Alternatives to a Christmas tree stand

Written by maria tussing
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Alternatives to a Christmas tree stand
After you find the perfect tree, you need to find the perfect stand. (Getty Thinkstock)

A Christmas tree is a staple Christmas decoration for many people homes. The trick is getting the tree to stand up. Commercial Christmas tree stands can get the job done, but you may want to add some pizazz to your holiday by making one yourself or by using something unusual to stand your tree. Regardless of the type of stand you use, it usually is a good idea to wire the top of the tree to a wall or other secure object for added stability.

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You can add a touch of woodland decor to your artificial tree by placing it in a chunk of a stump. To do this, you need to cut a piece of tree so it sits flat on the floor, then drill a hole that's the size of the artificial tree trunk in the top of the section of wood. Make sure it's deep enough to hold the tree steady. This stand alternative should be used only for artificial trees because the trunks of real trees are usually too big, and this doesn't supply the water a real tree needs to keep it from drying out.

Bucket and rocks

A bucket filled with rocks can hold up a tree, and it works for either a real tree or an artificial one. You can use any type of bucket, but a bigger tree may need a bigger bucket. To keep your tree stable, you should first stand the tree in the bucket, then fill in around it with rocks and gravel. If you are using a live tree, you would pour water in once you get a good base of rocks in the bucket. If the bucket has a lid, you can cut a hole in the lid and put the tree trunk in that for added stability. If you use a decorative bucket, like an old milk pail or washtub, you may not need to cover it.

Live tree

An alternative to using a Christmas tree stand is to get a live potted tree. This enables you to have a live tree that you can plant once Christmas is over. One of the benefits of a live tree is that the pot serves as its stand. You can cover the pot with Christmas fabric or stand it in a decorative container, like a large vase or big cooking pot. With a live potted tree you need to make sure the container is waterproof and that the tree stays moist until planting.


If you are using an artificial tree, or a live tree for a very short period of time, you can use two 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) pieces of wood to make a tree stand. To do this, you'll need to cut each piece of two-by-four about 3 feet long, or longer for tall trees. Then you need to mark a space in the middle of each board that's the width of a 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) board, which is about 8.7 cm (3 1/2 inches). You'll need to use a saw to cut halfway through each board on each line, then use a chisel to remove the wood between the saw cuts. Once you've done this, you can fit the two cuts together so the two pieces of wood together are the thickness of one board, with the pieces perpendicular to each other in the shape of a plus sign. You can then nail this homemade tree stand to the bottom of a real tree, or nail the two pieces together and drill a hole for the trunk of an artificial tree.

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