4 Ways to Make a Faux Christmas Tree Look Full

I know people can be very divided on faux Christmas trees. Some look great but those can be pricey for the average person. Most look… well not the best.

I’ve been using faux Christmas trees all my life, and I too had a sparse-looking tree for many years. But over time, I’ve learned how to make the best of even the cheapest trees.

I’ve rounded up all the things I’ve learned on how to make even the sparest-looking tree look like something out of a magazine. You can use some of these tips or all to create a great holiday tree.

Use Wreaths

My first tip for making a faux Christmas tree look full is to use wreaths.

If you have the typical kind of Christmas tree that pulls apart in sections, then this is a tip you’ll want to try out. You’ll want to place a fluffed wreath between every section of your tree. Make sure that the wreath size is proportional to that section of the tree.

In other words, you should place a large wreath at the base of your tree and a smaller wreath towards the top.

These wreaths don’t have to be special. They don’t need to be particularly full, though they tend to look better. I pick mine up at thrift stores and on clearance the day after Christmas. 

The purpose of the wreaths is to block out light at the center of the tree. The shadows will in turn reduce the light coming through the tree, thus making it look more substantial.

Additionally, once you get decorating, you can use the additional branches to attach ornaments without having to reduce the branches on the tree itself.

If you decide to try this recommendation, you want to do it before decorating or lighting your tree. It’s one of the first things you need to do!

Use Garlands

My second tip for making a faux tree look full is to use garlands.

Both green garlands and decorative garlands will make your tree look fantastic. However, to make your tree look full, you want to make sure you are adding more greenery.

To attach very full garlands to your tree, you will have to separate your tree branches to create an unobstructed gap in the tree where the garland will sit. I like to spiral my garlands around the tree, and so I pull apart the branches in this manner.

Once done, I go ahead and use the hooks and branches on the garland to securely attach it to the tree. I then go in and fluff the garland branches once it is attached. Make sure to pull the branches in the directions where the tree is most sparse.

After you’ve placed your greenery, you can go ahead and begin to place decorative garlands on your tree. I like to use decorative garlands to add different textured greenery to my Christmas tree. In particular, I like magnolia garlands. The leaves are a nice touch and the golden underside adds a great color contrast too.

Depending on the theme of the tree, I will also add decorative garlands in various colors and finishes. These tend to be significantly more sparse than green garlands, which is why it is important to utilize both.

Use Large Ornaments

It took me many years before I got around to using large ornaments in my trees. For a very long time, I kept going back to standard-size ornaments and wondering why my tree never looked good even though I packed so many on the branches.

I guess I avoided large ornaments because they were generally $3-$5 apiece.

I figured, If I get 15 of these, that will be $45 in ornaments alone!!

But what I didn’t know then is that you don’t need that many large ornaments on a standard 7-foot Christmas tree. In reality, 5-7 ornaments are more than enough to make a big impact.

Large ornaments can absolutely be decorative, but you should primarily use them strategically. I use large ornaments to fill in any remaining gaps that my wreaths and garlands could not hide.

You generally find these gaps towards the bottom of the tree and the middle. Although you may find gaps towards the top, I would not recommend hiding those with large ornaments. The proportions of the tree where it is narrowest will not match the size of the ornament, causing it to stick out like a sore thumb. 

You can fill in any gaps at the uppermost part of your tree with picks, ribbon, and smaller ornaments later.

Also, “ornaments” don’t always have to be spherical. I use a mix of ornaments and extra-large pinecones to cover large gaps in my tree. Like the magnolia leaves, it adds texture and color. You can also use mid-sized lanterns, sleds, etc. to fill in glaringly large spaces.

My final tip here is that odd numbers tend to look best. Try to place your ornaments in a triangulated formation. This will help their placement appear balanced.

Use Picks

When I say use picks, I mean use the large kind. These are about a foot long and can have decorative details like frosted ends or a mix of berries, pinecones, and florals.

Like large ornaments, you don’t need very many of these. At this stage, if you’ve used wreaths and garlands to make your faux Christmas tree look full then you shouldn’t need very many picks. Again, I find 5-7 picks are enough for a 7-foot tree. 

I like to pick up large, green picks at thrift stores when I can find them at a good price. I don’t worry about them looking exactly the same or having similar textures. Once you’ve stuffed your tree with ribbons and everything else, you can hardly tell the difference. Especially once they’re spaced out.

One thing you could do if you’ve got an old tree you plan to throw out is to use the branches. Depending on how the tree is constructed, you should be able to pull the branches out of the trunk. You can then recycle them as large picks.

Once you’ve added your picks, go ahead and finish off your tree with ribbon & decorative ornaments.

And that’s it. That’s how I make a standard-looking faux Christmas tree look full and luxurious. The great thing about these tips is that you can use them on any kind of tree and any size. You’ll be amazed by how these simple techniques will make all the difference to your holiday decorating.

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