Artificial Christmas trees look wonderful when you first purchase them, but over the years, the wear and tear can make them look a bit…thin. Add some fresh life to your sparse Christmas tree for free with tree branches. Trust me, this easy hack that will “spruce” it up, making it look great again!
If your artificial Christmas tree that you’re decorating this holiday season looks less-than-perfect, this easy Christmas tree hack can take your decorating to the next level.
*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy HERE. This content was last updated 7/2020.*
Guess what? This hack is so simple, easy, and inexpensive, that it’s almost too good to be true! But, it is true, and I’m going to show you everything you need to make your sparse Christmas tree look fantastic.
Benefits of Artificial Trees
I get some flack sometimes when I admit to having an artificial Christmas tree. To be fair, however, they have a few pros over live trees:
- Purchase once and they last several years (save some $$)
- You don’t have to water them (saves time AND money)
- They come prelit so you don’t get all tripped over your strings of lights (saves frustration & time)
I’m cheap and I’m lazy, so buying a new, real Christmas tree every year is just not worth the hassle or the expense for me. Bring on the fake tree, baby!
The downside is that really nice, fluffy, full-looking artificial trees with tons of lush fake tree branches come with a hefty price tag. And on top of all the other holiday expenses, it’s hard to squeeze in hundreds of extra dollars to buy a top-dollar tree.
So I have a scheme…a FREE one (my favorite kind!), to help make our cheap tree look très chic.
From a Sparse Christmas Tree to Fabulous
Check out our sparse-looking tree. There are holes you can see right through!
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.
Despair not, Charlie Brown, just like the Peanuts gang, we’ll have that sparse Christmas tree spiffed up in a jiffy. The secret?? Boughs of holly…fa la la la la.
Well, maybe not “holly”. Let’s face it: even though it’s pretty, all those prickly leaves and poison berries make holly a pretty bad decorating garnish.
I’ll show you down below what we’ll REALLY use…but first:
Video: Adding Fake Tree Branches To Your Artificial Christmas
I put together a short video showing you how to add branches to your artificial tree to make it look more full. Check it out to see exactly how easy it is!
What to Use For Filling Out Your Fake Tree
You’ll need evergreen trimmings. They are fantastic – and free! If you’re lucky enough to have some evergreens in your yard, even better!
But if you don’t have any, no problem. Simply 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.
Time to put those yard clippings (or tree trimmings from your local tree lot) to work!
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.
In fact, they’ll last almost as long as a standard, fresh-cut tree will last in your home, believe it or not.
How to Use Pine Branches to “Spruce” Up Your Artificial Christmas Tree Branches
Here’s the skinny…ready? Just stuff them in. That’s it! Adding live branches to fill out the fake tree branches couldn’t be easier.
Big branches, little branches, just keep stuffing them in until the treetops glisten (no sense wasting your time on the “children listening” part, however…just being honest).
Have you ever noticed how 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 branches. Doesn’t it look so much better?
I feel like even though it’s a flocked tree, the natural branches help make the tree look kinda-sorta realistic.
Every year, we change the decorating “theme” of the tree a little bit, but we add the real branches each and every year.
Above you can see a pic from the year we used neckties as garland!
And below is from the year we used winter scarves for the garland trim! No matter how it’s decorated though, this artificial tree stays looking nice and full thanks to this easy little branch hack.
I’m telling you, this branch augmentation procedure is a piece of holiday-plastic-surgery cake.
Give this Christmas tree hack a try! You’ll be rockin’ around that (full and gorgeous) artificial Christmas tree before you know it.
A valid question. 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. That happens with only about 5% of the branches.
I honestly can’t believe how long they look good!
I did a post at the end of the season with photos and a video of how the branches looked at the end of the holiday season. Check it out if you are a doubting Thomas (which I wholeheartedly support).
No more blue Christmases with scrawny trees, friends!
Searching for more Christmas ideas? Definitely give these a look!
Pin this Christmas tree hack for later! And if try it, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this project, too!
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