29 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas for 2020 - Backyard Boss
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29 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas for 2020

If you’ve ever felt a little bored with Christmas aesthetics, you’re definitely not alone. Traditional Christmas designs can be very beautiful. The realistic garlands, the glittery pinecones, the various ceramic angels, and that iconic star on the very top of the tree. They’re all classic Christmas symbols. But we’re in 2020, people! Why not shake things up a bit?

Taking the alternative route may seem a bit difficult. Without traditional Christmas tree decor, where does one even start? Without the tinsel and the classic baubles, what can one even do to decorate a Christmas tree? The short answer: Pretty much anything you want! But if you need a bit of inspiration, don’t worry. We found 29 amazing alternative Christmas tree ideas from around the web.

Whether you need cat-proof designs or kitsch ornaments or something with a minimalist look, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at these amazing alternative Christmas tree ideas!

29 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas for 2020

Polaroid Christmas Tree Wall Decor

polaroid christmas alternative tree idea
Credit: Cewe Photoworld

This is an excellent DIY project for adults and children alike! For photographers who have a large collection of Polaroids at their disposal, this wall-based Christmas tree won’t be difficult at all to craft. You can make this as large or small as you please, depending on how many polaroid photos you’d like to use.

Yarn Tabletop Tree

yarn tabletop christmas tree diy tutorial
Credit: HGTV

For crafters who want a simple tabletop tree, this crafty design will be a breeze to make. The base of this tree is made of foam with yarn wrapped around it, but you can incorporate a number of special touches to really make it pop.

The Post-It Note Tree

post-it note christmas tree alternative idea
Credit: Tu Organizas

How cute is this design? A post-it note tree would be an excellent Christmas decor idea for an office or workspace. It’s also incredibly easy and quick to make. Take it a step further and add paper cutouts of ornaments, stars, tinsel, etc. The results could be very cute.

The Book Tree

book tree alternative christmas idea
Credit: @goodreads

The avid reader might be able to find some use for their massive collection of books for this DIY Christmas tree project. The beauty of this alternative Christmas tree is that it doesn’t involve damaging any of the books used. You can simply pile them up, wrap them in string lights, and place a star on top. No damage, no hassle.

The Ultimate Cat-Proof Tree

cat-proof christmas tree idea
Credit: nettegbg

If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know the struggle of keep your Christmas tree from being torn to shreds. And we certainly don’t want our furry friends to accidentally hurt themselves on the sharper components of a Christmas tree. When all else fails, just put it in a box! No, really, just put your Christmas tree in a glass box. This will give your tree a whimsical, almost vintage appearance and keep your cat from climbing it.

Rustic Rope Ladder Christmas Tree Hanging

birch log rope ladder tree DIY alternative idea Christmas
Credit: Christina Wedge/HGTV

It doesn’t get much more rustic than this, as many of the components of this wall-hanging Christmas tree are made from materials you can find in your very own backyard. Go scavenging for some straight and aesthetically pleasing sticks to make this wall hanging. We’d recommend using very thin fairy lights and possibly some scavenged tiny pinecones as well.

Minimalist Wall Hanging Idea

minimalist alternative christmas tree idea
Credit: Almost Makes Perfect

If you’re into minimalism, you can still incorporate a Christmas tree without taking up a lot of space with an incredibly flashy tree. Go the simple route by using realistic garlands to create a Christmas tree wall piece. Simply cut your pieces of garland up into several pieces to form a tree and hang them with nails or tacks.

Simple Copper-Wood Christmas Tree

alternative tree idea DIY flat tree
Credit: HGTV

Minimalists will love this simple Christmas tree! The use of wood and copper yields some very pretty results, but you can build this however you please to fit the color scheme you’d like.

String Lights Wall Tree

DIY String Light Christmas Tree
Credit: Collective Gen

If you have a ton of string lights and no tree, this project could be perfect for you. This minimalist sparkling wall piece is eye-catching and also provides a pleasantly warm light source that will pull your space together.

Crepe Paper Wall Tree

crepe paper wall tree alternative christmas idea
Credit: Clouds of Colour via Real Simple

Paper is such a versatile material. Crepe tissue paper, in particular, can be used for a wealth of DIY home decor projects. For this wall-based Christmas tree, break out the measuring tape and simply start cutting! We recommend having a design plan ahead of time (including color scheme, size, etc.) before jumping into this project.

The Terra-Cotta Pot tree

clay pot alternative christmas tree idea tutorial diy
Credit: Sam Henderson

This alternative Christmas tree is cheeky and cute. It’s also an excellent craft choice for kids. Take it a step further and paint your terra-cotta tree and add some extra mini ornaments to really make it pop.

Use a Tomato Cage

alternative christmas tree idea tomato cage DIY tutorial
Credit: 17apart

Tomato cages can be found just about everywhere, even in dollar stores. For a somewhat industrial look, you can easily turn a few tomato cages into glittery, minimalist mini Christmas trees. Simply wrap some string lights around the metal wires and voila!

Pom Poms and Papercraft

pom pom papercraft christmas tree diy
Credit: decoist

Delicate and aesthetically pleasing, this paper-based tree can be composed of so much more than simple paper honeycomb balls. You could add in some small baloons, pom poms, ribbons, boxes, etc.

