How to create a full and beautiful Christmas tree

December 04, 2017

Hey there friends! I've been so crazy busy this past week -- sorry for the silence here. I love being as productive as I've been, but I absolutely hate having so much going on. It ALWAYS feels like this at this time of year and EVERY year I say I'm not going to let it happen. And it does. Every year. :) 

But after tomorrow I think life is going to slow down quite a bit...I cannot wait!! I'm almost done decorating -- just a few more things I want to get done. But it's looking so festive and I've really enjoyed decorating our new home for Christmas. 

I wanted to share some tips on how I decorate our very tall, fake tree. I love it more than ever this year because I did a couple things differently. Fake trees can be hard because they can look so obviously...fake. But these tips are great for filling it in and make it look really full and pretty. 

First of all, you gotta fluff that thing as much as you can. I know it's a pain, but it makes SUCH a big difference. Reach all the way in on each branch and pull each piece out in a different direction. I place some going up, some down and I pull the branches apart and make them wider wherever possible. It takes some time but fluffing as much as possible really helps. 

Next up, I add ribbon. I like wired, thick ribbon. I got this a couple years ago at Joann's:
Red plaid ribbon

I found a very similar version here. I love plaid at Christmas! I'm actually quite obsessed with it this year. I usually wrap it around the tree (as you can see on our tree last year), but I wanted to make it feel a little more relaxed this year. So I started at the top and just kind of tucked it into the tree as I went down. Make sure it's not tight! Pull it out as you go down to make sure it has some movement to it. You want a lot of ribbon so you're not worrying about making it loose. I tucked and weaved it from the top to the bottom: 
How to use ribbon in Christmas tree

And I love it. I don't think I'll go back to wrapping it around just because I love this so much! 

Next up -- more filler. I've had this mesh stuff for years: 
brown decorative mesh

It comes in big rolls (you can get it in red here) and years back I cut the width in half. As it comes it's REALLY wide (if you love the big poofy look keep it as it is) so I knew I could get more out of it by cutting it down. I got twice as much for the same price! 

I used to wrap this around the tree too (also tucking it in here and there) but this time I tried something different. I grabbed it every few inches so it poofed out, like so:
Decorative mesh in tree

And then just stuffed it in places that were a little bare (I did this before the ornaments were on). It's great in spots where you can see through the tree: 
Using decorative mesh in tree

It's nice because you can kind of fluff it and it will fill in the spot well. 

After that I put the ornaments on, and we use a lot of them. Most of our ornaments are super cheap plastic ones I just throw back in the bin each year. They look awesome and have held up for years. I don't see the need to spend much on bulbs. And if you have cats or toddlers, they're going to knock half of them off anyway's just a good idea. 

A few years ago I started mixing brown and red on the tree (and in our Christmas decor in general) and I LOVE it. You wouldn't think brown would be a great Christmas color but it looks fantastic with both red and green. 

The final step gives some bling and fullness to the overall look. I use these sparkly twiggy things from the craft store: 
sparkle ting tings gold

I've seen them called ting ting branches or wispies. They are long wood sticks I've seen them in gold, silver and red. I try to save mine year to year but after awhile you need new ones -- I got these for $3 on sale and used eight packages. 

Warning -- they are messy! SPARKLE everywhere. But I love how they look on the tree so it's worth it. (They are the worst the first year you use them because you have to pull them apart.) I use three to five of each color together and just stick them in the tree in various spots: 
How I decorate the tree

Aren't they fun? I used to use berry pics from the craft store but for such a big tree I'd spend a small fortune. These are much more affordable.

The end result? My favorite tree ever:
Easy decorating tips for the tree

Tips to make a fake tree look full

It's a beaut Clark!

There's simply nothing like a lit up tree, right? It's truly magical. 

Oh and guess what? I don't add anything at the top. Toppers are hard. I don't love them honestly. On a tree this big we'd need something that makes a big statement and I don't want to do anything that will take away from the rest. So most of our trees go naked on top:
How to decorate a fake tree

And I'm certainly not going up that high to hang it either! ;) 

Those tips should help if you're looking to make your tree the prettiest yet this year. Of course anything goes -- take a trip down the aisles at the craft store and see what catches your eye. If you love it, I bet it would look good in the tree. The possibilities are endless! 

I prefer a more traditional look for our beast: 
Tips for decorating a tree

I can't wait to show you what else I've been up to lately! I've been working my butt off and it's all coming together beautifully! 

Do you have any tips for decorating a real or fake tree? I'd love to hear what you do! 

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  1. The plaid ribbon is such a beautiful touch. Haven't seen this tip elsewhere! Your photos have just motivated me to get my tree decoration done pronto, haha!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. BRAVO! I'm coming over for coffee and Christmas cookies right now! LOL

  4. OMG your tree looks fabulous!!!!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away

  5. I *love* the paper! Where did you find that?

  6. GORGEOUS!!! Your home looks so cozy, I just love it. ps if you're looking for window treatments you should visit Country Curtains - they are going out of business and are offering great deals. I've been investing in new drapes for almost every room in my house, plus some bedding.

  7. We always cut a real tree at the tree farm. My motto is Less is More, since real trees will sag as they dry out. I check the water twice daily and we usually have a nice firm tree until Christmas Day, then on Jan. 2 it goes out for recycling. On a real tree, those fancy ornament hangers from Michael's are beautiful - they really stand out! Next year we will do traditional green and red - this year we did shades of blue, sparkly gold, and white lights.

  8. Beautiful! My fake tree was $25 a number of years ago so you can imagine how sparse it was. One thing my cousin shared with me was hanging clusters of 2 or 3 ornaments way in on the branches. It not only fills the spaces so the tree is no longer see-through, but I also add lights further in so there's additional reflection! This has worked really well.

  9. I've done this for the last four years and can't believe it took me this long to discover it - I wrap my trees in shrinkwrap each year using the plastic wrap movers use to cover your furniture. A huge roll costs around $20 at Lowes. I wrap them up and then stick them in one of the guest room closets. It takes me about 30 - 45 minutes to put up all three of my tress...that includes the re-fluffing time. Such a timesaver!

  10. I lurve the vertical ribbon!! Stealing that idea! And stuffing the filler where you can see the tree is genius. I started doing the sparkly stuff when you posted it a few years ago. And we don't have a topper on our big tree either. Honestly, no one has even noticed. Big-fat-heart-eyes love your tree!!! You're ahmaaazing!

  11. I cut up an evergreen garland with snow like glitter branches. I ended up with about 12-16 bunches and wove floral tape to bind the ends of the bunches together. I slip them into bare areas of our prelit tree. They add such a pretty sparkle to our tree.

  12. Gorgeous! And GREAT tips! I think I can find some of that mesh at the Dollar Store, too! ;-) I'm doing the ribbon to my mini-version of your tree this year. ;-)

  13. I love tucking in the ribbon. For some reason it reminds me of old-fashioned ribbon candy!


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