It is time to pull out the old artificial Christmas tree and trim it up! I have a decent tree that I bought at Costco seven years ago and I love getting it showroom ready for the holidays! But I know there are some of you out there that dread decorating that old tree and aren’t sure how to make that old cheap fake tree look like a show stopper. Follow these tips to make ANY faux tree look AMAZING!
1. Find a great “Stand”. I use an old stone shipping crate that I found for $5.
Other great options include buckets, wine barrels, and baskets.
By adding a stand instead of just a tree skirt you can really add personality to your tree. My shipping crate gives the illusion that the root ball is down in the box and this is a “fresh” tree ready to be planted. By putting mine on top of the crate it also adds a lot of height. My 9 ft tree now looks like it’s 11 ft which is great since I have a two-story vaulted family room. Be sure to cover the metal tree stand that is part of the tree with a tree skirt, burlap, a wool blanket, presents, moss and pinecones, or whatever fits your style.
2. Unbox and Fluff your tree. Put it on your stand and connect the pieces together along with plugging in all of the light strings. Now for the part that takes all the time, opening up all of the branches. This takes me about an hour. First I slip on a pair of old kids gloves to protect my hands, or else I end up with dry red scratched up hands.
Please do not skip the gloves! Then start at the bottom and go round and round with each branch. I like to make sure that each branch is straight. The ones in the center usually end up sticking up and out while the ones at the tips I fan out and tilt them slightly down.
3. Fill in the Gaps. Every time I look at a naked real or fake tree I notice all of the gaps. I like to fill them in. In the past I have used strips of old fabric woven throughout the tree.
Last year I shoved a bunch of burlap throughout my tree.
This year I mixed things up a bit. I made this Wrapping Paper Christmas Garland. It is inexpensive and has a fun unique look.
4. Add garland. Garland is amazing! It can fill in all the small gaps and add your personality to a fake tree making it full and glorious. I have made Merry Christmas Burlap Ribbon, Driftwood Garland, and bought tinsel.
Merry Christmas Burlap Ribbon
For a 9 ft tree, I used about 30 ft of my burlap ribbon, 30 ft. of driftwood garland, and 4 strings of tinsel. You could make a paper or fabric pennant, wool ball garland, or even tiny presents!
5. Add your ornaments. I don’t have a ton or ornaments that I pile on my tree. I just put them on top of everything else like a garnish. I have a few glass balls, a few feather clips, and a few flat glass ornaments with gold graphics.
Again you could buy ornaments (Hobby Lobby’s come out in September and are usually 40% but you need to buy them or they will disappear around Halloween). Wal-Mart has inexpensive ornaments in lots of styles. I have found some great Christmas ornaments and decor from thrift shops too. Or you could MAKE ornaments. I made an advent calendar that I have hung on the tree in years past.
Craft Box Advent Calendar
I also like to pile on a bunch of pine cones I have painted with champagne craft paint. I tied them together with some twine and group them in 5-7 and hang them in a bunch. It is an inexpensive way to add nature, sparkle and texture to a plain tree.
6. Throw a Unique Topper on your tree. I have used the same topper on my tree for a while because I love it so much. Mine is a group of three artificial floral decorations from the craft store. One is a bunch of gold sparkly spikes, another is brown fall leaves with iridescent glitter (weird but it works) and the last one is a bunch of pheasant feathers. I layer them and wire them to the top of the tree.
Here is another idea for a unique topper:
7. Plug in a Dimmer or Two. Sometimes it is great to have bright white lit up Christmas tree in your house, but I have found that most of the time it can be blinding in a room. And with the lights so bright it is hard to look at what is ON the tree, like the garlands or ornaments. So I always plug in two dimmer, one for each of the main plugin lines that come from my tree. I keep them in an easy to reach place so I can turn them up, down or off with ease.
8. Sit back and enjoy Christmas!
Your tree should be a reflection of YOUR style! It is such a whimsical thing to have a tree decorated and lit up INSIDE your house this one time a year! Follow the steps above and you can turn any tree on any budget into a show stopper!