Make Your Own Christmas Tree From Driftwood

1 A hanging Christmas tree made from twigs, pumice and wooden beads.

Its almost the holiday season again and I have been thinking about the cost of Christmas for families on a tight budget. this can be a difficult time for many families and there are many ways to celebrate without breaking the bank.

I have decided to put together a few blogs on making your own natural and recycled  gifts. It is also a lovely way of spending some quality time with the family.

With Christmas just around the corner, why not make your own Christmas tree with the children.

It’s fun and it’s free!


Why Driftwood?

Using natural or recycled materials is cost effective and the handmade aspect is something people always seem to appreciate.

.A few years ago, our family (i have grown up children and grandchildren) were all having a tough year financially but wanted to get together and still make it a special occasion.

We settled on an idea for a recycled Christmas. The rules were that you could not purchase a gift. It had to be hand made or recycled. We had to make our own cards and gift wrapping, we also agreed to all use newspaper as our wrapping paper but could pretty it up with bows or string.

This turned out to be one of the most memorable and enjoyable Christmas’s ever!

Since then we have come up with so many creative ideas that I wanted to share some of the joy with all my readers.

A hanging tree

This first post on Christmas gift ideas is about how to make your own driftwood tree. This one is not a freestanding one but a hanging one for either on a wall or from a hook. It will sit flat against a wall but when hanging freely it twists and turns in the breeze.

What you will need to start your project:

  • A collection of sticks, twigs, driftwood of various sizes and lengths
  • Some string or fishing line
  • A drill
  • Some pumice,wooden beads or any other type of beads or buttons you would like to separate the sticks with
  • A little dash of patience

2 A collection of twigs, beads, pumice, a drill and twine

Spread out your sticks and sort them into lengths. You will want to start at the bottom and lay them out, one above the other gradually. Using shorter lengths as you move up towards the top.(See Photograph).

You can use as many as you like, depending on how tall you want your tree.

Once you are happy with the size and shape of the tree, this is where you will place your beads (or whatever you have chosen, in between each stick to separate them.)

Constructing your Xmas tree

Now you are going to need to use a very thin drill bit to drill a hole in the center of each stick. Use a block of old timber to drill on to stabilize your stick and prevent snapping it.

Once these are done the children can help with a bit of guidance .It is just a matter of threading all the pieces together.

I would recommend beginning at the bottom of the tree by tying your string, or line around one of the beads to stop the string pulling through. (You really don’t want to pick it up and have it all fall apart.)

Once you have reached the top, you can add another bead, or an old Christmas star or ornament to finish it off. Tie your string into a loop for hanging. The children may need some support with this.

3 Fishing line being threaded through the twigs and beads.

If you are feeling really creative you could glue some little extras on like shells if you want to retain the natural look or wrap a bit of tinsel around it to give it some sparkle. You may even have some small hanging decorations laying around that would be perfect.

I found some small painted pine cones that I think I may add to mine.

The one I have made in the photographs took me only ten minutes to make. If you wanted to make it larger it would not be difficult.

A free standing tree

You may want to turn this into a small freestanding tree for a table center piece, or a child’s room. It is quite simple to make this transition as you are already prepared with everything you need.

To do this, the instructions  above apply for most of it.

However rather than string you will need some sturdy wire. An old coat hanger will do the trick. Look for a solid, heavier piece of driftwood for the base of the tree and drill a hole in it first.

You will still be threading, but with wire instead of string, so you may need some pliers for this job.

Once you have pushed the wire up through the base, you will need to give it a bit of a twist underneath the base and then flatten it out a bit so that the base sits flat but the wire does not pull through. Try to graduate as you did with the hanging tree because if it is top heavy it will fall over.

Again at the top, once you have completed the construction of the tree, and you are happy with the shape, you will be twisting the wire into a loop, so that no sharp bits are poking out. This would also be a great place to attach a star.


4 Small painted pine cones and some wooden beads.


There are many ways to reduce the pressures that Christmas can place on families and even the small things like making your own decorations or gift wrapping can alleviate some of these. I hope you have enjoyed reading this, and that it has provided you with some new ideas and ways to approach Christmas, without the stress and worry of the costs involved.

