Everyone knows that Thanksgiving day signals the official start of the holiday season. Starting today, it’s officially time to start putting lights up on the house, purchasing gifts, and of course, putting up a tree. And while there is nothing wrong with a gorgeous pine decorated in tiny lights and ornaments, we think it’s also fun to opt for the unconventional route. Perhaps you don’t have a lot of room for a tree, so you’re looking for a small-space solution. Maybe you only want a small tree that can serve as entryway decor. Or, maybe you just want to “wow” people with your incredible creativity by building a tree out of repurposed materials like books or wood pallets.
Whatever the reason, we’re here to inspire you to think more creatively about the type of tree you’ll be putting up this year. The following 40 ideas are some of the coolest, prettiest and most delicious non-traditional trees we’ve found around the web. Let us know your favorites in the comments below!
1. Knick-Knack Wall Tree: What better way to show off meaningful photos, jewelry and trinkets than by hanging them together as art? Pro tip: trace your tree outline with a pencil, then use Velcro brand fasteners or another type of mounting adhesive to easily hang within the lines.
2. Wall Decal Tree: We love how easy this one is to apply (plus how it reminds us of one of our favorite patterns of the season — polka dots!). You can find circular wall decals on places like Blik or Etsy.
3. Kid Friendly Velcro and Felt Tree: What an amazing use of Velcro! This tree is perfect for those of you with kids who may want to add or move the ornaments around the tree each day until Christmas. Plus, it’s a simple, fun and low-cost DIY project.
4. Washi Tape Tree: Washi tape is the best thing to happen to tape since we can remember. We can’t get enough of all the patterns and colors! It’s certainly fun for a multi-pattern look.
5. Colored Tape Wall Tree: If you’re looking at our site right now, you know we love minimal, clean design with a lot of color. That’s why we’re so into this colored tape tree — make each branch a color of your choice!
8. Chalkboard Tree: Chalkboard paint has taken the world by storm, and we’re totally on board. Though this tree requires a tad bit of an artistic ability, there’s no disputing how beautiful it is.
7. Ornament Only Tree: We think this tree would be perfect for: 1) people with allergies to Christmas trees, 2) people who want one pretty tree and one sentimental tree, or 3) the uber procrastinators of the world that forget to buy a tree (you know who you are).
11. Steve Jobs Book Tree: Steve would obviously be the “star” on our book tree, too.
12. Book Page Tree: Please just promise us you won’t ruin an old classic like Jane Eyre or Moby Dick, okay?
13. Encylopedia Tree: The ultimate tree for the 90s librarian. Or anyone with a penchant for the word “Britanica” (hey, maybe we should use that on our own somewhere?!).
14. Hardback Tree: Definitely loving the multi-colored lights wrapped around this one. Double the color!
10. Open Book Tree: Line up your books from large to small, open to the middle, and stack! It couldn’t be easier. Great for those of you who like to consider yourselves “an open book.”
RE-PURPOSED MATERIAL TREES
15. Burlap Mini Tree: A great, easy idea for an entryway tabletop or mantel. Use a darker wood base if you want to make it look even more rustic.
17. Recycled Corks Tree: If you aren’t an avid wine collector that saves corks, you can get them for a great price on places like Ebay and Etsy. PS: Here are a few other really awesome things you can do with corks.
18. Reclaimed Pallet Tree: This tree *screams* shabby chic! We’re on our way to a flea market to find some old pallets, stat.
19. Ladder Tree: Whether you’re a handyman or a hipster, this tree will definitely make your friends do a double take.
20. Traffic Light Tree: Designed by Pierre Vivant and located in London, UK, “Traffic Light Tree” has 75 sets of traffic lights. The sculpture was created to mimic a tree structure and reflect the energy of the developing Canary Wharf area.
21. Strawberry Christmas Tree Brownie Bites: The strawberry is places on top of the brownie and then covered with green frosting to give the tree its triangular shape!
22. Green Tea Cupcake Trees: Or, maybe these should be renamed “Green Tree Cupcakes?”
23. Green Tea Cookie Trees: Now there’s a different take on the Christmas cookie.
24. Sushi Trees: How cute would this be on display for a holiday party?
25. Fruit Tree: Perfect to serve as the fruit plate at breakfast on Christmas morning.
26. Cheerio Trees: A spin on the rice krispy treat (and way cuter, by the way).
27. Vegetable Crudite Tree: If you’ve seen our sushi cupcakes or chocolate iPhones, you know we love food art. Though this one is way, way healthier than a chocolate iPhone.
28. Candy Cane Tree: We love the added effect of the green peppermints as ornaments.
29. White Chocolate Truffle Tree: Gorgeous, but we’re not sure how we’d walk past this without being tempted to pull off a “branch” for a snack.
31. Purple Ribbon and Sequin Tree: Absolutely beautiful and so simple! Just wrap around the base and secure with hot glue. Fun way to use all that extra ribbon you bought for wrapping gifts.
32. Christmas Wreath Tree: A fun alternative to the traditional holiday wreath.
33. Felt Ribbon Tree: Perfect for a kids room, and we love how it hangs from the ceiling.
34. Tulle Ribbon Tree: We think all girls would love this, but it’s exceptionally amazing for all of you holiday brides out there. We’d also love to see it with a light strand or an LED lighting up the tulle from the center.
35. Black and White Ribbon Tree: This tree is slightly more structured and may take slightly more work to complete, but it’s still incredible nonetheless.
36. Pac-Man Tree: O-M-G. That’s all.
37. GE Lighting LED Tree: The world’s first ever OLED Christmas tree. May your days be merry and bright. Really bright.
38. CD and Cassette Tape Tree: A huge tree made entirely using old cassettes and CDs. It’s not only pretty cool, but puts your old CDs to good use. Here are a couple other ways to re-use those old CDs.
39. RAM Tree: Turn all of your memory sticks and circuit boards into a tabletop display. So incredibly geeky.
40. Giant Lego Tree: We knew Legos could be built into pretty much anything, but man, this is pure eye candy. We obviously don’t recommend a project like this to those short on time this year ;)
How are you planning on decorating your tree this year? Any unusual elements you’re thinking of using? We’d love to hear ’em! Talk to us in the comments below or find me on Twitter.