October 22, 2016

How to Shape your Christmas Tree

Posted by Treetopia in Treetopia Guides


Treetopia Christmas trees are carefully packed in their boxes for shipping, and when you first unbox your tree, you will find that the branches have been tightly compressed; this is completely normal. With proper shaping and fluffing, you can make even the most modest Christmas tree look like a million bucks!

It may take a bit of time and effort, but fluffing your tree gives it a fuller, more natural appearance that will impress guests and enchant loved ones. So the next time you set up your tree, remember Treetopia’s guide on how to shape your Christmas tree and fluff your way to fabulousness!

What You’ll Need:

  • A pair of thin gloves

Trees made from PVC sometimes have stiff, pointy needles that can be rough on your hands. A pair of cotton gloves makes handling tree branches easier and more comfortable.

  • A ladder

Use a ladder or step stool to safely shape hard-to-reach branches on a tall tree.

  • Photo reference

Refer to a product image from the seller’s site so you know what your tree should look like.


Work Your Way Up

start from the bottom

After securing the bottom section of the tree to the stand, check that every hinged branch has fallen fully into place. Then, spread each branch tip out and away from the main branch.

It is always a good idea to start fluffing from the lowest level of the tree and work your way up. Working from the bottom up helps you see more details and shape more efficiently.

Position them in alternating vertical and sideways directions, deliberately off-setting some of the branches for a natural look. