How to make a cheap christmas tree look expensive

Make an old Christmas tree look more expensive – Porch Light Reading

November 20, 2020 September 12, 2022

How to make a fake Christmas tree look more expensive. Pre-strung lights not working, sparse and short. How to update your tree on a budget.

We bought our pre-lit Christmas tree about 6 years ago. At the time it was gorgeous! But since then we’ve moved, and it’s been squished up and down the attic ladder, yearly.

One section of lights went out last year and instead of buying a new tree, we decided it would be best to make due with a $3 string of lights. You know, until after Christmas, when trees will be cheaper.

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    But we didn’t actually buy a new tree after Christmas. Does anyone really?

    So here we are. Another year has gone by and our squished, old, boxed, broken pre-lit tree…. needs to go.

    Someone has got to have one on sale! But the sale wasn’t enough, and the one we really wanted was $300.

    What makes that store tree so appealing anyway?

    • It’s tall
    • The branches are full
    • The pine cones with berries are nice
    • The flocking (snow looking stuff)
    • All the lights work

    Hey babe! You think you can make me something real quick?


    The first thing we needed to do was make our tree taller. So we made a box tree stand out of 2×4’s and plywood.


    You can try and replace the burnt out bulb or fuse, but in our case it was easier to completely take off the lights.

    • wire cutters
    • gloves

    The fake needles can be a bit rough on your hands. When taking off the pre wrapped lights make sure to protect your hands.

    Dismantle your tree and work from the bottom up. After making a few snips with the wire cutters, you should be able to find a pattern and slide the lights off the tips. Working from the trunk of the tree out towards the tips. Taking care not to pull too hard and break the branches.


    Take the time to really fluff your Christmas tree. It sits in the box year after year and needs a little love. Since we decided to makeover the tree this year, I took extra time to really get it right.

    • Start from the bottom and work your way around and then up
    • Start towards the trunk of the tree and work out to the tips
    • Shape every single branch/limb
    • Spread them out horizontal and vertically

    This part takes time and patience. It might be worth setting up in your garage and doing it the day before you decorate it with your family.

    • If it still looks sparse after fully fluffing your tree you can add garland or a couple of larger wreaths where the tree attaches to the next level.


    One of the things I loved about that expensive tree at the store were the pine cones. You could buy them or make your own.

    The kids and I decided to make our own. After borrowing without asking our neighbors pine cones, we washed, dried, baked and sealed our own pine cones.

    Related Post: How to preserve pin cones


    You can pick up flocking spray at the store or even use white spray paint to add a touch of winter to your tree.

    For a light dusting using spray paint, spray from 14 or more inches away from the branches. Make sure you pick a day with no wind and allow time to fully dry before decorating.


    Turns out we didn’t need a $300 new Christmas tree with pine cones and working lights. We made our own expensive looking Christmas tree and I completely love it!

    I hope this helps inspire you to have your own DIY Christmas tree makeover and see just how creative you can be.

    Best Wishes,


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      Ridiculously Easy Ways to Make Your Artificial Christmas Tree Look Fuller

      ByArena Updated on

      Have you ever brought out the holiday decorations and wished your Christmas tree was fuller? We’ve got the best tips how to make a tree look fuller that are SO easy you won’t believe it. Here’s a few simple tips on how to make your fake Christmas tree look fuller!

      Let’s make our fake Christmas tree look fuller…it is easy!

      How To Make Your Christmas Tree Look Fuller

      One of the main reasons why an artificial tree doesn’t look like a real tree is because you can see the fake tree trunk of the artificial tree through skimpy branches or uneven fullness. Our goal here no matter the size of your artificial Christmas tree is to fill out your holiday tree branches to give it a natural look and visual appeal.

      Related: How to Make Your Fake Christmas Tree Smell Like a Real Tree

      Don’t let your faux tree detract from the Christmas spirit. With a few simple tips, you can fix artificial tree branches!

      This article contains affiliate links.

      This one Christmas tree hack can change everything!

      1. Vary Your Christmas Light Size

      The first trick is really simple to fill in gaps in Christmas tree — all you have to do is string two sizes of lights on your tree.

      The Christmas tree lights can both be the same color scheme like white lights , but one string should be the mini lights while the other a more traditional size. I like the incandescent bulbs as one of the light strings just because it gives a traditional tree look.

      Look at the difference a strand of white lights can make…

      We have a pre-lit skinny Christmas tree, so I just added a couple of strands of these large bulbs around the tree and the difference is astounding! It gives an artificial tree that looked sparse to begin with a lot more body and branch fullness.

