DIY Ideas – Eco friendly, alternative Christmas tree ideas

  • 6 minutes
  • 15 November 2019

Sick of the fake pine tree that moults all over the living room floor? Get rid of that plastic number and delve into these 20 eco friendly, alternative Christmas tree ideas! Unique, stylish and oh-so-Aussie…it’s time the silly season gets a Down Under makeover.

Living Christmas Trees

Increase resourcefulness, boost your green space and reduce product waste by picking a tree you can enjoy all year round! The following plants offer a unique twist on the traditional tree aesthetic:

DIY Ideas – 20 Eco Friendly, Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas | ModularWalls

(Woolly Bush  |   Rosemary Mini Tree  |  Air Plants)

1. Woolly bush

This Australian native is the perfect plant to mimic the traditional pine aesthetic. Different varieties offer different coloured foliage; stick with a deep green, or get a frosty look with some silver foliage (which is also extra drought-tolerant)! When the festive season is over, you can keep it as a decorative pot plant or plant in the garden as a new year addition!

2. Lilly pilly / Syzygium

Another native, this dense shrub offers bountiful leaves with sturdy enough branches to hang light ornaments off. Some varieties even offer pops of bright red with berries and new growth!

3. Rosemary

…what is more perfect than a tree that pairs beautifully with the Christmas roast? These stunning little alternative Christmas trees are the perfect idea for foodies — plus, they smell absolutely amazing.

4. Climber Christmas tree

You got trellis wire? You got a Christmas tree! This one might take some time to grow, but a climbing plant against tree-shaped wire is a funky alternative for those who aren’t a huge fan of the dense tree look.

5. Trailing planter design

Some well-placed temporary shelves or wall planters can transform a few trailing plants into a stunning Christmas tree! Mix a few varieties together for extra visual interest and hang light ornaments amongst the tendrils…

6. Air plant Christmas tree

Use wire, wall hooks, fishing wire or string to create a striking, modern alternative Christmas tree using air plants. These magical plants need very little to survive and are incredibly lightweight, offering the perfect low maintenance living tree!

DIY Ideas – 20 Eco Friendly, Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas | ModularWalls

(Aussie Native Bouquet  |  Dried White Bouquet  |  Floral Chandelier Tutorial)

Natural arrangements

If you’re still after a temporary product with a plastic-free advantage, these arrangements bring the Christmas cheer in all-natural packaging!

7. Fresh native bouquet

Our flora offers a huge array of festive colours in its palette! The below suggestions offer a wide selection to create the perfect focal point:

Red flowers and foliage:

  • Waratah
  • Banksia
  • Bottlebrush
  • Grevillea
  • Protea (although it’s actually not as Aussie native!)
  • Kangaroo paw
  • Hakea

Green flowers and foliage:

  • Barker bush
  • Gumnuts
  • Dingo fern
  • Native holly
  • Button bush

White flowers and silver foliage:

  • Waratah
  • Flannel flowers
  • Boronia
  • Wax flower
  • Thryptomene
  • Mulla mulla
  • Silver dollar coin eucalyptus
  • Emu grass


8. Dried bouquet

Love the crisp white look of frosted trees? Stick with a dried bouquet for a unique, ‘white’ Christmas! They’re also a bit more cost effective than fresh flowers — without the expiration date!

9. Gum tree branches

There’s a magical beauty within the arc, bend and reach of our gum trees; why not harvest the fallen branches and re-purpose into a work of art? Arrange a few branches into a ‘tree’ frame and hang ornaments off the smaller twigs. For an extra eco-friendly Christmas tree, make your own foraged Christmas ornaments too!

10. DIY hanging floral arrangement

Suspend your ‘tree’ over the Christmas feast this year with a stunning DIY hanging arrangement. They’re not actually as hard as you’d think…as long as you have sturdy beams to hang them off!

15 DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas for the Eco-Friendly Aussie | ModularWalls

(Wall Tree Ideas)

Wall hanging Christmas trees

Maximise your floor space with these beautiful yet simple DIY Christmas tree wall art ideas. These can be easily made from fallen branches and foliage, leaving absolutely no trace in regards to a living plant!

11. String fairy lights

Put those Christmas lights to good use and create a glowing tree on your wall with this simple tutorial. For extra eco-friendly points, use solar powered fairy lights and position in full sun!

12. Clever corner Christmas tree

By arranging each half of the tree design one each side of the corner, you can instantly create a 3D effect!

DIY Ideas – 20 Eco Friendly, Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas | ModularWalls

(Wooden Ladder Tree  |  Recycled Pallet IdeasChicken Wire)

Reused, recycled and up-cycled tree ideas

If your shed or garage is usually overflowing with useful materials, see if you can give them new life as a Christmas tree! Some easy transformations include:

13. Up-cycled wooden ladder

Whilst these might not be the sturdiest tool anymore, they’re the perfect frame for a DIY Christmas tree!

14. Chicken wire

If you’ve got a roll of this in a shed, you can easily make a funky tree design. Either cut out a tall triangle for a 2D shape, or create a free-standing conical design. Once it’s cut and formed into shape, all that’s left to do is decorate — made super easy through all the large holes!

15. Recycled pallet tree

Stack them, paint them or make a spinning tree; so many designs possible in this epic rundown of recycled pallet Christmas trees!

DIY Ideas – 20 Eco Friendly, Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas | ModularWalls

(Chalkboard  |  Woven Tree  |  Driftwood)

Crafty Christmas Trees

These ideas are great for crafternoons — and especially fun for homes with kiddies on school holidays, looking for ways to amuse themselves!

16. Driftwood Christmas tree

Depending on the size of the wood you find, you could make mini-trees or band together to create one family-sized tree! Our favourite pick are the floating rows of driftwood, arranged from smallest at the top to longest at the bottom, suspended by fishing line — a magical, coastal Christmas tree!

17. Chalk board

With this Christmas tree alternative, you can redraw your tree every day if you wanted to! Armed with coloured chalk and some imagination, this idea allows the family to create their perfect tree out of thin air…

18. Watercolour painting

Watercolour tutorials are sweeping the DIY world, transforming into effortless masterpieces as they dry. With nothing but a roll of recycled butcher paper and some watercolours, your family can create their own dream Christmas tree; or maybe one for every room!

19. Pin board

Instead of showcasing your ornaments on a tree, arrange them onto your pin board! You use far less ornaments and it can be easily tweaked throughout Christmas as a fun activity.

20. Macrame weaving

This project might be for the more experienced crafters; but the final result is well worth the effort. With a chic, bohemian feel, this Christmas tree is soft, subtle and can be easily stored and reused for years to come. For some extra pizzazz, hang some light ornaments with the use of safety pins!

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