DIY Pampas Grass Christmas Tree on a Budget

I have a love/hate relationship with Pampas Grass {more like pompous grass as my husband likes to say!}. Heck, a few years ago I didn't even know what it was called. I just knew I had to stop on the side of the road and cut some for a fall wreath I created. It created a heck of a mess, which is why it hung outside. Who knows, maybe I started the boho pampas trend and I didn't even know it. Only kidding. 

About this time last year, I started dreaming up the plans for a Pampas Grass Christmas tree. Most of my plans start early because I like to do things as thrifty as possible. I think I succeeded because while I recently saw Pampas Grass at a local flower shop selling for $9 a stem, I ended up creating this whole tree for a quarter. Yep. How's that for a budget DIY. I'm sharing with you all my tips and tricks so you can start planning now to make a DIY Pampas Grass Christmas tree of your own!

pampas grass christmas tree diy

DIY Pampas Grass Christmas Tree

I love my local Facebook groups. I'm in a buy nothing page {where you guessed it, you buy nothing!} and a quarter auction page {again, pretty self-explanatory title don't you think?}. The groups are both great resources for saving money and helping your local community. Last year, I was thinking up this Pampas Grass tree idea and I was thinking of ways to do it. That's where my quarter auction page came in. 

boho pampas grass diy christmas tree

What You Will Need to Make Your Own Pampas Grass Christmas Tree

Artificial Tree {something destined for the garbage is fine}
250+ Pampas Grass stems
Hairspray {Dollar Tree brand is fine}
Spray paint {optional}

I bought an artificial Christmas tree for a quarter off of my quarter auction group last year. No one wanted it {you can see why from the photo!} but I thought it would make a good stiff base for my Pampas Grass tree. My husband doubted me. He admitted he was wrong in the end.

On your hunt for an artificial tree base to use, you want to find something that has a sturdy base as well as firm branches you can use to secure your pampas grass stems. If you don't have firm branches, consider using zip ties {you can get them from the Dollar store} to secure your stems to the tree.

Some places to look for your own artificial tree on a budget:

garage sales
Facebook Marketplace
your storage!

Some places to look for Pampas Grass:

I put a message out in my local buy-nothing group to find a neighbor who had some growing. In the past, I'm not going to lie, I have stopped on the side of the road and cut some down.

Meet a new friend. I walked past a house for months before I got the nerve to ask the homeowner if I could trim their bush. They happily obliged. 

Cutting Pampas Grass

You guys this stuff is brutal! Wear long sleeves and gloves and prepare to get cut up! The grass is sticky and sharp and has some kind of noxious something in the plant that will swell even the least sensitive-skinned person right up. 

Wear cotton or polyester. Everything on the bush will stick to you. It is awful. You will question your life choices.

If you don't have Pampas Grass Growing Locally:

Facebook Marketplace! 
Local Florist {though this will not be your cheapest option!}

diy boho pampas grass christmas tree

How to Preserve Pampas Grass

I have learned a few things working with Pampas Grass. It can be messy!

Best tips to preserving Pampas Grass:

  • use a hairdryer on a low setting to help fluff up your branches
  • hairspray sprayed generously helps to prevent the small grass seeds from spreading all over {check out this video tutorial}
  • time! 
Pampas Grass will actually last for years and years when preserved properly. It dries just how it looks fresh, so it's the perfect decor for your boho home!

When I cut my Pampas Grass I cut really long stems. That's not necessary. I ended up having to trim all of them. However, I always think you can cut them long and trim them later but if you are buying them, the longer doesn't always mean the better!

When I cut the branches from my neighbor's house, I cut the dead branches too. I thought I'd add those in at the base and then fill in around {you'll see them at the beginning of the video}. Don't do that. They just look dead.

Does Hairspray Really Preserve Pampas Grass?

Yes! You can use cheap hairspray to preserve Pampas grass and keep the small fluff from flying off of the stems. It's easy to do and doesn't take a lot of time!

Speaking of the video, watch this and then I'll explain more.

How to Make a Pampas Grass Christmas Tree on a Budget

Tips for Making a DIY Pampas Grass Christmas Tree

boho pampas grass christmas tree

  • I wish I had spray-painted my tree a neutral color. This would have helped blend in the base with the branches and would have given a more seamless look. I didn't do this, so I can't really say if it would work or not, but when I put this tree up next year, I'll be spray-painting the artificial base first.
  • Put your tree at the back of a wall so there's less space you need to fill. The tree will use far more pampas grass stems than you could ever imagine! 
  • Choose your location carefully! Once you create your Christmas tree, it's probably not going to be able to be moved after you DIY it.
  • Start at the bottom of your artificial tree and work your way up. You will hate the tree six thousand times during the process. It's fine. You're fine. Everything is fine.
  • Twist the artificial tree branches around your pampas grass stems to secure them in place.
  • Once you have your secured branches, you can start filling in gaps by just filling in empty spots with stems kind of like that Kerplunk game you used to play as a kid.
  • Fill in the top with smaller pieces of grass to create the desired look.


Some Questions I've Gotten About my Pampas Grass Christmas Tree

How Can I Make My Cheap Christmas Tree Look Better?

This cheap artificial Christmas tree was headed to the dump. I bought it for a quarter. You know what they say about someone else's trash! I was also able to source my pampas stems locally. If I hadn't been able to, I wouldn't have made this. Pampas Grass is expensive right now because it's kind of the hot ticket floral item. 

Can You Reuse This?

I will be able to reuse this! I plan on taking off each of the stems and storing them until next year. That's a lot of stems, but they are pretty compact and I should be able to store them in a box until next Christmas. But let's check back next year mmkay.

You could totally do this on a smaller scale. There are plenty of miniature artificial trees out there and storage would be easier. 

Can You Decorate a Pampas Grass Tree?

I don't have plans of decorating it. At least not this year. I recently cut the stems, so they aren't really dried out yet. I don't really think it needs any decorations on it though. But if I did, I'd use these lights

What Decor Style is Pampas Grass?

Pampas grass is a bohemian style. It's very neutral so it could bend to a lot of different styles though. 

Can You Spray Paint Pampas Grass?

I'm not sure! I've never tried. I don't know why you couldn't though!

Alternatives to a Full Pampas Grass Christmas Tree

You could also use Pampas grass as a compliment to your Christmas tree without creating a full pampas grass tree. You could use pampas grass stems like a Christmas spray or pick {strategically place them in various branches} or you could create a fun tree topper out of Pampas grass.

I love this tree. It makes me smile every time I walk by. It makes quite the statement and I'm so grateful I was able to do it for next to nothing! I saved a tree from the landfill and made something pretty darn cool don't you think?

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