      Before and After our two-size light makeover!

      The second set of lights adds dimension to the tree, making it beautiful and bright. You could even do this with colored lights if wanted. The secret is in the bigger set of lights.

      Cheat a little by adding some additional greenery!

      2. Wrap Sparse Areas with Garland

      Another way to make your fake Christmas tree look fuller is to wrap your tree’s particularly sparse areas with evergreen garland to fill the gaps in Christmas tree.

      If you just have a hole or two in the branches of your uneven Christmas tree, adding a little fullness to the greenery can increase the natural elements look of the area and make a huge difference.

      If you are filling in throughout the entire tree, consider using a slightly different shade of garland as a contrasting color to give depth. <–Just a little Christmas tree hack to make artificial tree look real.

      3. Decorate Christmas Tree with Wide Ribbon

      Decorate a Christmas tree to look full by adding a big ribbon throughout your entire tree. This simple Christmas tree decorating how-to tip makes your fake Christmas tree with lights look fuller because the ribbon fills gaps and open areas of your Christmas tree branches. I love the look of wide ribbon because it just screams festive season!

      4. Decorate Christmas Tree with Larger Ornaments

      Take inspiration from window displays for your faux Christmas tree decorations. Often you will find that retail and commercial shop windows and interior designer Christmas trees will have oversized ornaments.

      In my living room, my holiday tree has a layer of very large Christmas balls that I hang on the tree first back inside the depths of the pine needles covering the thin tree trunk giving the branch tips even more contrast.

      5. Add Floral Picks to Christmas Tree Branches

      If your tree is sparse or uneven, try adding pine picks in the more bare spots. It makes your tree look fuller and gives it a unique look. I also have a set of floral picks that have pine cones so they are part Christmas tree decorations and part branch filler-outer (totally a word).

      6. When in Doubt, Let it Snow!

      Adding snow to your artificial Christmas tree can also make it look much fuller as well. It doesn’t have to be a full flocking on the Christmas tree, but strategic placement of the white wintery look.

      Add a little sparkle to your tree!

      7. Reflective Ornaments to the Rescue of Fake Tree Decor

      Your ornaments play a big part in how fall your tree looks too. Shiny and reflective ornaments will make it look fuller while reflecting the lights of your lit Christmas tree.

      8. Big Bows Make a Big Impact on Christmas Tree Decor

      You can also make your tree look fuller by placing bows in the sparse spots depending on the look of your Christmas decorations. I also like using several different sizes and colors of bows adding to the visual depth.

      9. Cover the Artificial Christmas Tree Trunk

      Use a tree skirt or liberal amount of fabric to fully cover the tree stand and the fake tree trunk at the bottom of your Christmas tree. Even expensive faux trees have thin tree trunks and it is very obvious at the base of the Christmas tree.

      Even before Santa delivers the Christmas presents, you want this area fully covered!

      Transforming a Cheap Christmas Tree to Look Real

      Sometimes we have to make due with what we have, but there is no reason we can’t make what we have look its best!

      We can make our sparse slim trees, real or fake, look full and amazing with very little expense or effort!

      Let’s Decorate Your Tree with Homemade Oranments!

      • Now it’s ready to add all of your homemade ornaments!
      • We added no-mess glitter ornaments to ours — they sparkle and shine in the lights! So beautiful!
      • Check out these printable Christmas ornaments kids can color and decorate.
      • Let’s make pipecleaner ornaments!
      • Let’s make a handprint ornament for our Christmas tree.
      • Want some more Christmas inspired decorating ideas? Then be sure to check out…30 Ways to Fill Ornaments 

      Do you have any other tips and tricks to making your fake Christmas tree look fuller? Please let us know in the comments below!


      Arena Blake used to spend her days in the White House writing about the president. Now she spends her days at the kitchen table writing about kids activities and Star Wars crafts.
      She is the blogger behind The Nerd's Wife, a Dallas mom blog, and author of Awesome Edible Kids Crafts: 75 Super-Fun All-Natural Projects for Kids to Make and Eat. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband and son.
      Follow Arena on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

      How to choose the right Christmas tree for the New Year? — In the

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      Choosing a natural Christmas tree

      The main advantage of a live Christmas tree is its aroma and naturalness. Many prefer real pine or spruce. Pine is more lush, it has long needles, and it costs longer to eat. Before you go for the tree, determine where it will stand. The place should be away from heat batteries. If the tree is close to a wall or in a corner, you can pick up a tree with one side less lush or with broken branches. Such a Christmas tree will be given cheaper.

