Have you heard the latest supply chain news? Turkeys and Christmas trees may be in short supply this year. Not to worry! Here are alternative and creative Christmas tree ideas to inspire your 2021 holiday display, if you celebrate. I’ve collected some very clever, inspiring, and unusual ideas to try out, in case you can’t locate a live tree.
Creative Christmas Tree Ideas
Eco-Friendly Artificial Christmas Trees
Tree Wall Hanging Ideas
Alternative Christmas Trees
– Faux Plants
– Pre-Lit Stick Trees
– Wood and Cardboard Trees
Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Artificial Christmas Trees
OK, fake trees seem like the obvious alternative to live trees. I’m not getting on a soapbox here, but some folks have concerns about the environmental impact and potential toxicity of artificial trees. Here’s a thorough answer to the question of whether live vs. artificial trees are better.
ECO-Friendly Artificial Trees
One challenge with artificial trees is their enormous manufacturing toll on the environment, so here are some options with a smaller carbon footprint. You could look for trees made from recycled PVC, made locally (hard to find in the US), and pre-lit with energy-efficient LED lights. These are more eco-friendly, 100% recycled PVC trees from Oncor:
Less-Toxic Plastic Trees
While recycled PVC is better for the environment, it poses potential health risks for you. There’s no free lunch!
If you’re concerned about potential health impacts of a PVC artificial tree, you might want to look for a polyethylene (PE) tree. PE trees are more realistic-looking, and of course, more expensive. Also, it’s very hard to find 100% PE trees for sale in the US (most seem to have some PVC needles close to the trunk for density). Santa’s Quarters claims to sell some in their premium lines, Balsam Hill sells beautiful trees that are 65% PE, and IKEA sells a PE/PET combo line of trees – if you can find any still in stock.
I’m not sure there’s a gold standard yet that is considered both non-toxic and eco-friendly. IKEA trees seem to come the closest, but they are hard to find. Here are other decent choices, made with at least some PE:
Tree Wall Hangings
If you live in a small space and/or don’t want a tree, here is a great solution: construct a tree on the wall. I found so many clever versions of this idea! You can add ornaments to some, or just create a wall tree for background ambiance. Check out this minimal wall tree idea from Grandin Road:
Here are other fun tree wall hangings for inspiration:
DIY Wall Tree Ideas
Break out the glue gun and get crafty and creative. You could potentially make many of the wall hangings shared above. Look at this cute garland tree idea:
A similar version could even be crafted from garlands made of felted wool, faux gold leaves, or jingle bells:
Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas
Here are more alternative ideas to bring the spirit of Christmas into your home. Following the PVC vs. PE debate above, I want to be clear that I have no clue what any of these faux plants are truly made of. Online, they often just say “plastic,” so bear that in mind, if you’re cautious about plastics.
First, if you’re willing to splurge on an artificial tree, why not consider a faux houseplant? Or a live one! Faux trees have come a long way from that turquoise ficus next to your office copy machine. Some are beautifully crafted and realistic. You could dress it up for the holidays and then continue to enjoy it year-round.
Next, how about decorative sticks? That sounds janky, but I think these look very pretty in a festive/minimal way with the white lights. Here are a few versions of pre-lit twig trees and decorative sticks, but there are gobs more online if you just google “pre-lit stick tree.” You could add a few ornaments and call it good! (And a pre-lit palm tree was just too funny to ignore in this post…)
Wood, Cardboard, and Metal Trees
These alternative, creative Christmas tree ideas are very cute. Welcome to The Woodshop sells gorgeous wood trees that are made in PA, close to my hometown. They are almost sold out for 2021 and taking orders for 2022!
I found many versions of the dowel Christmas tree on Etsy, and these cardboard trees come from Cardboard Christmas, an Etsy shop entirely dedicated to recycled cardboard Christmas decor. Plus, here are cute metal tree display stands designed to show off your ornaments.
Creative Christmas Tree Ideas to the Rescue
Whatever you choose (and celebrate), I hope the holiday season pulls together smoothly for you. Be sure to bookmark this post, in case you’ll need creative Christmas tree ideas in the next month or so!
I’ll be off next week, to prep and celebrate turkey day with my family. Look for a new blog post in your email at the end of the month. Happy Thanksgiving!
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