An Alternative Christmas Tree with Recycled Plastic Pom-poms

Coming up with an original and alternative Christmas tree every festive season has become quite challenging! I have done cookies, clay, feathery birds, shells and bows – anything to not have a traditional tree. And it’s not that I don’t like traditional trees – I just prefer to do something different. So after Tenille and I ventured into plastic pom-pom territory earlier this year, we decided to do a pom-pom tree. And since my sister, Baker & Maker Anélle, is crazy about colour (check out her house if you don’t believe me!) she provided the perfect location for the project.

This project ticks all the boxes:

  • it’s fun to make;
  • it’s festive and colourful;
  • it’s super affordable;
  • and it recycles plastic!

It’s a bit time-consuming, but it’s a great project to do with the kids – or friends and sisters as it turns out! And it gets rid of all those plastic bags you end up with because you forget your shoppers in the car. Or is that just me?

How To Make A Plastic Bag Pom-Pom Christmas Tree

You will need:

  • plastic bags or various colours – we used about 60.
  • scissors
  • tea and cake (or wine) – this is not compulsory, but it does help!


plastic bag cut off handles

Cut the handles off a plastic bag.



cut seam off plastic bag

Cut off the bottom seam.



spread open plastic bag

Spread the bag open.



Fold the bag as shown and cut into strips. Bundle the strips together and then, using one of the cut-off handles, tie the strips together.



christmas pompom tree diy alternative christmas tree ideas

Fluff it out to create a pom-pom.


pom pom on tree

After you’ve placed lights on the tree, start to add the pom-poms by tying them to the branches of the tree. We tied them in a spiral around the tree, starting at the bottom with three rows of pom-poms. We then gradually thinned it out towards the top until there was a single layer reaching the tree topper.

pom pom tree


pom pom tree

pom pom tree

pom pom tree

pom pom tree final touch

To top it off, Tenille made this gorgeous multi-coloured pom-pom. It’s absolutely perfect!

colourful pompom tree topper

pom pom christmas tree

We didn’t get a picture of all three of us together (although we did manage to get the dog in!) – but from all of us here at Homeology, we hope you have a total pom-pom ball in decorating your tree this year!!

Happy Getting in the Festive Spirit!!


DIY Coastal Christmas Tree Decorations

Every year, I try to have an original Christmas tree. And every year, I love coming up with the idea for the tree: there has been an agave and cookie tree, a tree painted on the wall and even a bamboo teepee tree with clay ornaments .I’ve been doing this since we moved to the farm. I think it’s because sleigh bells and snow just don’t have any relevance in 40 degree heat. In fact, since I was a child, we’ve spent Christmas on South Africa’s West coast: a rough and rugged coastline with icy water and lots of wind. It is what I have become to associate with the festive season: wetsuits and sunblock, lots of fresh seafood and plenty of cold wine.

DIY coastal Christmas

So in honour of my roots, I decided to have a coastal Christmas in the Winelands this year. The tree is still a green fir of the plastic variety – I don’t want to cut down a perfectly good tree and put it in my house for 4 weeks only to then throw it out, but instead of the traditional red, green and gold I went for blue, copper and white. After every holiday on the coast, we come back with a handful of shells and I thought that they would make the perfect tree decorations.

DIY coastal Christmas

You will need:

  • Shells
  • Spray paint
  • Drill with fine drill bit
  • Heavy duty cotton thread

Place the shells on some paper and start spraying. I sprayed one side and waited for it to dry before turning them over and finishing the other side.

DIY coastal Christmas

DIY coastal Christmas

DIY coastal Christmas

Using a 2mm drill bit (my 1.5mm bit broke after about shell #22), carefully drill holes in each shell. I was quite surprised at how easy this was and I expected many of them to break. But out of the lot I did, only 3 didn’t make it to the tree.

DIY coastal Christmas

DIY coastal Christmas

Loop heavy duty cotton thread through the holes and hang it up – that’s it!

DIY coastal Christmas

I finished the tree with silver balls, fairy lights and some of the air-dry clay hearts that I made for the tree a few years ago.


DIY coastal Christmas

While the shells are really small on the tree, I love the way you have to look closely at it to see what the tree is decorated with. Too often, we decorate the tree and then it really just sits there without getting much detailed attention. Now everyone is walking up to the tree to see what exactly these pretty little copper things are.

DIY coastal Christmas

I will tell you more about the stockings and present bag tomorrow!

Happy decorating!