Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fake Tannenbaum - Make a $20 Tree Look Like a $250 Tree!

When we lived in New Zealand, I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on a Christmas tree that I knew we were only going to use for 1 Season.  I got lucky and ended up finding a tree on TradeMe (NZ's version of eBay) for only $1.00!  It was a pretty sad and used specimen, but for a buck I figured I could make it work.

Not bad for a dollar, right?

Back in the USA, I found myself without a tree once again.  Now in a heap of debt, I surely didn't want to spend a lot on a tree, even if I knew it was going to last me more than 1 Season.  That's when I came across this super-cheap pre-lit tree from Walmart.

I looks pretty sad, too.  It's only 6.5 feet tall and it's pretty sparse, but for only $20.00 I picked it up last year.  

OK, now to fix it up!

First, I was not satisfied with a "short" tree.  I want an 8 foot tree.  I want a tree that's dramatically touching the ceiling!  Here's an easy fix for that...put it up on a sturdy box (I have an old wooden soda box) that's 1.5 feet tall.  Easy enough, and it gives you the added bonus of plenty of space under the tree for lit houses, trains and presents!

Next, I went to the Dollar Tree and picked up a bunch of vine garlands and pine picks.

I simply filled in all of the holes of my sparse tree to make it look much fuller. It took about 10 pine picks and 4 vine garlands.   A couple of burlap potato sacks to cover the tree's base complete the look! 

Done!  Now it's all ready for ornaments!  Check out these before and after pictures and tell me what you think!



The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:

Fake Tannenbaum:  (Tree $20, Picks & Vines $14)

Total Fake-It Cost:  $34.00

Compare to this 8 Foot, Fluffy, Pre-Lit Tree from QVC ($251.26 + $58 shipping)
<em>8</em>-1/2' Imperial Slim <em>Prelit Christmas Tree</em> by Vickerman - ...

Total Fake-It Yourself Savings:  $275.26

We won't even talk about the savings a fake tree gives you, year over year, as compared to a live tree!  In my area, live trees start at $75.00 - ouch!  I'll just light a pine-scented candle and enjoy my Fake Tannenbaum!

Linking Up at Tip Junkie, Today's Creative Blog, The Frugal Girls, and these other Great Parties!


  1. Great job on the tree! A little imagination and a little love go a long, long way! I was so broke one year I decorated a tumbleweed I picked up in the street. Spray paint and glitter dressed it up royally. Sorry I didn't take pictures!

  2. Oh man, I bought that exact same tree last year! I wish I'd been as creative as you, 'cause it did look kind of sad. Now I know what to do this year so it'll be beautiful! Thanks a million!

    BTW, one other reason I finally went for a fake tree is that I was tired of worrying about fire. My firefighter friend saw my real tree, which I keep up until Jan. 6th, and was appalled! Even though I faithfully watered it, he said it was so dry that a spark of static electricity could turn it into a torch!

  3. I think it looks sooo much more lovely now and love the idea about using Dollar Tree picks, and stuff to 'fill in'.

    Very crafty and you are so right about the cost of a true tree anymore---outrageous! This is a smart way to go!

    Big, crafty smiles to you from NW Illinois,
    Suzanne (visiting from TT & J linky party)

  4. We do something similar....we have three smallish CHEAP trees and we group them together into a "grove," some elevated, some not. We embellish with lots of lights and ribbon (picked up at after holiday sales!), then add tons of decorations. We fill in the sparse parts with cheapo glass balls, then put our "good" ornaments on the "outside." The ithree trees together is impressive!

  5. Great job! You could also go outside and cut some pine tree limbs to fill it in.

  6. how clever that looks great I'd love it if you would add this to my link party at

  7. Wow...what an awesome idea! I'm new to this site and can't wait to see what other ideas are out there.

  8. Fab Job! I've done something similar with a $5 tree I got on clearance at Garden Ridge and a el cheapo tree from Big Lots years ago this year for Christmas! Some is posted on my blog already, others coming later this week!

    Now Following!
    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

  9. What a great tree! I am very impressed with how you made that tree go from drab to fab. Sorry for the pun, I couldn't help it!

    Did you glue the extra branches on or attach them with wires?

  10. I didn't attach them at all, actually - I just pushed them into the bare spots! Cheers!

  11. Awesome job on the tree!!! I actually set out a couple of years ago to have a 'theme' tree spending no more than $20 on ALL of it's decorations. Most of which I made myself. Since we seem to think a lot alike ;-) I'd love for you to check it out. In fact, I'm using the same decorations this year and the REAL pinecones were stored in a tote and are still in great shape! I think I need to add some of your touches to my tree in the form of raffia though.

  12. I debated on getting an artificial tree this year. Last year we had a real tree. Expensive and messy. This year I only used my 3 ft. artifical kitchen tree. Ya know, I passed by a 9 ft fake tree at Goodwill. I should have bought it now that I have seen your creativity in action.Your tree looks awesome!~Ames

  13. Fantastic ideas! How did you keep the faux pine picks from Dollar Tree on your tree without them falling off? Thanks!

  14. Thank you for sharing the blog.This blog is very useful and informative to everyone.We discovered a source of information in this blog; please continue to share content like this.That information you provided is very good and useful.

    BSBRES801 assignment sample


Compliments and Frugal Tips Only, Please!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...