And while gathering around a freshly cut pine to exchange gifts on Christmas morning is a beloved, time-honoured practice, messy needles, allergies, space, and even environmental concerns have seen an explosion in Christmas tree alternatives.
If you’re willing to look beyond artificial trees (which once thrown away, will spend centuries in your local landfill), you’ll find an overwhelming array of choices including wall art stickers, LED lights, recycled timber and tree shaped chandeliers, but these can be expensive. If you’d rather save your yuletide cash for eggnog, then here are some ideas that you can do yourself at home.
Recycled Driftwood Tree
It’s sounds difficult, but this is easy to make with the right tools, and you can build it as high as you want. Just collect various pieces of driftwood, bamboo or other recycled timber, drill through the middle, and secure with a metal rod. If you’re someone who likes to decorate your tree, this solution is perfect with its “branches”. Another alternative is to find a large branch with lots of offshoots, spray-paint silver and place in a bucket of sand.
Remember patiently folding page after page of your mum’s Woman’s Weekly during ‘craft time’ in primary school? Well, this idea is making a comeback – but give it a modern edge by using cutouts, clustering, and spray-painting them all in one colour. Or, for a more traditional look, grab an aged book from an op-shop, tear off the front and back cover, and forgo the paint…
No Tree Tree Hanging Free
This one takes a little more time and patience, but this hanging baubal tree makes an impressive and dramatic installation Using fishing line, baubles and coat-hangers, string baubles at various hights to create a triangular shape. A lternatively, make some paper chains, and connect them in the shape of a triangle. Easy but effective!
For something that you can fold up and use again next year, try this easy patchwork tree. Sew triangular shaped fabric on a backing of your choice with some padding to give it depth. Perfect as a wall hanging, and the beauty of this is that you can make it as big as you like – then, just fold up and use again next year.
Styrofoam provides an endless array of crafty opportunities – many craft shops sell large conical shapes and this can easily be decorated with layers of ribbon, buttons, dried leaves, baubles, sequins, fabric, candy – or wherever your imagination takes you!