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Alternative Christmas tree ideas: unique ways to decorate your house for the festive season

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Megan Murray
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Think Christmas trees have got a bit, well, predictable? Maybe it’s time to mix things up…

Christmas trees may be a glorious symbol of the most festive time of year, but that doesn’t mean they come without complications.

Carrying the blooming things home is a struggle in itself, not to mention the extra hoover action that comes into play when your chosen fir scatters those spiky little pine needles all over the floor. And don’t even get us started on the amount of space they take up: for those of us living in small studios, apartments or house shares, there just isn’t room for a tree in our personal space – no matter how festive it may be.

Which is why we were very interested in the idea of alternative Christmas tree options: not only do they look pretty damn funky, but they are spectacularly easy to construct and maintain, too. Best of all, though, is the fact that they make a huge impact without taking up lots of room: perfect for anyone who wants to maximise those Christmassy vibes without losing half their living room.

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So, what are these new Christmas tree trends taking over the holiday season?

The rosemary Christmas tree

Back by popular demand, Waitrose is once again doing its rosemary Christmas trees which are an eco-friendly alternative to the usual fir or pine. This multi-purpose tree can be plucked of its leaves and used to cook, and once Christmas is over it can re-planted in the garden instead of being thrown away. 

Plus, they’re much smaller than your average Christmas tree so they work perfectly for a cosier home, fitting on a window sill or dining table. They’ll be in stores from the last week of November, priced at £15.

The pineapple Christmas tree

Winter blues getting too much? The tropical looking pineapple tree could be the ray of sunshine your home needs. When we say this little guy is easy to make, we really mean it: in its simplest form, you literally just hang a few baubles off the green, spiky leaves protruding upwards from your fruit. 

How far you go with this one is really up to you. A festive pineapple works well as a centrepiece for your table, nestled in a fireplace or plonked on a mantlepiece for a fun festive touch.

However, some dedicated Pinterest users have taken things further and built a bigger structure from fruit or multiple pineapples. Which, yes, looks very impressive, but it is a tad harder to achieve.

In terms of decoration, there’s a lot to be said for embracing the tropical, feel-good theme and adding a pair of sunglasses to your pineapple. Then again, you may prefer to keep things traditional with a sprig of tinsel. 

Or, if you’re set on sticking up two fingers to the traditional red and green themes of Christmas, why not go one step further with a fun, bright colour? 

Love the pineapple trend but think this all looks a little too wacky for your liking? Well, you can still reference the juicy movement with a quirky bauble.

We suggest something like this little cutie from Paperchase, priced at £5.

The washi tape Christmas tree

Pinterest has reported that washi tape Christmas tree images posted on the site increased by 91% last year, indicating that the 2D trend is growing in popularity.

For those that are unfamiliar with washi tape, it’s usually patterned or produced in bright colours, deriving from a traditional type of Japanese paper. 

Although it’s been a popular tool of crafters for a long time, the product has recently taken a Christmassy turn with people sticking it to walls in the shape of a tree, instead of purchasing the real thing. 

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We must admit, unless you’ve actually seen a washi tape tree for yourself, the idea can sound a little uninspiring. But trust us when we say that nothing could be further from the truth: not only is it easy to recreate and inexpensive, there are some really cool washi designs online.

The beauty of washi tape is that you can really let your creative juices flow, with the size of your wall being your own boundary. Pinterest users have experimented with adding baubles, tinsel, fairy lights and creating their own paper-based decorations to add to washi tape trees - all of which, you could argue, have more personality than a traditional fir.

Getting your mitts on washi tape isn’t hard either. Hobbycraft has a large selection and if you’re on the look out for especially twee patterns, Paperchase have some super cute options that range from £3.

We reckon this is enough to get you festively inspired, but there’s no need to stop there. Take a look at our edit of unusual Christmas baubles to combine with your alternative tree to really push those festive boundaries. 

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Images: Unsplash - Debby Hudson / Paperchase / Pinterest

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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