Editor's note: This is a guest post by Katherine Sharpe, the online editor of ReadyMade.
Native Americans, they say, used every part of the buffalo. Create these projects from ReadyMade and you'll be on your way to using every part of the Christmas tree.
Your tree might lose its needles, but it can be green forever if you turn it into an organic, branching Christmas tree coat rack instead of consigning it to the trash heap.
Even slices off the bottom of the tree turn to Swiss-chalet style candleholders. Woodland charm: enormous. Carbon footprint: tiny.
You don't need to trash (or store) those string lights. Turn them into a softly glowing curtain of light, and feel the love, year round.
Next year, instead of facing the eternal dilemma (natural tree, or artificial one?), try skirting the question entirely. ReadyMade's reader project archives turned up three ideas for reusable Christmas "trees"---which may be make-able with materials you already have on hand. Bottle Tree Inspired by "funky blue Southern bottle trees," this reader created a Christmas bottle tree from strand lights and reclaimed glass vessels ("and one fancy Christian Lacroix Evian bottle"), plus scrap wood. Flat Screen Tree Plywood, white paint and Christmas lights turned into a "high-def" Christmas tree that fits with the design of a mod home, and can be used all year round. Bonus: it's ideally suited to a small apartment. Fleecy Leaves Can you say cozy? A homemade fleece Christmas tree doesn't use any plastic or waste a real tree, and it's so charming it's guaranteed to be used for years and years to come. A Soft Glow If you're making punch or morning OJ, consider getting double duty from your oranges by upcycling the peels into orange rind votives. Their soft glow and sweet smell are guaranteed to bring a soothing (and all-nautral) smile to your guests' faces.