I shared this idea for an alternative Christmas tree a few years ago but —with Christmas looming on the horizon — I thought I’d resurrect it!
Folk are always looking for creative new ways to decorate their homes (Pinterest is full of alternative Christmas decor) and this alternative Christmas tree is too good not to share.
Quick View of What You'll Find on This Page
What Can I Use Instead of a Christmas Tree?
I had been chatting to a friend about Christmas and getting a bit over-excited about our annual tree buying day.
The fact we always have a fairly large, real tree; the tradition of decorating it. The scent of the pine needles.
And she said, much as she’d love to have a tree in their sitting room at Christmas — real or otherwise — they simply didn’t have the space for one.
But what can I use instead of a Christmas tree?
She said they always made an effort to decorate the rest of the room but were sadly lacking in the tree department, due to floorspace being in short supply.
Which got me thinking about how we could create an alternative Christmas tree to fit her space.
Non Traditional Christmas Trees
Now I’ve seen a fair few non traditional Christmas trees on Pinterest; there are lots of fantastic alternative Christmas tree ideas out there. Including some fab ladder versions but they’d potentially take up as much (if not more) room as a regular tree.
I’ve seen lots of lovely wall-hanging trees too, made of twigs and twine.
But they’re a bit rustic for my friend’s taste. I really wanted to create something that would work in her contemporary styled home.
So my idea for an alternative Christmas tree is a little different.
It’s a wall mounted ‘tree’ made from ledges, that you can display your decorations on.
Really easy to make; just saw lengths of 4 x 2 timber (I used 4 although you could use more to create a huge ‘tree’ with loads of tiers).
To give you an idea, my top tier was 15cm long. The second was 30cm, the third 50cm and the fourth was 70cm.
I spaced each baton 15cm apart, horizontally, making sure they were nicely centred and level. Use a spirit level for this (there’s nothing worse than wonky shelves)!
Then I used contact strips to stick them to the wall.
Finally, I piled each ledge with as many spangly, pretty things that would fit.
A Sustainable Alternative Christmas Tree
Everyone’s looking for sustainable options at the moment and this alternative Christmas tree could come out year after year; along with your decorations.
Best of all, you could change the look every year to suit your taste or decor. Switch it up and paint the ledges a foresty green colour to look a little more like a real tree.
Or paint each ledge a different colour and have corresponding baubles; red baubles on a red ledge, blue on a blue ledge etc…
The possibilities are endless.
My friend’s house is fairly minimal and I thought a classic combination of white gold and silver would work really well in her home.
I quite like the ‘white on white’ shelf and wall combo; I love how the colour comes from the decorations themselves.
Make a DIY Alternative Christmas Tree
- Lengths of 4 x 2 (100cm x 50cm) timber
- Heavy weight contact strips
- Christmas decorations
- Saw — unless you buy pre-cut pieces of timber
- Spirit level
- Saw lengths of timber. I used 4 pieces for my alternative Christmas tree, but you could use more to create a huge 'tree' with loads of tiers (if you have the wall-space).
My top tier was 15cm long. The second was 30cm, the third 50cm and the fourth was 70cm.
- Space the batons on the wall at regular intervals; and mark where each one will go.
I spaced each of my batons at 15cm apart.
- Use your contact strips to stick the batons, horizontally, to the wall (making note of the manufacturers instructions). Make sure each baton is nicely centred and level.
Use a spirit level for this (there's nothing worse than wonky shelves).
- Decorate your alternative Christmas tree with fairy lights and baubles.
You can paint the ledges any colour you like! A foresty green colour to look a little more like a real tree.
Or paint each ledge a different colour and have corresponding baubles; red baubles on a red ledge, blue on a blue ledge etc...
The possibilities are limitless.
So that’s it.
My alternative Christmas tree.
A fabulous, space saving alternative to a traditional tree.
It’s a little unorthodox but perfect for small rooms or for people that want something a little different from the norm.
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.