      Photo: open sources

      When choosing a Christmas tree, look at the cut of the trunk. Seeing a dark border, it is better to put the tree aside - it will not stand idle for a long time. If there is no border, take the tree by the middle of the trunk and hit the ground. If the drop of needles is plentiful, go choose further. Notice the branches and needles. The branches should be elastic, and the needles should be oily and fragrant. This speaks of the freshness of the tree - the tree will fill the house with aroma and stand for all the New Year holidays. The branches quickly break off - the tree is old and cut long ago. On December 31, the prices for Christmas trees fall sharply, you can buy it for mere pennies. But if you start decorating it and preparing for the holiday in advance, then you will have to buy a Christmas tree at market value.

      When the spruce is brought home, put it on the balcony so as not to create sudden temperature changes. Then clean the tree trunk from below at a distance of 10–15 cm from the bark. And set the Christmas tree in a bucket of sand moistened with water and a spoonful of glycerin. If you live outside the city in an individual house, it is better to purchase a young live spruce planted in a tub. Plant a Christmas tree in the courtyard of the house - it will delight you year after year.

      Choosing an artificial Christmas tree

      If you decide not to mess with live Christmas trees, buy an artificial one. The choice must be made responsibly. You need to purchase a Christmas tree made of quality materials, since cheap Chinese Christmas trees can emit toxic substances or ignite when heated with garlands. The production technology divides artificial Christmas trees into cast and PVC films. A cast Christmas tree is the most expensive. Usually PVC Christmas trees with a steel frame are sold in stores. Their natural appearance and high fire resistance have made them popular.

      Photo: open sources

      The scheme for assembling artificial Christmas trees is what you need to pay attention to. There are Christmas trees, in which each branch is separately attached to the trunk. They are numbered and assembly takes quite a long time. A spruce is convenient, the branches of which are already attached to the trunk section. And you just need to collect them and bend them a little. Pay attention to the stand to which the tree is attached. It is better to take a metal one so that the stability is higher - especially if there are children or animals in the house.

      Differences between an artificial Christmas tree and a natural one

      A natural Christmas tree is purchased every year, crumbles and produces a lot of garbage, has low fire protection, but a natural one gives a real scent of needles. An artificial Christmas tree is bought once in many years, does not crumble and has many decoration options. An artificial Christmas tree will have to be stored somewhere, and a real one can simply be taken out into the street.

      The Christmas tree should be chosen according to the dimensions of the apartment and in accordance with the wishes of the household. If your family wants to feel the natural aroma of pine needles, then choosing a live Christmas tree will be a wonderful holiday gift for everyone.

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      December 25, 2012

      • Forbes Life

      Cast in gold, decorated with diamonds, hung with tiny bottles of cognac and other Christmas trees, the cost of which can amaze the imagination

      The owners of London's Claridge's hotel have a tradition: every year they turn to a famous designer with a request to create an exclusive Christmas tree that will delight the guests' eyes. John Galliano, Alber Elbaz, Callie Ellis had a hand in creating a festive atmosphere at Claridge's. It is not known how much the collaboration with the fashion guru costs the hotel, but it is clear that we are talking about tens of thousands of pounds. However, in history there are cases when much more impressive sums were spent on Christmas trees. In the Forbes rating - 9Christmas trees, whose cost would have amazed even Santa Claus.

      Christmas tree in precious stones

      Price: $11 million

      The world's most expensive Christmas tree was installed at the Emirates Palace luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi in 2010. The cost of the tree itself did not exceed several thousand dollars, but in the case of Christmas tree decorations, the bill was already in the millions: pearls, gold, diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds were used to create them. Not only precious balls were hung on the Christmas tree, but also jewelry: watches, bracelets, necklaces. Such a pompous celebration of Christmas in a Muslim country seems unreasonable, but the Emirates Palace administration is guided not by national customs, but by the requests of wealthy guests. So, the hotel has a vending machine that sells gold bars, and the price includes the use of a private jet.

