Space Saving Christmas Tree Alternatives


National Union Catalog Christmas Tree at the University of San Francisco. Maybe this doesn’t save space, but it sure does open up some possibilities for alternatives to actual Christmas trees. In this case, objects on hand make for some great building blocks for that iconic shape we love so well.  (image: Shaun Calhoun)

If you’re singing “O Christmas Tree” for reasons other than holiday joy, then it’s time to find a festive alternative. From the space-eating size to the floor-covering needles that end up everywhere, Christmas trees are sometimes more of an inconvenience than a holiday centerpiece. When it comes to the great tree swap, here are five alternatives for the traditional Christmas tree.

1. Coat Hangers and Ornaments

Believe it or not, coat hangers make the perfect Christmas tree. Use the steel hangers from the dry cleaners or distinctive wooden coat hangers and arrange them in a Christmas tree shape on the wall for the perfect alternative to the real thing.

Start with one hanger at the top, then two below that, then three below that, and so on until you reach the floor. You can attach them to the wall with simple push pins, string lights between them, and add ornaments to finish it off.

2. Just the Lights

christmas tree shaped lights

Christmas tree-shaped lights; all of the imagery, with way less floor space!

Arranging string lights in the shape of a Christmas tree is a quick, easy, space-saving alternative to an actual tree. Make a traditional cookie-cutter style Christmas tree shape on your wall or design an intricate system of branches that extend in every direction.

If you use white string lights for the tree, you can go back with color lights and string them along the tree shape. In addition, add lightweight ornaments and place gifts against the wall underneath to create a real Christmas tree feel.

3. A Living Tree

A major downside of buying a real Christmas tree is watching it go to a landfill when the New Year rolls around. You can avoid this by buying a living tree and planting it in your garden when the holidays are over.

Whether you choose a baby evergreen to match the holiday feel or a tropical plant like a palm, going with a living plant will bring you years of joy for the same price as a cut Christmas tree. Select a potted plant that’s small, portable, and will adapt to your climate zone once planted.

4. A Christmas Tree Collage

If you’re looking for a space-saving double whammy, then try your hand at a Christmas tree collage. Use ornaments, pictures from Christmas’s past, and other holiday decorations to build a free-standing or wall-mounted tree collage.

Arranging Christmas themed items in the shape of a funky tree will consolidate all the holiday clutter into one area of your home, which will free up plenty of space for your winter guests.

5. Sticks and Stones…

Make a great alternative to a Christmas tree! Whether you have branches piling up on the lawn or you need to trim some limbs back from the tree in your back yard, arranging branches in a pot will result in a stylish Christmas tree alternative.

Fill the pot with loose stones to hold the branches upright and arrange them in any direction you want. You can also add string lights and reflective ornaments.

Free up your floorspace!

If you’re looking to spend your holidays without a traditional tree, the ideas above are both festive and sure to save on space. And even if you do have a standard tree, there’s no reason not to employ some of the above ideas as well, even if you don’t even celebrate Christmas. Why not try a wall lighting menorah or the same for a kinara?

It’s your space, your holiday, and your rules.


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