No room for a traditional Christmas tree? No sweat.

By Katie Bandurski
Updated November 04, 2020
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These pretty DIY ideas prove a bigger tree isn’t always better. These smart ideas capture the same festive fun in a smaller size. Craft your own Christmas tree with wood dowels, string, doilies, and more. We're sharing simple ideas for wall Christmas trees, ladder trees, and even a DIY tabletop tree made from the pages of a book. Stop Santa in his tracks with one of these colorful and creative Christmas trees for small spaces.

christmas tree display
Credit: Carson Downing

Make Room for Presents

Traditional Christmas trees tend to take up a lot of floor space, and if you live in a small apartment, every square foot is precious. Ensure there's enough space for presents by hanging the tree on the wall. Simply print an oversized tree image at an office-supply store, then attach it to the wall with colorful washi tape ($7, Etsy). Felt garland and a cardboard star are the tree's no-fuss trimmings.

string art christmas tree decor
Credit: Carson Downing

Keep it Colorful

Need a tree that makes a statement? Look no further than this colorful string tree. Attach small, clear hooks to the wall in a triangle shape, then thread pink yarn ($8, Joann) through the hooks at random. The tree can be fit to any size space, with any string color. For added flair, attach Christmas cards to the tree with small clothespins.

wooden dowel christmas tree
Credit: Carson Downing

Minimal is Merry

Let your treasured ornaments shine with a simple handmade dowel tree. This eye-catching DIY removes the fuss of branches and needles, and instead focuses on just the bare bones of a Christmas tree. Make one for your own home with a collection of dowels and a drill ($39, The Home Depot).

suspended ornaments christmas tree
Credit: Carson Downing

Hang it Up

Yes, you can hang ornaments without a tree. All you need is a grilling grate, fishing line, spray paint, and chain. Start by spray painting the grate and attaching three pieces of chain to it. Hang the chains from the ceiling. Then tie different lengths of fishing line to a collection of green ornaments. Tie the shortest string to the center of the grate, then continue adding ornaments at ever-growing lengths. The end result is a modern tree that's too pretty for even the Grinch to steal.

christmas tree ladder display
Credit: Carson Downing

Get to Work

The DIYer in your life will be so happy to see their favorite tool put to good use. Make this Scandinavian-style tree by coating a wooden ladder ($104, Ace Hardware) in white chalk-finish paint. Then spray paint a string of lights gold, attach the bulbs, and wrap the strand around the ladder. A minimalist star and printed rug complete the eclectic look.

Holiday Cards Tree
Credit: Kate Mathis

Season's Greetings

Holiday cards take so much thought, so when you receive one in the mail, give it a little love. Not only will you have a jaw-dropping piece of wall art, but it will be fun to watch your tree take shape as December unfolds. Starting at the bottom, attach cards to the wall in a tree shape. You may need to rearrange the Christmas card display as they come in, so use an adhesive wall putty that is easy to remove.

candy cane christmas tree
Credit: Kim Cornelison

Say it with Sweetness

Turn last year's leftover candy canes into a gorgeous Christmas tree. We knotted a collection of canes to four different lengths of string, then attached each string to the wall with clips. Candy canes in different hues add visual dimension to your tree for a modern look. Or stick to the classics with traditional red-and-white candies.

dolly wall christmas tree
Credit: Kim Cornelison

Travel Back in Time

Lace doilies may seem like a part of the past, but their gorgeous pattern makes them an ideal candidate for a wall tree. Start by attaching two to three large doilies ($6, Hobby Lobby) with adhesive putty, then add in medium-sized doilies until you have a recognizable tree shape. Fill in any gaps with small doilies.

Editor's Tip: Use leftover doilies to make elegant paper snowflakes. Simply fold and cut as desired.

Wire Ornament Holder
Credit: Adam Albright

Stay in the Family

If you're looking for a tabletop tree, consider crafting a wire ornament holder. This pretty DIY is certain to become a treasured family heirloom. To make one, form a triangle with black craft wire, shape ornament holders, and attach the piece to the wall. Then, hang your favorite ball ornaments and adorn as desired.

paper christmas trees

Paper Book Trees

These adorable tabletop Christmas trees are made from the pages of a book! There's no cuter way to recycle an old book into a treasured piece of holiday decor. This simple DIY is as easy as cutting, painting, and stacking. Make several book trees and display them on your holiday mantel.


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