Wooden Pallet Christmas Tree

pallet wood alternative christmas tree tutorial diy
Credit: Sam Henderson

You can do quite a lot with wooden pallets. Many crafty DIYers use them for bed bases and potted plant hangers. You can use a pallet to make a Christmas tree as well! The beauty of this alternative Christmas tree is that you can make it as small or large as you want by adding additional pallet slats.

Upholstered Christmas Tree

diy upholstered christmas tree idea diy
Credit: Chica & Jo

If you have a lot of fabric lying around, why not use it to create a beautiful life-sized Christmas tree this year? Using cardboard or wood cutouts, sewing-savvy crafts can easily create an aesthetically pleasing tree that will fit great in almost any space.

Washi Tape Tree

washi tape alternative christmas tree idea
Credit: Deco Peques

The washi tape craze is still going strong, and it’s bleeding over into Christmas crafts. If you’re interested in a wall-based Christmas tree but don’t want to deal with paint or potentially damaging your walls, a washi tape tree is an excellent alternative.

Let’s Get Nautical

seashell christmas tree tutorial alternative Christmas tree ideas
Credit: At the Picket Fence

If you have a nautical or beach-themed home, sticking a Christmas tree in your living room might clash with your aesthetic. You can still enjoy a tree by building one out of seashells! This simple craft can be done with a foam tree, a lot of seashells, some hot glue, and a spray paint color of your choice.

The Drum Tree

drum kit alternative tree idea
Credit: Erika Lionello

Musicians who don’t know what to do with that old drum set they have in the garage might find this creative idea interesting. This concept will only really work well if you own a green drumset, but it’s a cheeky nod to music that guests will definitely find amusing.

The Hanger Tree

easy hanger christmas tree
Credit: Rebecca Mellor

This adorable wall decor tree is a perfect choice if you’ve got a few wooden hangers lying around. Keep it simple by adding some lights or get extra with some ornaments.

Festive Christmas Pineapples

festive pineapple DIY alternative christmas tree idea
Credit: decoist

Who needs a pine tree when you have a couple of pineapples that will get the job done? This cute idea is as simple as it gets. Just buy some pineapples and decorate them with ornaments! You could even wrap some ribbon around the bases or paint the stems to add some extra flair.

The Christmas Cactus

christmas cacti easy diy alternative christmas tree idea
Credit: decoist

If you love cacti and have a few potted succulents around your home, there really is no need to buy a Christmas tree. Just decorate your cacti! Simply use the Christmas tree decorations you’d like to use on a regular Christmas tree and add them to your potted cactus.

Get Conceptual with Chalkboard Paint

chalkboard christmas tree idea
Credit: Should Be Mopping

Don’t want to deal with a Christmas tree at all? We get it. Setting up, decorating, and tearing down a Christmas tree can be a huge pain. Plus, Christmas trees can take up a lot of space and cost quite a bit of money. You can still show off your Christmas spirit without a tree by simply drawing one! After painting a wall with some chalkboard paint, start drawing your life-sized tree. Get the whole family involved!

Mason Jar Christmas Tree

mason jar alternative christmas tree idea
Credit: Weekend Craft

Do you want to bring the flair of a Christmas tree to your office as well? This adorable mason jar mini-tree is perfect as a tabletop decoration. If you have a lot of mason jars lying around, this craft will be a breeze.

The Ultimate Cat Christmas Tree

cat tree alternative christmas tree idea
Credit: furrygodmom

Finally, a Christmas tree that cats are encouraged to climb! Wall-based cat trees are in abundance online, and all a craft cat-haver would need to do is arrange some string lights to make a Christmas tree shape.

Inflatable Balloon Christmas Tree

balloon tree alternative christmas idea
Credit: Imaginarium Balloon Studio

This craft is excellent as a budget alternative to a traditional Christmas tree. We recommend enlisting some help with the inflating, though.

Ladder Christmas Tree

ladder christmas tree idea inspo
Credit: Adolfson Interiors

Another excellent rustic option for a Christmas tree, using a ladder will add an element of whimsy and fun to your living room. You can simply wrap string lights around the steps or hang some ornaments in the middle as well. So many options!

Wine Cork Tree

diy wine cork alternative christmas tree idea tutorial
Credit: Kendall-Jackson

Do you have a ton of wine corks laying around? If you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use them, this would be it. Wine-drinkers can build a rustic-looking tabletop tree out of corks with some glue, ribbon, and extra baubles to suit your taste.

Rustic Wood Tree

Wooden Christmas Tree - rustic Christmas tree - reclaimed wood
Credit: Rustic and Stories

You can enjoy the rustic look of a real Christmas tree without the needle cleanup. Once you have your cut wooden pieces, you can simply glue them together to form a triangular pine tree. There’s so much you can do with this, such as topping it with a wooden star and decorating the wood pieces with pinecones, lights, etc.

Soft Felt Christmas Tree

diy felt tree tutorial
Credit: Project Nursery

If you have little ones running around, it makes sense that you wouldn’t want a big Christmas tree around for them to knock over or play with. A felt wall tree is an excellent alternative. Take it a step further and make the process a family project!


It’s so cool to see how creative you can be when it comes to alternative Christmas tree ideas! What did you think of these wild alternative Christmas tree ideas? Tell us which idea you plan on using for Christmas 2020 in the comments below!