A DIY Christmas Tree for a Festive Eco Friendly Holiday

A DIY Christmas Tree for a Festive Eco Friendly Holiday

I’m so excited about our DIY christmas tree this year! It was a lot of fun to put together as a family and it feels perfectly festive and magical. My 3 year old has also been having a blast playing in and around it. And anything that keeps that wild guy entertained is a major plus!

Prior to concocting our alternative Christmas tree, we debated getting a real one or a fake one. With a growing concern for our environment and a hope to model eco-friendly and sustainable practices to my children though, I did not feel quite right about buying a real or a fake tree.

Luckily, we had some stuff lying around that we could use to make our very own eco-friendly alternative Christmas tree! Our DIY tree is also budget friendly and has a minimalist flare, so I also love those aspects of it. 

Alternative DIY Christmas Tree Materials

Here’s what we used for our alternative Christmas tree;

  • ceiling screw hook
  • old voile curtains we had stuffed in a closet
  • more old curtains with old clothes rolled up in them to create the base of the tree
  • clippings from an evergreen bush and a berry bush in our yard
  • DIY dough ornaments
  • paperclips
  • string
  • pillows and blankets
  • twinkle fairy lights

Hanging the Curtain “Tree”

It’s important to get a good sturdy screw hook to hold up the curtains. My hubby predrilled a hole in the ceiling and then screwed in this hook. Easy Peasy.  

ceiling screw hook

Next we bunched up the top of the curtains, tied a string around them and hooked the string to the ceiling hook. 

stringing lights on our alternative christmas tree

Once the curtains were draping from floor to ceiling, we gathered another pair of old unused curtains and found a big bag of old clothes my toddler had grown out of. 

Making Our DIY Christmas Tree Base

We dumped the clothes in the curtains and rolled them up! These curtain burritos become the base of the tree to hold the curtains in place on the floor. 

For anyone trying out this diy Christmas tree, you could also use towels or sheets as well to roll up some clothes or really anything with a bit of weight! And while voile curtains have a nice transparency to them, any old bedsheet would work too!

The whole point of this alternative tree is to use things you already have laying around the house so you don’t have to go buy stuff. Applause for a budget friendly, minimalist and eco-friendly Christmas!

old clothes rolled up in a curtain to form the base of our diy "tree"

Our DIY Christmas Tree Decorations

Next come the decorations. My favorite part! 

Twinkle String Lights

We used a strand of curtain twinkle fairy lights and wrapped them around the base of the tree and then gathered them altogether up at the top. You could really make any string lights you have work for this. 

Getting the rest of the decorations together and putting them on the “tree” was definitely a multi-step, multi-day process. I love this though, because it gave my toddler and me a fun ongoing project to work on. Not only did it provide hours of toddler Christmas crafts entertainment (and help me keep my sanity), but I genuinely had fun as well and I love that my toddler gets the experience of doing a step-by-step project.

Plus, it gave my son a chance to get acquainted with the idea that sometimes worthwhile things take time. We live in a culture of instant gratification, and I think that mentality can really do a big disservice to growing minds. And really for all of us for that matter. 

Playdough Ornaments

We tried out a dough recipe to make the ornaments, but ultimately ended up using my toddler’s playdough. The dough recipe we originally tried made very hard dough and was tricky for my toddler to roll out and cut out shapes with on his own. 

So luckily, we had a stash of our soft and squishy DIY Playdough we were able to use with the cookie cutters instead of the basic salt dough recipe we found online for ornaments. Here’s our DIY Playdough Recipe

eco-friendly christmas tree dough ornaments

We rolled tiny evergreen clippings and flowers into some of the ornaments, and also experimented with making evergreen prints in the playdough.
  diy dough christmas ornaments

Something about using cookie cutters and making imprints in playdough is incredibly exciting to toddlers. We also used a cup to make big circle ornaments, so if you don’t have any cookie cutters, just used whatever you can find!

making dough ornaments with my toddler using small cookie cutters

We let the dough ornaments dry out over a few days (you can pop them in the oven or microwave to make the process faster), and then used paperclips to hook them on our voile curtain “tree”. And these ornaments can go right in the compost after the holidays, or we might store them for next year since they should be completely dried out. 

Nature Clippings

So after our lights and dough ornaments were up, we gathered a bunch of clippings from an evergreen bush and a berry bush we have in our yard. My toddler loved going outside to do this. 

If you don’t have any Christmasy foliage accessible, you could find some at a place like Home Depot or maybe a local nursery or anywhere they sell Christmas trees. 

Next we used a large needle to thread some yarn and tie the tree clippings on. My toddler helped cut the yarn and place the branches. 

minimalist christmas tree alternative idea with curtain hanging from ceiling with small branches

The Final Product

And voila, a magical play space and diy christmas tree wrapped up into one! 

diy christmas tree using sheer curtains and nature clippings

alternative christmas tree idea using a voile curtain hanging from the ceiling

Please share your diy christmas tree ideas or experience trying out this “tree” at home!

Happy crafting!

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