Clever Ways To Make Your Artificial Christmas Tree Look More Realistic

A survey conducted by the ACTA (American Christmas Tree Association) found that 94% of homeowners plan on putting up a Christmas tree this holiday season. Interestingly, the majority of Americans — 77% — will deck their homes with an artificial conifer. After all, they're low maintenance, offer a high ROI (return on investment), can be displayed for seven to nine years, and are easy to assemble and store away. However, the fake ones often look just that: fake (especially after a few years of service). But don't despair. 'Tis time to employ some clever ideas, like wrapping an imitated pine garland around the branches, to make your artificial Christmas tree look more realistic.

But before we get to the hacks, it's important to shape the tree's branches. It doesn't matter if you've got yourself a new Christmas tree or have pulled an old one out of storage; the branches often get squished. So, you'll have to spend some time fluffing and twisting individual branches to make them look fuller (and more real!). While at it, position the branches in a two out, one up, two out, one down fashion to help the artificial conifer mimic a real one.

Dress up the tree

After you're done fluffing (shaping) the branches, you're ready to dress up the tree and cover its bald spots. Begin by strategically layering garlands and wreaths — real or fake — in the bare areas to conceal them and make the imitated piece look dense. Try to get a garland or wreath that matches your conifer's specific color, but don't worry if they aren't an exact match. In fact, slightly different-colored foliage will add depth and make the conifer look more real. However, ensure the wrapping material is long enough to cover the entire tree (or get multiple short ones) and start from the top.

As you make your way down, take care to wrap the foliage such that it stays true to the tree's original shape, or you might end up with a wonky tree as the center of attraction. You can even go for pine sprays or picks and nestle these decorative stems between the branches to hide the gaps with berries, pine cones, and a dash of greenery. Be sure to space them out for a more natural look. Further, get metallic tinsel strands, dramatic ribbons, and big bows to not only fill the obvious gaps but also to get your artificial conifer Christmas-ready. To make the production look more authentic and winter-esque, spritz the branches with a light and even coating of spray-on snow.

Make the tree look organic

Once you dress up your artificial conifer, hunt for the best Christmas tree skirt to hide the metal stand, or it'll give you away, and all your efforts will be for naught. You can emulate a vintage or contemporary vibe, or pick something rustic and chic. The choice is yours. Now, bring out the ornaments and decorate the tree (as you would a real one). Go for large, reflective ornaments to hide the gaps and make the imitated piece look grander than it is.

After you're done, it's time to light up the tree. This will have two benefits. One, it'll conceal the lights that don't work on your old artificial Christmas tree. Two, you can add visual interest and make the conifer look fuller. Just pick lights in two different sizes — one large and the other small. While using the same color light for both will be the obvious choice, you can even go with one colored strand and one traditional white. To ensure your fake tree stays in the real realm, spritz it with a pine-scented spray. Scented ornaments, candles, and air fresheners will do the trick, too. Finally, add a gorgeous tree topper to make your artificial Christmas tree look natural.