12 Crazy Materials Used to Make Alternative Christmas Trees

Tired of the boring old Christmas tree sitting in your living room? Then perhaps you should try sprucing up your home with one of these weirdly wonderful alternative trees instead.

1. Jewelry

Encrusted with 21,798 diamonds and 3762 crystal beads, this blingy beauty—created by Soo Kee Jewelry of South Korea—was once the world’s most expensive Christmas tree. The record has since been broken by a hotel in Abu Dhabi that covered a massive artificial pine in jewelry valued at over $11 million.

2. LEGO BRICKS

While the size of the average home makes it impossible to compete with this world-record-holding LEGO Christmas tree constructed in St. Pancras Station, London, the 600,000 brick masterpiece can certainly serve as great inspiration for anyone who wants to build a smaller version at home.

3. Yarn

Here’s another record-breaking tree perfect for inspiring your own DIY tree. The world’s biggest knitted Christmas tree was on display at Cornwall, England’s Eden Project in 2006.

4. Books

Making a tree out of things that are made of trees is so meta! While I’m particularly fond of this lovely book tree featured at the Gleeson Library in USF, there are plenty of other great ones out there as well. For more bookish Christmas trees, don’t miss this great article on The Mary Sue.

5. Beer Bottles

'Tis the season to be drinking—especially if you want to put together your own beer bottle tree in time for the holidays. I don’t know much behind the story of this Christmas tree—other than the fact that it took a lot of Grolsch to put together.

If you don't want to do that much drinking, use this impressive Heineken tree—put on display in Shanghai, China in 2009—as inspiration: It was made up of over 1000 full bottles of beer.

6. Mountain Dew Cans

Even if you don’t drink alcohol you can still have a great beverage-inspired tree. Just look to the Mountain Dew Tree for guidance. Even the “star” on top is actually made from a Dew two-liter bottle. This video shows a few basics of how the thing is made.

7. Plastic Bottles

If you’d like to try reusing before you recycle, try your hand at crafting an amazing plastic bottle Christmas tree like this one made by Dale Wayne.

When it comes to spectacularly large trees made from plastic bottles though, it’s hard to beat this tree put on display in Kaunas, Lithuania made from the bottoms of green plastic bottles zip-tied together into half-spheres which are then constructed into a full tree. The massive masterpiece took more than 32,000 bottles to complete and it is lit up with over 40,000 Christmas lights.

8. Old Bicycles

The “Tree-cycle” might look more like a modern art creation than a traditional Christmas tree, but it’s still fun and festive. The massive sculpture, displayed in Sydney, Australia, was made with over 100 old bicycles that were painted and positioned into a tree shape.

9. Cell Phones

Westcom Electronics Mall in Vietnam started collecting phones eight months early in order to create this cool tree to send a message about the wastefulness of the Vietnamese cell phone industry. The country’s residents use more than 110 million cell phones and throw away over 50 million of them a year. The 15-foot tree features more than 2000 cell phones displayed over 32 layers.

After the mall was finished with the tree, it was auctioned off, and the proceeds went to charity.

10. Hub Caps

What better way to get your car dealership ready for the Christmas season than creating a tree out of old hub caps you have lying around? This brilliant marketing move was dreamed up by Champion Auto Sales of Arundel, Maine.

11. RAM

Admittedly, the shape could use a little work, but it’s still pretty obvious that this collection of RAM is supposed to be a Christmas tree—especially given the cute little star ornament at the top. This adorably geeky mini tree was submitted to Geeks Are Sexy by Adam from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

12. Circuit Board

Here’s another geeky Christmas tree alternative –only this one comes pre-made. Just stick a 12 volt battery on this little tree and it will be all lit up and ready to glow.

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December 19, 2013 - 5:00pm
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