O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches? Thing is, in the “real” world of “fake” trees, there are a lot of not so lovely branches, and trees in general.
Really nice, fluffy, full artificial trees come with a hefty price tag. And on top of all the other holiday expenses, it’s hard to squeeze in hundreds up to sometimes even a thousand extra dollars to buy a top dollar tree. So I have a scheme…a FREE one, to help make our cheap tree look tres’ chic. *This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy HERE.*
Despair not, Charlie Brown, just like the Peanuts gang, we’ll have that tree spiffed up in a jiffy. The secret?? Boughs of holly…fa la la la la.
Here’s a little video of the process….
Well, maybe not “holly”…let’s face it, though pretty, all those prickly leaves and poison berries make holly a pretty bad decorating garnish. But evergreen trimmings? FANTASTIC. AND FREE! If you’re lucky enough to have some evergreens in your yard, GREAT! And if not, go to your local Christmas tree lot, and ask them if you can have some trimmings. Most of them will happily part with some of those leftover branches for free.
Here’s our sparse looking tree. Do you have a similar homely-looking specimen? The reality is, for most of us with our not-so-expensive fake trees, no amount of fluffing and pruning and preening will get rid of all the gaps and holes you see.
That’s where your yard clippings, or tree trimmings from your local tree lot will come into play!
We’ve used this technique in our fake tree several times, and the branches, though cut, will last several weeks without looking too tired and forlorn. They’ll last almost as long as a standard, cut tree will last in your home, believe it or not.
How to use pine branches to “spruce” up your artificial Christmas tree:
Here’s the skinny…ready? Just stuff them in. That’s it.
Big branches, little branches, just keep stuffing them in til the treetops glisten (no sense wasting your time on the “children listening” part, however…just being honest). Ever notice kids don’t listen for the entire month of December? I swear, no matter how many times we hold the threat of presents from Santa, or the Elf on the Shelf issuing a poor report to the big man, those kids are just WACKY in December. Maybe it’s just mine. Anyways, I digress.
I love how the fresh branches add some more variety of texture and color to our fake tree.
I feel like even though it’s a flocked tree, the natural branches help make the tree look kinda sorta realistic.
The ornaments are low budget too…we sliced some firewood, and made wood slice ornaments strung with twine. The glass balls are the inexpensive boxed variety you can find at Target or Wal-Mart. The birds I was able to score after the holidays a few years back from Michaels on clearance. We had to have birds on our tree…being the Heathered “Nest” and all.
I’m telling you, this branch augmentation procedure is a piece of holiday plastic surgery cake.
Give it a try! You’ll be rockin’ around that Christmas tree before you know it.
“But how long do the branches stay fresh?”
you may be asking. Believe it or not, they will last throughout the whole season (depending on how long you typically have your tree up). We usually put ours up the weekend after Thanksgiving, and take it down the 2nd week in January. A couple of the branches will end up super crispy, so I just swap them out, but that happens with only about 5% of the branches. I honestly can’t believe how long they look good!
No more blue Christmas’s with scrawny trees, friends.
While you’re here, how about a FREE Christmas Printable?! These lunch box love notes will help you keep that guise of being world’s best parent going!