Home > Blog > DIY Christmas trees for students on a budget

DIY Christmas trees for students on a budget

With the holidays approaching, it’s fun to bring holiday cheer into your dorm room, bedroom or apartment! But with limited space and money, getting a full sized tree isn’t exactly the best idea. So here a few ideas for small Christmas trees that you can make out of things you have around (or with a quick and cheap trip to a craft store). Another great way to bring holiday warmth and light into your room is with Christmas tree lights. You can get these online for next to nothing and then hang them using plastic hooks wherever you would like. The best part about these lights? If you get them in a regular colour, like gold, you can use them year round. Consider investing in some of these lights to make your DIY Christmas tree look even better!

A really easy way to make a tree is just doing it on your wall (or at least, on a board leaning against your wall, if you don’t want to lose your security deposit…). Use washi tape to make yourself a triangular outline, as big or small as you want. You can also string the tape across the tree (like branches) to make it look more like a tree, or use string and baubles like the example below.

DIY tree

Above: Wall tape Christmas tree by homeyohmy.com.

Or you could make this DIY board (again, saving those walls) which doubles as a bulletin board outside of the holiday season:

Bulletin board

Above: Find out how to make this bulletin board here.

Once you have your base, you can use anything for decoration – take pictures, either of you and your friends or family during the holidays, or even just pictures of snow or holiday decorations from Google. Print out the pictures and put them inside your triangle on the wall. Print, draw or cut a big star for the top of the tree. You could also pin on some of your jewellery or Mardi Gras beads in green and red for extra decorations. Use any little decals you have. You could also make paper chains (you know, circles of paper linked together that we used to make in elementary school) or paper cut outs of snowmen or snowflakes and hang them across the tree. Make it personal and festive.

Cone tree

For this next idea, you might want to get a big piece of green construction paper or coloured flexible poster board, depending on how big you want the tree. You could also use plain computer paper and just colour it with markers or paint. Or, just cover the paper with some holiday themed wrapping paper. Twist your paper into a cone and secure it with tape. Now decorate with glitter, ribbon, pictures or even feathers. Use whatever you have around or what you can get from friends. This tree can be small or big, so it can just sit on your desk or your bedside table and remind you that the holidays are coming – which means a break from school!

Craft stick tree

This next idea is a little more complicated but will end up looking really crafty and cool. For this, you can use Popsicle sticks or even twigs from outside (if you don’t mind going out in the cold to find them). Use a chopstick or a pencil as your center pole and create a stand out of the sticks by tying or gluing them together in a star like shape. Glue or tape on the sticks up and down your chopstick/pencil as the branches of the tree. Consider wrapping your “branches” in holiday wrapping paper or painting them silver or gold for a festive touch. Now either wrap or hang ribbon (tie it into a bow for a cuter look!) or yarn on the branches. You could even hang earrings, necklaces or bracelets off the little tree to make it look decorated and as a handy way to store your jewelry!

Alternatively, you could simply paint your Popsicle sticks green then dust them with glitter. Glue them together in the shape of a tree – make one stick vertical, then cut or snap sticks to put across your vertical stick as branches in a triangular shape. Tape on a string or yarn and hang it on the wall.

Cactus christmas tree

Above: Cactus Christmas tree by heywandererblog.com

You could also buy yourself a small plant (cactus plants are the easiest to keep alive since they don’t require very much maintenance) and decorate the pot itself with ribbons or paint in holiday colours. You could also go really simple and just cut a circle out of paper then colour it red or green, or even wrap in holiday wrapping paper or fabric, and stick on a big bow made from ribbon. Hang it on your wall and there’s your holiday cheer! Whichever way you choose to do your tree, have fun with the decorations! Let out your creative side. Doing a craft project like this could help you relax you from all the stress of finishing classes and finals.

Decorating for the holidays doesn’t necessarily always have to mean spending a lot of money. You can still be festive this season with these great ideas and spend little — which will save you money for those wonderful little Christmas gifts you must buy soon!

Featured image source: Ikea