Reusing Christmas trees is not only environmentally sound but also great for crafters and gardeners alike. See how easy it is to be green after the holidays with these simple DIY repurposed Christmas tree projects.
Live Green: DIY Repurposed Christmas Tree Projects
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, over 25-30 million Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year. That’s a lot of trees, if you really think about it, that need to be disposed of once the holidays end.
Included in this figure are the approximately 657,000 Christmas trees annually here in Wisconsin.
Yes, it’s true that natural Christmas trees are a renewable and recyclable resource, but experts agree that today it’s important to make sure your tree isn’t taking up needless space at your local landfill site, if you can help it.
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So that got me to thinking–what to do with all of those old trees after the holidays?
Consider these super recycled-upcycled Christmas tree projects and crafts for you and your home:
1. Log Coasters
Natural branch or trunk coasters are a super way to reuse and repurpose your old Christmas tree. All you have to do is cut the trunk off in 1 inch rounds and then let them dry for a couple of months. Afterwards, add a couple of coats of polyurethane or just leave them with their natural patina and use.
If you are worried about your coaster scratching your tabletop, add some cork to the base. Cork comes in sheets with one side that has an adhesive. Trace and cut the cork to the size of your coaster remove the adhesive paper backing and attach.
2. Pine Mulch
Local landscape and tree care companies are great places to get your tree mulched. Also, you can check with your local municipality.
Note: If you choose to rent a chipper or mulching machine, be sure you read through all the instructions and read and adhere to all safety requirements.
Safety Tip – Never Burn Your Christmas Tree in Your Home Fireplace
You might think that disposing your live Christmas tree yourself by burning it in your fireplace or wood stove, but you might be asking for trouble if you do.
Never burn your Christmas Tree in your fireplace or wood stove. Firs and pines are high in flammable turpentine oils and could cause an increase in creosote build up and risk a chimney fire.
That being said, if you do burn your Christmas Tree in a outside barrel or fire pit, make sure you follow all of your local ordinances. The ash left by burning your Christmas Tree is full of nutrients, since it becomes potash, a natural fertilizer that helps improve water retention, increase plant yields and helps plants be disease resistant.
Once the ashes are cooled, put it around your plants and incorporate it well into the soil for some “free” fertilizer.
3. Natural Cover
If you think about it, Mother Nature is a wonderful recycler. Trees fall all the time in wooded areas and your Christmas tree is perfect for creating a natural cover for woodland animals.
If you have a wooded area, you can assist Mother Nature by laying your tree on its side and allowing nature to break down the tree. Not only will it offer cover for local creatures, but birds will also love the accessible branches to nest and perch.
4. Twig Snowflake Craft
Cut your Christmas tree into smaller segments for this rustic snowflake.
5. Donate Christmas Tree
6. Walking Stick
Use the longer branches and make your own walking stick.
7. Log Bird House
To make quick and easy log bird house, you’ll need to cut up the trunk into a 1 foot segment. Next, hollow out the segment with a spade bit, leaving at least a 1/4 inch “wall.” Then, drill into the side for the “entrance,” using the same 1 inch spade bit. Finally, cap off the bottom of the bird house, attach a string to the top, and tie off on your favorite tree.
8. “Plant” your Christmas Tree
Make a lasting statement by reusing your Christmas tree from year to year. Just “plant” it into an old garden urn. Or remove the greens and place your Christmas tree in a pot outside and add bottles for an instant Bottle Tree.
9. Snacking Station for Winter Birds
Make a Christmas tree snacking station for your favorite winter birds. It’s easy.
In a secluded part of your yard lay your used Christmas Tree on its side and from its branches hang empty orange halves with suet or seed. And, if you plan it out well, you can provide your favorite garden friends a place to visit all year round.
RELATED: DIY Bird Treats
10. Pine Bowl
Depending upon the the diameter of your Christmas tree, it’s possible to make a handy pine bowl for dipping oils and such.
11. Advent Wreath Candle Holder
Simply put, cut a 15 inch piece of trunk from the base of your Christmas Tree. Plane off a 3 inch swath down the length of one side. This will be your base.
Next, mark out five -1 inch hole marks, equally spaced along the top of your log. Using a 1 inch spade bit, carefully drill only about 1 inch deep for all five holes. If you want to hot glue decorative holly berries and leaves or other greenery or berries to your “Advent log” you can. Finally, insert Advent candles two purple on one side, a pink and purple on the other and a white candle in the middle.
Source: Bratta Brakka
12. Log Vase
First, choose a thin, tubular vase that is no more than 8 inches tall and 2 inches diameter. Next, cut a 10 inch piece from your Christmas Tree trunk. Using the wider end as your base, place your log piece into a vise grip or other stabilizer.
Drill down into the center of the log using a 2 1/2 inch spade bit and carefully bore 8 inches deep, leaving the last 2 inches untouched. If you want, you can seal the log inside and out. Just be sure the inside section is completely dry before placing your vase into it. Once dry, place your vase into this hole, fill with water and your favorite holiday or seasonal flowers.
13. Holiday Votive Centerpiece
It’s easy to create a holiday centerpiece from your old Christmas tree. Here’s how: 1. Cut off the size you want. 2. Using a vise grip to hold your log firmly in place, drill with a spade bit to the size of a flameless tea light. Do this down the length of your log. 3. Add greenery, real pinecones and berries fit for the holidays.
Note: Do not use real candles as most pines are highly flammable. FLAMELESS IS BEST.
Source: Jenna Burger Design
Make original one-of-a-kind jewelry designs from nature with this easy how-to book.
15. Log Wreath
These log slices can be made into so many wonderful designs and crafts. And, what a beautiful statement you’ll make by assembling this super wood and burlap log wreath.
Source: Finding Home Farms
16. Pencil Holder
While the following image shows a birch pencil holder, it’s easy enough to take this ideas to the next level with a section of your Christmas tree.
Source: Morning Creativity
17. Tic Tac Toe Board
I’m thinking this craft is so simple, you could make a bunch up for gifts. Think travel-sized tic tac toe board. I’m also loving these painted rocks, although you could use bottle caps (another great recycling tip).
Source: Chicken Scratch NY
More DIY Repurposed Christmas Tree Projects
Keep the memory of your Christmas tree alive with more rustic tree crafts for your house and home.