Upcycle Ideas for the Christmas tree that’s been crammed in a box


Upcycle ideas Christmas tree is for any type of tree.  Ideas for trees that are real, fake, short, tall.  Including the tree crammed back into the box.

Upcycled tree in dog dish

I’ve had real, fake, short, and 9-foot tall skinny trees over the years.  I’ve loved them all.  A couple was “magazine worthy.” 

As a DIY blogger, I’ve done a huge no-no this year!  Many blogging friends decorated their tree way before Thanksgiving.  I still don’t have a tree ready this year.  


We’re spending Christmas in the RV this year.  I’ll share our 3-foot tree on the 19th from Silver City, NM.  My Christmas decorating projects this year are perfect for anyone living in a small home or apartment. 

So I’m sharing my ideas collected and tried over the years that work for any type of Christmas tree.  But especially those that need upcycling ideas.  

Box crammed tree

Our last fake tree was skinny and 9-foot tall.  Between Christmass, I stored it in a closet upstairs.  It didn’t fit in the closet.  Each New Years Day I spend pushing branches in one side while another branch popped out the other side.  I use my back to close the door, hoping no one opened the door ever.

Doing this over five years is hard on a tree.  

I started setting up the tree and placing an old sheet underneath.  Then take 15 minutes and rearrange the branches.  The “needles” that fell landed on the sheet.  I keep the sheet in place until the decorating is finished.  Gathering up the sheet to shake the needles and other stuff outside is easier than vacuuming.  

Make any tree glow

Upcycle Tree glow

Lights come next.  To make a tree glow, add a stand of bulb type white lights deep inside the tree.   I use a strand that’s 12-feet for the 9-foot tree.  I plug in the light and place them near the “metal’ trunk.  Or real trunk.  

Tree with holes

Tree waiting for upcycling

This year, I’m upcycling this tree for the RV.  I like a fuller tree.

Remember the scene in Steel Magnolia when Annelle is fixing Truvy’s hair?  When she finishes there’s a hole in Truvy’s hair.  It’s the same with our Christmas trees.  We need to fill the holes.  I buy extra garland.  Then, I cut the garland in smaller pieces and tuck into the tree.  

Supplies to upcycle tree

With this tree, I’m adding more than extra pine garland.  I’m adding large leaves and pieces of vine along with two types of pine branches. 

Greens ready to upcycle christmas tree

I added floral wire to hold the added pieces in place. 

The right size hooks

Using right size hooks

We live in a small town.  One year, the only size of ornament hooks I could find were long.  Our tree has short needles.  It looked like our ornaments floated near the tree.  Most ornaments got a twine hanger that year.  I like the look, so our ornaments still hang with twine. 

Upcycle ideas christmas tree sq

My best tip for real trees

Water, water, water!  Plain old tap.  A tree can drink a gallon of water each and every day.

Upcycled tree sitting in chair

So this is our little tree ready to cram in the RV.

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