with supersized baubles. You'll need a couple of sturdy branches to hang your baubles from, suspended on a hook from the ceiling.
Try spray painting the branches gold for a majestic touch, wiring in a set of micro lights so that they'll look more dramatic after dark. Then simply add your baubles - keeping to gold and just a few key colours for a more eye-catching look.
14. Create an alternative family tree
Reusable stickers are the modern solution for Christmas wall decor ideas as a way to make a seasonal style statement. More than just an alternative tree, this is a family tree too adding even more value to the fun factor.
15. Go multicoloured outdoors
If you're looking for an alternative Christmas tree for an outdoor decorating idea consider lights to make a real statement. This simple but effect string of tube lighting coils down and around a central pole to create a contemporary tree shape.
Am illuminated outdoor tree is just the thing to brightening up the exterior and add a contemporary element to your decorating scheme.
16. Deck a branch with favourite baubles
No room for a full sized Christmas tree? Be creative with an entirely alternative Christmas tree idea by adorning a single tree branch with decorations. Suspend the lightweight branch on decorative ribbons to add colour. Use hooks secured into the ceiling, being sure not to create holes too big to fill after the decorations come down.
17. Pretty-up a nursery with a sparkly tree
Save space with a simple light up tree in a child's room. This magical colour changing rainbow 'tree' light is crafted with shaped metal boughs, topped with a star. It's easy to hang from wall hooks to create a striking effect.
If you can't afford the real thing you could try making your own budget version. Simply zigzag a set of white corded fairy lights from 13 small wall hooks to drape a set of lights from side to side. Add shatterproof baubles along the lights to give the design a more traditional tree feel.
18. Craft twiggy tabletop trees
Christmas trees made from reclaimed wood are becoming increasingly popular, for all styles of decor – from rustic country to contemporary chic.
19. Bring your room into bloom
Choose a real foliage alternative with a Christmas tree shaped Azalea plant. The potted indoor plant is grown into a pyramid shape to resemble a traditional festive tree. The seasonal blooms are available in this snowy white variety as well as jolly red – both ideal for a Christmas theme.
The 60cm tall potted plant is big enough to make a statement without taking up too much space. If your dining table is large enough it would make a captivating Christmas table centrepiece idea.
20. Pile on the pom poms
Paper pom poms are a great way to decorate a wall, creating a 3-D Christmas tree shape without taking up any floor surface – ideal for any room where space is limited. You can choose to make your own, or buy affordable packets of honeycomb-style paper pom pom decorations.
Instead of fully opening out the design you leave them folded in half, providing one flat edge to white tack to the wall. There will be hardly any weight to the paper decorations, meaning a light tack should keep them in place no problem. Form the shape of a free with the larger pom poms, using small pom poms to act as the baubles to decorate the 'tree'.
What can I do instead of a Christmas tree?
Instead of a Christmas tree you can explore a number of alternative ideas, from Christmas tree shaped light displays on walls to baubles hanging from twigs in a vase. Any form of decoration that welcomes a sense of instant festive feeling to a room is a great way to dress the room – without having to have a tree.
In terms of wanting a tree silhouette you can buy alternative design to that of traditional fir trees – both artificial or real. The most popular alternative in previous years has been the metal framed trees, that provide a sturdy structure to decorate but which are slim enough to stand up against a wall. taking up next to no room
How do you make it feel like Christmas without a tree?
You can make it feel like Christmas without a tree by being thoughtful with decorations. Twinkling fairy lights are a great way to instantly evoke a sense of Christmas. Without a tree you just need to be imaginative – drape lights over picture frames, window frames and mantelpieces; or just about anywhere you can think of!
To compensate for not having a tree it's best to choose one decoration to stand out, taking on the role of the tree to anchor the room around it. Whether that be an alternative tree idea or a statement wall decor idea, it needs to become the focal festive point.
Lisa is a freelance journalist who has written about interiors for more than 25 years and has worked on all the major homes titles, primarily Ideal Home, but also including Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Style at Home, Livingetc, Woman & Home, Easy Gardens and Good Homes magazines. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person, as well as being a serial shopper/bargain hunter.
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