While pampas grass was initially popular in the 70s, it has recently spiked in popularity again and when I came across a photo on Instagram of a large pampas grass Christmas tree, I knew that I wanted to try to make my own. It’s such a nice change from a traditional green Christmas tree.
I did some research before attempting this Christmas tree DIY and quickly realized that there really aren’t any tutorials out there. I found one video where someone had used plywood and chicken wire for a large pampas grass Christmas tree but I didn’t like it all that much and I wanted a more fluffy and full-looking tree.
I’m really excited to share with you my own version of this latest boho holiday decor obsession. I love my tree so much and I’m actually surprised that the cats are leaving it alone. You can also check out my other neutral bohemian Christmas tree that I decorated for this same table previously.
How to make a pampas grass Christmas tree
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Can you believe that this little tabletop Christmas tree only cost me $4? Why was it so cheap? Well, I had most of the supplies and only needed to buy the styrofoam cone which I was able to get for cheap with a coupon.
- styrofoam cone
- floral wire
- flower pot or planter
- fairy lights
- flower pot (or other containers like wicker baskets)
- pampas grass or any other fluffy plumed dried grass
(if you can’t find it free fluffy grass growing somewhere then check Etsy or Facebook Marketplace)
I actually made a video so you could see exactly what steps I took to make this pampas grass Christmas tree. Use the triangle on the image to turn on the video. If you are on a cellphone or other device, turn it horizontally for better viewing. If it doesn’t work, you can also head to my YouTube channel.
I mentioned my cat enclosure in the video tutorial, you should check it out.
I am lucky enough to have plenty of grasses growing where we live and I could make a giant tree one day or lots of mini pampas trees. Hey maybe next year, right? Now that I know that the cats leave it alone.
The grass that I used is called common reed Phragmites australis and depending on the lighting the beige tone can look rather brown because of the seeds but with added fairy lights looks light tan. To bring out the creamy color of the pampas grass, wait until the darker seeds are gone from the plums later in the season. Some pampas grasses and reeds are long and pointy and I wanted to make sure that I had a fluffy variety. To me, the best pampas trees are made with fluffy thick plums and not the thin spikey-looking stems.
I went into that below field of grasses and cut a huge bundle of it to bring home.
One of the most important things is that you cut the stems at a pointy angle before inserting them into the styrofoam cone. It really helps!
I started with the top of the Christmas tree by tying a bunch of grasses around the tip of the floral cone with the floral wire. This is the only time I used the floral wire and I didn’t need it otherwise.
Then I stuck longer branches into the bottom of the floral cone and propped everything onto a planter.
After that, I filled the center of the cone with more pampas grass stems. You can work from the bottom up or from the top down. Both versions work to form the shape of a tree.
In the end, it should look like a larger cone at which point it needs to get sprayed with some hairspray to keep the seeds from flying around.
My tips for making your own pampas grass Christmas trees
I have made these grass trees for several years in a row now and feel like I can give good tips with confidence.
- Be on the lookout already in the fall through winter for grasses growing on the side of the road, on walks, or even in your friend’s yard (yup it doesn’t hurt to ask)
- Make sure you use pampas grass that is dried all the way and doesn’t have green stems anymore.
- Depending on what type of grass you use you can find pampas grasses in pale pink to more bright pink blooms or in a variety of cream colored pampas grass branches.
- Cut the stems at a pointy angle
- Spray the tree with a lot of hair spray when it is done. Use maximum hold hairspray!
- If it isn’t too windy and cold outside, try to put the tree together outside. Trust me, you’re much happier in the end. There is so much debris flying around and the hair spray shouldn’t end up on your floor and walls either.
- Consider using a variety of grasses for extra interest, fluffy texture, and color
- You can decorate the pampas grass Christmas tree with fairy lights and very lightweight ornaments made from paper and straw. Check out my favorite German Christmas decorations and one of them are German star ornaments. They are perfect for this type of tree and you don’t have to hang them and can just stick them in between the grass stems.
- Consider taking the tree apart at the end of the holiday season so you can use the grass for other projects or make another tree the following Christmas. Of course, you can store the entire tree but I just don’t have room for that. I have disassembled my tree and made a new tree. (Check out the small pampas grass tree I made in this year’s home tour, it was made from last year’s dried floral tree) So if you are wondering if you can store the pampas grass for the entire season and reuse it, the answer is a definite yes.
- I have tried sticking the grasses into a faux tree to see if works as a base and it’s just not as full and pretty. Plus the affordable foam floral cones or foam blocks give you a lot more freedom regarding where to place the grasses and make the tree look a lot thicker in the end. And it is also difficult to successfully hide the green of an artificial Christmas tree with pampas grass unless you use a white Christmas tree.
- Don’t try to spray paint the pampas grass lighter, believe me, I have tried. The stems were just a bit too dark for my liking so I decided to use ivory-colored spray paint and I can not recommend it. The spray paint just makes everything a sticky chunky mess and the tree doesn’t look light and fluffy anymore.
Photos of finished pampas grass Christmas tree
Look how cute Maya looks in my entire Christmas interior. She literally matches and blends in with all the boho decor.
You can also check out my paperbag snowflakes tutorial. They look great with the tree.
Here is another cute idea for the pampas Christmas tree. I added some feathers to the tips and love how they look. All the other photos of it in the living room are without the feathers though. You could also spray some subtle touches of glitter on the plums.
While others might think a Christmas tree like this looks too bare, I think a pampas tree needs nothing else besides some fairy lights. Sometimes simplicity is a winner and the natural elements and natural color palette of this beauty are enough for me.
UPDATE: I implemented that idea in my latest new foraged dried floral Christmas tree for you to check out where I used this same tutorial as inspiration. I also added dried flowers, feathers, other types of grasses, and thistles.
And below you can see the small tree I made recently from last year’s disassembled tree and more pictures are in my gingerbread decor home tour. The gingerbread Christmas ornaments and snowflake artwork pictured are also great affordable DIYs.
Where to buy pampas grass Christmas trees
If you can’t get free grasses the way I did then you might be better off buying a premade pampas grass Christmas tree. Luckily there are many great options and below are some of my favorites.
So what do you think? Do you like it as much as I do? Will you try to make your own trendy pampas grass tree?
I love that pampas grass isn’t a forgotten plant anymore and I even made a pampas garland for our fireplace mantle.
I think I’m going to slow down now and enjoy the season. And when Christmas is over, I will finally share the updates I have given our bedroom.
- Find free grasses and cut down several large bundles. (One of the most important things is that you cut the stems at a pointy angle before inserting them into the styrofoam cone. It really helps!)
- I started with the top of the Christmas tree by tying a bunch of grasses around the tip of the floral cone with the floral wire. This is the only time I used the floral wire and I didn’t need it otherwise. Also, top the tip off with some pampas grass to create a pointy tip.
- Then I stuck longer branches into the bottom of the floral cone and propped everything onto a planter.
- After that, I filled the center of the cone with more pampas grass stems. You can work from the bottom up or from the top down. Both works.
- In the end, it should look like a larger cone at which point it needs to get sprayed with some hairspray to keep the seeds from flying around.
- You can add some fairy lights to make it more festive.
The grass I used is called common reed Phragmites australis and grows everywhere where we live. You can find it on the side of the road or along train tracks and river beds. If you can't find it for free then you can search on Etsy or Facebook Marketplace where people sometimes sell if for cheap.