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How to Make a Cheap Christmas Tree Look Expensive

Updated: Nov 27, 2022

When our kids were very young we only had a 30+ year old hand-me-down Christmas tree. But one year I saved up and bought a beautiful tree in the after Christmas sale, for 60% off. It cost $140 at the time, but I paid it because I expected it to last us for life.

Ten years later I went to unpack the Christmas Tree from the garage, (where I'd safely stored it every other year) and inside the box was a descicated rat, stuck to one of the branches... Talk about the nastiest Christmas decoration ever.

Seems it had crawled in from the Aussie bush, (which we live next door to,) looking for a warm place during winter. And because it was stored up high in the garage we didn't notice any smell.

So I went out to buy another tree, two and a half weeks before Christmas. Anything nice in my price range had long gone. To get something equivalent to what I had was over $700. I settled for a medium sized $80 tree and hoped with time I would be able to replace it. But as it turns out I never did.

And now I love my $80 tree just as much as my expensive 'old' tree.

So what changed?

1. I found a friend who loves Christmas as much as I do and we decorate each other's Christmas trees.

2. Before we begin, I cover a large plastic crate with Christmas paper, which I put under the tree, making it appear taller.

3. And then we begin to decorate the tree with strips of ribbon (which I purchased on spools from the $2 Shop.)

Here we've used three different Christmas coloured ribbons. But you can use any colours to match your decor.

4. We begin at the back of the top of the tree and wind our way down, attaching the ribbon to the tree at 12-15 inch intervals.

You can either wind the wire branch over the ribbon to hold it in place, or use a 1/2 green pipe cleaner piece and twist them into place.

We've chosen to go diagonally as it's easiest to wind it around the tree. And it makes nice spaces for decorations to fit into.

5. Then we add some holly and the Christmas ornaments in the spaces.

N.B. Every year our children received a Christmas ornament from their Nan, and from me as well, so over years we have a collection. Some are super-cheap baubles, and dough figures, while others are unique and more expensive.

I always space the most beautiful decorations in eye catching positions on the tree. With the most sentimental in areas of prominence.

6. Finally we add three rows of beads and a tree topper to complete the transformation. You could also add tinsel

Now all we need to do, is to hang the Christmas stockings.

May your Christmas be a kind one and may the new year be full of good health, loving family, great friendships and fantastic adventures.

If you would like some other great ideas for living well on a budget you may be interested in the following link to tips that allowed us to pay our house off in just over half the time plus gave us back years of free time over our working lives.



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