aluminum christmas treeContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

Is it ever too early to start thinking about Christmas decorations? With so many stores decking tha halls in late Sepetember, it doesn’t seem like it. And why not? It’s fun to start planning your business’ or personal next holiday theme, whether summer has just started, or Thanksgiving is already just around the corner.

Lots of people like traditional Christmas decorating, with red and green and a good dose of silver and gold, too. And those trees are a beautiful way to celebrate the season.

But that’s not you, right? You’re looking for some decidedly out of the box ideas for this year’s tree. Maybe you want to create a tree that stands out for your business. Or something for your apartment that expresses your artistic side. Whatever the reason, just in time for Christmas (no matter when you’re reading this) here are ten unique Christmas tree decorating ideas to get your creative juices flowing.


10. An all black Christmas tree

Black Christmas tree

Who says Christmas trees have to be bright and colorful? Whether you’re looking for a dose of unforgettable drama or a bit of goth for the holidays, a pure black Christmas tree will certainly do the trick.

You can find black artificial trees in many catalogs and shops now. Or you can transform that thrift store tree with a can or two of black spray paint. Use black glitter paint for more sparkle, or go with flat for a “darker” look (yes, pun intended!) Check out craft supply catalogs and stores for black accessories that can work as ornaments, or load up on art tools and paint your own.

9. Found object Christmas tree

Found objects

Save the earth and create a truly one-of-a-kind tree by decking it out in found objects. Take a walk and start your collection of car parts, construction left-overs and mysterious metal bits. Even cast off labels and flyers can be transformed into parts of garland (remember making paper chains in school? Works here, too.) Use things just as you find them, or add color, texture or combine objects.

8. Pick a different holiday tree

ANNALEE  Easter Morning Bunny

Take your tree the way of “Nightmare Before Christmas” and mix up the holidays. Pick a single alternate major holiday for your tree (Easter bunnies and eggs, anyone?), combine several or opt for some of the odd holidays on the calendar. International Artichoke Day? Seriously? And there is a bonus! You can always bring out the red and green Santa decorations some other time of the year when no one expects it!

7. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Pile of jewelry

Okay, I know most of us would be just fine with a tree covered in sparkling diamonds. But unless you’ve hit the lottery or sold your start-up to Google, odds are that’s not happening soon.

But you can get that full-on bling look of diamonds if you decorate your tree in sparking costume jewelry. Think about it…earrings and bracelets dangling from the branches. Necklaces instead of garland.

Hey, you could even go Breakfast at Tiffany’s chic and throw in a few classic tiaras!

6. Industrial chic



Have you ever considered taking your Christmas tree shopping to a contractors’ supply house? It might sound odd, but it’s really a good place to start creating that one-of-a-king decorating theme.

Think about it… flexible heat tubing for modern-looking lines of color. Float balls (yes, the shiny things that go into toilet tanks) instead of glass balls. Gears instead of stars. You’re seeing it now, aren’t you? It works!

5. Life in the office

Sharpie pens

The rules for this tree design are simple. If you’d probably find it in your office supply cabinets, it goes on the tree. Just get creative with how you use it.

So go ahead and make “paper” chains out of sheets of bubble wrap cut into strips. Colorful markers and high-lighters in place of icicles. Time cards origami animals. Company-logo coffee mugs as ornaments (especially if they say “Dunder Mifflin.”) Dig in, and think outside the cubicle.

4. Tell me where you’ve been

family in lobster hats

You know all those tacky tourist souvenirs you have stashed in your closets? The ones you brought back from family trips as a kid or the haze of a spring break trip in college? Get them all out and use them to make a “where have you been” tree. Hang everything. The giant pencils. The dried up snow globes. The genuine (made in China) Indian crafts. Even those weird little glasses your Aunt Molly brought back from her bus trip to Mount Rushmore. And don’t forget to pull out your sombrero or lobster hat to top the tree!

Hit up friends for their tacky tourist goodies or head to a local thrift store if you don’t have enough to cover the tree.

3. A letter to the universe

Wishing tree in Scotland

So what if you want an offbeat Christmas tree that’s a bit more inspiring? How about a tree of dreams and wishes?

If your tree will be where lots of friends (or customers) will visit, make your tree into a giant message to the universe. Provide tags on strings plus colorful pens, stickers, and other goodies so people can make paper “ornaments” that include their dreams, hopes or wishes. As the season goes on, everyone wishes and dreams become the decorations.

2. Drive it home

Chevy car parts

Take a walk around an auto parts store…or even a junk yard, and you’ll be amazed at how many things would work on a Christmas tree. Well, at least on a car-themed tree. Go for shiny and new, or make yours a class car with branches. Oh, and just for fun, make sure you include at least a few of those Christmas tree shaped car deodorizers!

1. Bad pictures come out of the closet

Man eating big sandwich

You know all those bad pictures you have of yourself, your family and your friends? They’re in a box somewhere, right? Or maybe on your computer?

Now is the time for ugly to come out of the closet. Or at least, ugly pictures. Gather the worst of the worst, the almost horrible and the just not at all flattering shots, put them into little frames and hang them on your tree. Sure you hated seeing that one bad shot of yourself on Facebook, but when everyone’s bad pictures are together, it just becomes funny.

Christmas trees don’t have to be limited to shiny glass ornaments and silver tinsel. Get your creative on. It’s (always) almost Christmastime.