7 hacks to make your Christmas tree look fuller

A decorated Christmas tree
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A Christmas tree is the centerpiece of many homes during the holiday season. Whether it’s a small bush placed on the table or a massive evergreen bigger than your first apartment, there’s something majestic and joyous about having your own. It doesn’t matter if it’s plastic or chopped down from a farm, a tree is a must-have.

But not all trees are created equal; some can end up looking a bit looser than you want. Gaps in the stems, loose branches, and the occasional mishap can leave a tree looking less majestic and impressive. Thankfully, there are quite a bit of tips and tricks you can use to make your tree majestic and stand out, no matter what it’s made of. Here are seven hacks we’ve come up with to make your tree look a bit fuller.

Just take care to avoid these 7 Christmas decorations which will make your home look tacky.

1. Ornaments on the Inside 

Someone decorating a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Normally, you want to place your circular baubles on the outside of your tree to add that extra layer of holiday cheer. But if you want to make your tree a bit more toned up, you can place some of the ornaments on the inside where they can’t be seen. This will get rid of a lot of the negative space that would pull in your eye, allowing the tree to look less scraggly. 

The orbs within will also reflect light fantastically, so those Christmas lights that you drape completely over will sparkle with a whole new level of shine. Sometimes it’s not always the outside that counts. 

2. Layer ornaments 

A decorated Christmas tree up close

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Ornaments can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to making a tree look fuller. The flashy colors and reflective surfaces catch the eye, allowing them to take the spotlight away from the empty areas of a tree. On top of them going on the inside, you can also layer them, to add the illusion that your spruce is thicker than it is. 

Place larger ornaments towards the center near the trunk, adding smaller ones to the edge of the branches. This creates a level of depth that makes the watchers think it's chunkier and more full. 

3. Different ornament types 

A Christmas tree being decorated with snowflakes, Christmas trees and baubles

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Now you know where to put those ornaments, it's important to figure out which types are going on the tree. Just having one single color of crystal ball throughout your spruce will look bland, unfulfilled, and lackluster, so you are going to need to add a few different types. 

Choose baubles with primary or contrasting colors that match, bringing the vibe of the tree together. I’m a big fan of using cartoon characters in my tree, forcing people to focus on Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog over the empty area of bark that’s staring you right in the face.

4. Fluff the tree 

A father and daughter assembling a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you have an artificial tree, when you take it straight out of the box, it’s going to look very clumped and unappealing. You’ll have to pull on each branch slightly, tugging at the ends to move the branches downward in a more natural motion. 

You should also fluff the branches to make them fuller, starting at the trunk and working your way up the branch. Just grab the smaller branches and pull them in different directions. You can fold them out like a hand or in completely random directions, as long as it makes the wire branches cover as much space as possible. Don’t just pay attention to the front, you should also work on the areas in the back since they will also add volume to the tree.

5. Add more fillers

A Christmas tree decorated with pinecones and birds

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A Christmas tree that looks empty can have plenty other than ornaments added to it to give it some depth. Fillers like branches, flowers, pinecones, and feathers add volume without detracting from the overall majesty of your tree. It’s smart to place these smaller objects in spaces that draw the eye, creating an illusion that there’s more there. 

You can also grab more trees, adding more real or plastic spruce alongside what’s already there, just make sure to attach it first and not have it lie around. On top of all of that, ribbon or garland draped around a tree can add to the style and a flock can make your tree look like it’s in a winter wonderland. 

6. Lights 

A man and woman decorating a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As the Muppets say, it’s time to light the lights to make your tree just a bit more festive and full. Lights create shadows that add depth to a tree that wouldn’t normally look as full. It’s suggested to use 100 lights for every linear foot of your tree, though you can always go more or less without worrying about your tree looking too gaudy. 

When stringing the lights, start at the top and put them inside and out to add the most flash to your tree. If your tree is already pre-lit, you only need to add a strand or two to give it the most effect.

7. Add to the bottom 

A Christmas tree collar

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

And if your tree is still looking a little limp after all of these tips, it’s time to go to the bottom. Adding volume at the base is very easy and can bring a whole tree together. Try using a reasonably sized tree skirt, you don’t need one that takes up a whole corner of the room, just something to cover the exposed trunk that’s looking a bit thin. 

A tree collar can also work well, or you can put large presents at the bottom to make it all pop. Remember that the bottom of your tree is just as important as the top, so don’t forget it. 

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Steven Asarch

Steven Asarch is a writer and editor who lives on Twitch and YouTube. After graduating from Baruch College, he wrote for IBT Media,  Newsweek and Insider. In 2021, he executive produced the docu-series "Onision in Real Life" on Discovery +. As someone always looking to have the best smelling apartment possible, he's made it his mission to find the best air purifiers out there. His home has since become an air purifier haven, having stored and tested ten models for over three months. You could say he now knows everything there is to know about air purifiers, and what separates the good from the best.