There are many great books available for creating your own gifts with children.<==Click here to see  Christmas crafts for kids ==>



If you would like to share some of your own thoughts or ideas on Christmas saving traditions in your family please feel free to email or stop in for a chat.

Have fun making your Christmas trees and if you would like to see more posts like this follow me and leave a comment in the box below.





30 Replies to “Make Your Own Christmas Tree From Driftwood”

  1. What a great idea! This is going on my to do list for the upcoming weekend. Walking in the woods with my 2-year old son and collecting twigs. Then at home we’re gonna start working on this christmas tree. I’m sure he’s gonna have a blast! Thanks! You always have such cool ideas.

    1. Thank you Laura you are so kind:) I hope you enjoy your project together. If you get stuck or have any questions it would be a pleasure to hear from you. 

      Cheers Cass

  2. Hi this is quite. Novel and good idea of how to be really creative at Christmas. I definitely think this can be a very good way to bond with your kids and family at a special time of the year. Do you need to be careful about the quality of the wood you use as it’s from drift wood? Thanks for sharing. Kenny

    1. Hi Kenny, thanks for dropping by. Yes it is great for family bonding and can be a lot of fun too. You don’t really need to worry too much about the quality of the wood as it is really only to look at and not used for much else. The more unusual and different types creates a unique look as well. Thanks again and drop by anytime.

      Cheers Cass

  3. Drift wood Christmas trees? Sure we’ve done it ! Indeed this is fun to do and yes less expensive than the live tree or the ones made in China!

    It also takes some talent and creativity to come up with the design.

    Great post and very helpful for those who might want to build one!

    Joe Joson

  4. That’s a lovely idea for Christmas! And much less stressful than fighting the masses in the shopping malls looking for Christmas gifts. Even hunting for sticks will be a great outdoor activity to do with the kids! Looks like we’ve got a little project for the holidays! And guess what? Everyone’s getting little stick trees and maybe some homemade cookies for Christmas. Thanks!

    1. Hi there Jenny, you are so welcome, and I am sure they will really enjoy their little stick trees and cookies. Have a great outdoor adventure!

      Cheers Cass

  5. I think this is a brilliant Christmas idea! It can save lots of money spent on gifts so that families can enjoy other things. Apart from saving money, making your own Christmas gifts and decorations adds that personalized touch which, in my opinion is more valuable than anything, any amount of money can buy. I will surely be making some personalized Xmas stuff this season! Thanks for this cool post!

    1. Hi Jane, thank you for visiting and I am glad you were able to find something useful. I know I appreciate the personal touch and the kind intentions behind the handmade gifts. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your gift making.

      Cheers Cass

  6. What an interestingly cool idea! We have done homemade Christmas before but this is a new idea for me. I will have to try it out with the grandkids, they already like to walk along the beach. Now they can go on a treasure hunt for driftwood sticks.

    Kinda reminds me of Charlie Brown Christmas and his little tree. One of my favorites!

    1. Hi Cathy thank you for stopping by and I am sure your grandchildren would love that! I hadn’t thought of Charlie Brown’s Christmas, but now that you mention it, yes it does.

      Stop by and visit anytime. Cheers Cass

  7. What a fun post! And, what a good idea.  Make your own decorations; see how creative and imaginative  you can be.  Something the whole family can do together.  If that doesn’t encourage the spirit of Christmas, I’d be surprised.  Your stick tree reminds me of something we made for a few years in my Alaskan village.  We gathered small driftwood pieces on the beach, made clay beads, animals, and fish, also got some glass beads, and made attractive “ladders” to hang near a window.  Great fun…glad to see you using a similar idea.

    1. Hi Fran, thank you. As an educator and a lover of nature I enjoy combining the two. Christmas is a good excuse to get creative as well. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, you are welcome anytime.


  8. I really love the idea of recycled Christmas. Essentially not only is it extremely manageable financially (I usually spend hundreds of dollars in gifts), it also embodies the very crucial values that Christmas is all about. It’s about giving and being together, and existing in harmony. So, many people overlook this.