      golden tree

      Cost: $4.2 million

      Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka has been surprising the public with Christmas-themed masterpieces for several years now. For example, in 2007, he cast a 20-kilogram golden Santa Claus, and a year later, a golden Christmas tree appeared that cost more than $ 1.5 million. This year, Tanaka outdid himself. In early December, a Christmas tree appeared in his company store, the creation of which took about 40 kg of precious metal. In appearance, it looks more like a multi-tiered carousel than a tree. Instead of horses - 50 figurines of Disney cartoon characters: Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio. And, of course, Mickey Mouse: Tanaka has been indifferent to this character for a long time and already managed to make a golden copy of it several years ago.

      flower tree

      Cost: $ 1.8 million

      For the cost of a Christmas tree to reach astronomical amounts, it does not have to be gigantic in itself. In 2007, in one of the shopping centers of the Japanese network Takashimaya, a tiny Christmas tree went on sale, which only a millionaire could afford to buy. Its design was developed with the participation of the French flower boutique Claude Quincaud. The tree consisted of several hundred miniature dried roses. On the petals of each of them, like dew drops, were diamonds brought from Australia and South Africa - about 400 pieces in total, weighing 100 carats. A nice addition was a Teddy bear with a diamond pendant. However, there were no people who wanted to buy this Christmas souvenir.

      diamond tree

      Cost: $1.005 million

      Hanging toys on the Christmas tree is a thing of the past: diamonds look much better on it. Apparently, representatives of the Singapore jewelry house Soo Kee proceeded from such considerations, having decided to create a Christmas tree worth more than a million dollars. For its decoration, 21,798 diamonds with a total weight of 913 carats were used. 3762 crystal beads were placed on graceful twigs. Almost five hundred light bulbs illuminated all this splendor. The height of the tree reached six meters, weight - three tons. Installed in a large shopping center, the Christmas tree was under round-the-clock protection, but there were no people who wanted to encroach on diamond jewelry.

      capitol tree

      Cost: approx. For the right of primacy, the spruce, whose place is at the Washington Capitol, may well argue with her. A tree grown in a nursery sometimes has to be transported to the Congress building across the country, the height of the tree can exceed 20 m, and thousands of light bulbs are required to decorate the giantess, which must be firmly fixed on thorny branches. It is not surprising that its transportation, installation and design cost the state treasury a round sum. On the other hand, a tree brings so much joy to people that it is not a pity to spend a million dollars on it: the solemn ceremony of lighting the fires becomes a holiday in itself.

      Christmas tree from Swarovski

      Price: approx. The most remarkable of them was collected in 2010 in the center of Hong Kong. The Christmas tree was a cone thirty meters high. On its face, a pattern was applied, composed of more than 20 million gold and silver Swarovski crystals, specially delivered from Austria. In daylight, the “tree” did not look very impressive, but in the evening and at night, when the backlight was on, the tree made a great impression: tourists admitted that from afar it could well be confused with a Hong Kong skyscraper.

      Charity tree

      Price: $500,000

      Unlike his Eastern colleagues, Steve Quick, an American jeweler, decided to create a Christmas tree that was supposed to bring not only aesthetic pleasure, but also practical benefits. Made of 18-carat gold, the tree was covered with a scattering of diamonds, which played the role of crisp snow. At the top was a platinum star set with a 4.52-carat diamond. For a couple of weeks, the tree languished in a shop window, and then it was put up for auction on eBay. All proceeds from the sale went to the American Cancer Society. Steve Quick also took care of those who could not afford such an expensive purchase: he developed budgetary silver-plated and gold-plated small copies of the Christmas tree for $20 and $25, respectively.

      Christmas tree from Tiffany

      Price: €350,000

      In December, Milan residents prefer to leave the city, or even the country, but according to the results of opinion polls, in 2010 many of them changed their habit and stayed at home. The Milanese motivated their decision, in particular, by the fact that a new landmark has appeared on Piazza del Duomo - a Christmas tree, presented to the fashionable capital by the jewelry company Tiffany & Co. At the base of the tree, decorated with tens of thousands of lanterns, was a store decorated in the style of the famous pale turquoise box. Part of the profits from sales was donated to charity. Despite this, the rector of the Milan Cathedral expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that a commercial organization interferes with the traditions of the bright Christian holiday.

      Tree under the degree

      Price: £35,000

      London's fashionable hotel Sofitel never forgets that drinking during the December holidays is no less important than giving gifts. In 2010, an unusual Christmas tree appeared in the hotel lobby, which was a structure made of dark gray metal. Instead of balls and candles, small bottles of Louis XIII cognac gleamed on it. They were made by hand by masters of the Baccarat company, which is considered almost the world leader in the production of crystal products.

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