how to fluff a christmas tree

Fluffing a Christmas tree for the best results

If you have an artificial Christmas tree, you’ll know you need to spend time fluffing it up and filling out the branches to make it look more full and natural.  This is what takes the time, but is well worth it to make your tree look its best.  Here’s my tips on fluffing a Christmas tree the easiest and best way.

how to fluff a christmas tree

Artificial trees vs real

For most of my life, I’ve had an artificial Christmas tree.  Apart from a few years during childhood when our mum decided to get a real tree, then found out it gave her urticaria. So I’ve always stuck with an artificial tree.

Some people love the smell of a real tree, but for me I’d rather avoid the mess of the needles and the worry it might not last until Christmas in our hot room. Plus with an artificial tree, you get the benefit that it’s a perfect fit for your house and space. And it’ll look the same each year.

In the past I’ve had cheap trees but they’ve still lasted me 20 years. But I’ve always yearned for a fuller tree, so invested in a new one a couple of years ago. After a lot of research I chose the Majestic Dew 7ft tree from Christmas Tree World, and I love it.  It was hard finding the right tree to fit in our space, but it just about fits with us being able to get to the plug for the lights.

The joy of a new tree meant it’s a hinged one, so much faster and easier to set up.  However it’s got a lot of branches so needs quite a bit of fluffing.

Why fluff a Christmas tree? 

Fluffing a Christmas tree is a necessary step to make it look full and more natural. It helps fill any gaps with branches

Artificial Christmas tree branches need fluffing as their branches can get flattened during storage. It’s like giving the branches a chance to ‘breathe’. But you’ll also need to spread out the branches well to be able to give space to hang your Christmas baubles and decorations.  

How long does it take to fluff a Christmas tree?

I can put my 7ft tree together in around 10 minutes. But the fluffing with the amount of branches takes around 30 minutes. The time it will take will depend on how tall your tree is and how many branches.

The type of tree you have can impact the time too.  With my old Christmas tree, the branches were fluffed up and spread out before they got put into the trunk. It’s easier to fluff them with this type of tree than a hinged one, because it’s harder to reach into the hinges than when they’re individual branches. It’s also more difficult to see if you’ve missed branches.

Step-by-step guide on fluffing a Christmas tree

1. Unbox and Assemble 

Take your Christmas tree out of its box and assemble the sections according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’ve a hinged tree, check that all the tree’s branches are correctly attached and secured.  I would work in stages from the bottom section up, 1 section in then fluff, then 2nd section etc.

If you’ve got individual branches to stick into the trunk, move directly to stage 2 before inserting the branches.

2. Spread Out the Branches

There’s different ways to spread and fill the gaps. I tend to do these by branch and section at the same time. 

Spread: Start by spreading out the branches from the centre of the tree outward. Work on one section of the tree at a time, beginning from the bottom and moving upwards. Gently pull each branch away from the center branch, making sure to separate them from one another and keep them well spread.

Bend: After spreading out the branches, bend individual branches slightly  upward to give the tree a more natural and full appearance. Curve the branches in different directions to avoid a uniform look. Note where gaps are and bend subtly to fill these gaps.

Fluff the Needles: if needed gently run your hands along the branches to fluff and separate the needles. This will create a fuller look and help hide the gaps between the branches. Mine doesn’t need much of this, it just tends to be on the ends where the ‘dew’ needles can get caught together.

fluffing a christmas tree

3. Step back and view

Take a step back frequently to check how the tree is looking. Check for any noticeable gaps or areas that need more fluffing. Continue to shape the tree until you are satisfied with how it looks..

4. Adjust Tree Height

If your tree has adjustable branches, think about adjusting the height of some branches to add extra visual interest to the tree.

5. Add Ornaments Gradually

I always start with lights so I can spread them out enough. As you’re adding them, check you’ve not left any large gaps in branches.

As you add your baubles and decorations you can see how they fit and make adjustments as needed to the branches. For example, I’ve got a few very large baubles, and I sometimes need to tweak branches to make space.

full christmas tree decorated with lights

If fluffing your tree isn’t quite enough to fill the spaces on sparser artificial trees, then why not add some extra garlands in around the trunk and inner branches to fill gaps.  Or use a really big bushy tinsel – either a dark green to camouflage the gaps or a brighter colour to bring the eye to your decorations.

Read my tips on easy Christmas tree decorating and how to update your Christmas tree colour decorations.

Hopefully by the time your Christmas tree is fluffed and decorated, it will look perfect.

Let me know if you’ve got any additional tips for fluffing a Christmas tree.

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    1. We’ve got a Christmas tree outside that’s grown huge now, but inside haven’t had a real tree since we were kids – until my mum realised she was allergic!

    1. I’ve always done it but never realised what it was called til last year when I bought my new tree and the website explained that you needed to do it to make it look more full.

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