    I would even say that a vast amount of people see it only as a chance to get free gifts, which I do see as a very narrow-minded and miserable approach.

    Nonetheless, I will definitely introduce my wife to this concept of recycled Chrismas. I bet we’ll be bonding and having fun making that hanging tree of yours. 🙂

    Thank you for all the insights, loved the article!

    Cheers and have a Great One!


    1. Thank you Matiss, Our family still make most of their gifts and not just for Christmas. I believe it does bring us all closer as we need to putt more personal thought into it and  be interested in what others enjoy. I hope you and your wife  enjoy making your tree and have a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for stopping by:) Cass

    1. Hi Sharon thanks for stopping by and hope your twig collecting goes well. I would love to hear how your Christmas tree turns out, what a great idea for the front door. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Cass

  9. Hi Cassandra

    Thanks for your article. I had never heard of using driftwood to make a Christmas tree – what a great idea. It’s especially useful, given that Christmas is just around the corner.

    One thing I have found about using wood is that it attracts spiders. Do you have any information about whether driftwood is especially attractive to spiders, or is it a type of wood that spiders typically don’t like?

    Thanks again…and Merry Christmas!


    1. Hi David, I am not a lover of spiders myself and I think any type of wood if there are hollow spaces will attract spiders. You could prevent this by using a natural pesticide to minimise them. Thank you for your comments and for dropping by:) Cass

  10. I think it is really cool that you can make amazing crafts like Christmas trees out of simple twigs and driftwood. Not many people have that kind of creativity.

    I am curious if I can customize it even further and make the tree look even fuller with more leaves. Do you have any suggestions? 

    1. Hi there Jessie, you can be as creative or imaginative as you like. You could use leaves and twist them around the tree or add old broken jewellery, shells or pebbles (just glue them on). Feathers are also quite a nice touch. Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a comment. Cheers Cass

  11. What a beautiful, simple, fun idea, not only for adults, but also for the kids!  My grandkids are too young to string this, but they’ll be able to in a year or two!  What a cute idea, though, for a gift for a friend.  I could come up with many variations of this using all kinds of natural materials.  Wow, I can’t tell you how happy I am that I came across your site.  I’m bookmarking it to come back often.  Every page is full of great ideas.

    1. Hi there again, I look forward to you visiting often. Yes there are so many different kinds of natural materials and they are unique to every place. Have fun creating your own special gifts. Cheers Cass

  12. This is great. Apart from bonding with your family, this is really inexpensive. We all need to appreciate nature instead of doing the usual decorating. The memories being created doing this will be lasting and of course it seems like a lot of fun. It’s a nice way to take a break from the digital world and enjoy nature. 

    It will definitely be a memorable Christmas. Excellent! 

    Looking forward to reading more post like this from your website.

    1. Thank you Brenda, Christmas should not be a stressful time for families but enjoyable and memorable😊 Hope you have a wonderful Christmas making new memories. Cheers Cass

  13. This is one of the coolest things I have seen this week!

    I love your post.

    I live right by the sea and driftwood is more plenty than pretty much anything around.

    I was remarking yesterday how nice it would be if someone cleaned it up and now i have an idea of how to do it.

    It’s really a cool and unique idea and I really love it!

    It inspires the imagination and I am guessing there is a whole range of products that could come from this!

    We are building a small resort this year so using the driftwood in the property will now be a major cost saver and novelty item.

    Great ideas!


    1. Than you Tim. Oh I can only imagine what kind of things you could create for a resort. I have used driftwood as signs and other wonderful decorative things, candle holders, shelving and picture frames to name a few. You could do so much! Best of luck😀 Cheers Cass

  14. Thank you so much Cass for this post. It reminded me of the fun that my family and I used to have when we were young by making our own Christmas garland and decorations. And you’re right. It helps bring the family together, and it’s the cheapest way to enjoy Christmas.
    Oh I want to give your idea on how to make a tree a try. This idea is amazing.

    1. Thank you so much Rachel, I think this brings back memories for many people and that simple way of life that reminds us what Christmas is all about.
      Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to share this.Cass

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