Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Decorate a Fake Christmas Tree

I hate calling my plastic tree a "fake" tree. It needs fancier name. Like...spurious tree or imitation coniferous holiday structure. That way it is just a different product, not a fake copy of the real deal. Don't get me wrong, I like me a real tree, but there are a lot of benefits to fake trees versus real ones and when you need to put up 5 different trees every season you really start to appreciate those benefits. Such benefits include being able to move the branches, bending the tips to secure heavy ornaments, and no watering. However I do love the look, feel, and smell of a real tree. It is a personal decision!

Anyway, I thought I would cover a little tutorial on the best way to decorate your fake tree imitation coniferous holiday structure. Believe it or not, there are different ways to approach this and over the years I have learned a few tips to making the tree look better.

Before I start- I think I will cover some good tree-taking-down tips that make tree-putting-up easier. Be sure to keep similar branches together so it is easy to sort. My dad also keeps each light string in its own plastic bag IN the tree box, along with the skirt and extension cord. Everything I need is there and neat! Every year I also say I am going to paint the ends of the darn branches since all the labels have fallen off (like in a ROY G. BIV pattern!) but I never do. sigh.

OH- actual step one: turn on Christmas music. key step!

1. Clear out a corner and plug in your extension cord. It helps to have a cord with a giant button on it so that you can turn the entire tree off with the touch of your foot. No one likes the crawl behind the tree to get to the outlet. I clearly didn't even bother cleaning the floor (there was furniture here) before installing my tree (sorry Dad). I am real y'all.

2. Build your base and lay out your skirt. It is so much easier to get the skirt on if you do it first!

3. Install poles and wrap an extension cord up for your tree topper (if needed). One of our trees uses blinking lights so they don't connect together and therefore there is no plug near the top. Winding a cord up makes that final touch of the topper so much easier!

4. Fluff, Place, Lights. I like to fluff each piece by hand before I install it in the base. The more you fluff, the fuller and more realistic your tree with look. I also wind the lights around as I go (our trees are way older than pre-lit ones!). I like to do an outer light layer and an inner one, which gives the tree more sparkle and hides a lot of the light cords. Oh I should mention here that if you have blinking lights, do them after. They need to be evenly distributed along the height of the tree so that one whole section isn't doing a different blinking pattern for another. This is one reason why I appreciate a hand-built tree versus one of those ones that has the branches installed. Plus we have one of those "easy set up ones" with the branches attached and SO many branches have broken and just need to placed in. Plus when you can build the tree, you can switch some branches in the back for smaller ones- that way your tree fits into a corner better!

5. Continue building! If you have some bulbs missing due to plug in decorations (like our angels) then plug them in now. You can always switch out where the angels are later, but it is dang hard to find those empty spots if you put it on the tree first. Once completed, stand back and squint your eyes. This will help you see empty spots on the tree and you can adjust your lights so everything is spread evenly.

6. Through the magic of the internet, or perhaps by enlisting a friend, decorate the tree! Begin with any garland or beads. Then do large items, or your favourites, and give them prominent spots. Be sure to put non-breakables near the bottom if you have pets or small children (our cats don't bother the tree, but you could try a citrus scent or critter away stuff around the skirt). Also, try to not group similar colours together. Spread them out! I am also a "back decorator" because I believe a tree sure look good from all angles. I also like to stick ornaments deep into the branches.

There you go! A beautiful well decorated tree!!


  1. Beautiful. I'll let you know when you can come and help decorate ours! :) Sheila

    1. I have 5 trees to do already! my back cant takes a 6th! :P

  2. Hey I helped with that one lol


  3. Another simple idea.
    An ex-husband and I used to fight over who was going to take down the Christmas tree (amongst fights about just about everything).
    So we covered the 'Imitation Confiferous Holiday Stucture' with plastic and put it in the basement till next year! (BTW - he got it in the divorce settlement).

    1. I know a couple that left it up all year because of the same argument- it could have been worse!

      BTW- cat broke that tree. its long gone

  4. Wow, that pretty amazing. Yeah, I may prefer fresh trees but like what you said, there are a lot of benefits using the plastic fake recyclable tree. i love your Christmas tree decorations, they are so elegant. Love the final result. Thanks for sharing inspiration.


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