null Skip to main content Skip to footer content
Toggle menu

5 Ways to Make an Inexpensive Christmas Tree Look Amazing

Nov 16th 2023

Real or artificial, few Christmas trees are perfect. Real trees almost always have a gap or bare spot somewhere and artificial Christmas trees can appear sparse, especially the budget models.

The good news is that there are some simple decorator tips that can help make a sparse Christmas tree look full and gorgeous. All it takes is a little know-how!

1. Fluff Your Tree

hands pulling apart branches of Christmas tree for fullness

Artificial trees, especially those right out of the box, require fluffing to look their best. This can be a tedious and prickly process, but take the time to fluff your tree properly. You’ll be so glad you did!

It’s easiest to shape your Christmas tree while you put it together. Insert the lowest section of branches into the tree base. Then, start adjusting the branches, bending individual tips alternately to the left and right, up and down for a realistic look. Work your way down each branch from the trunk to the tips, moving up and around. Fluff the entire tree to ensure the fullest appearance from all angles.  

2. Add More Lights

Christmas tree brightly lit with warm white lights

Shed some light on your tree – literally! Decorating experts often advise hanging 100 mini lights for every foot in tree height. Chances are, your Christmas tree has MUCH fewer light bulbs, so let loose with light!

Adding more Christmas tree lights visually fills spaces to create the illusion of fullness. Even if your artificial Christmas tree is prelit, you can always add more lights.

The types of lights you use can make a difference, too. Mini lights are a popular way to add brightness and fullness. Hanging lights in a larger size or different style also can be a very effective way to help give the illusion of a full, more perfect shape. Use larger globe lights for drama, C9 bulbs for a retro vibe or novelty lights for a look that’s more whimsical or quirky. 

3. Fake Fuller Foliage

Christmas tree with berry picks

To fake a fuller tree, weave in some artificial pine garland, or add artificial pine sprays or other foliage in a complementary color and species. Tuck the garland back near the trunk for dimension and depth.

This trick works with real trees, too! Tree lots often have spare branches available that you can place in bare spots.

Your filler decorations don’t necessarily need to be green. Are you familiar with Christmas picks, sprays and branches? These Christmas tree decorations feature berries, starbursts, greens, florals, foliage and glittery baubles that can be inserted into tree branches to fill spaces and add interest.  

4. Tuck in a Ribbon

Christmas ribbon decorating a Christmas tree

Ribbons are another decorative way to mask asymmetry and fill gaps. Use shimmering ribbon in your favorite Christmas color. Starting at the top, tuck ribbon into branches at intervals all around the tree. Many people wind the ribbon around the tree in a spiral, but you can also place a fancy bow near the top of the tree and allow the multiple ribbon tails to trail down.  

5. Hang More Ornaments

silver and gold Christmas ornaments on a Christmas tree

To hide bare spots, hang plenty of Christmas ornaments! Be strategic about placement and materials.

For instance, oversized ornaments are tailor-made to fill bare spots in a skimpy Christmas tree. Shiny ornaments help reflect your Christmas tree lights, creating an even greater impression of fullness. Sparkly ornaments placed near the trunk also reflect light and add visual depth.  

A less-than-perfect tree doesn’t need to be a sad Christmas tree. With a few designer tricks and helpful decorations, you can create a lush look for your artificial tree just like the pros!

And if your tree has seen better days, take a closer look at our full line of artificial Christmas trees, including our life-like line of Real TouchTM Christmas trees.  

You may also like:  
5 Reasons to Love Artificial Christmas Trees  
How to Buy the Best Realistic Artificial Christmas Tree You Can Afford

 5 Ways to Make an Inexpensive Christmas Tree Look Amazing

Need help with decorating tips? Choosing the right tree?

Christmas Central Resources

Get updates on the latest sales and featured items by subscribing to our newsletter below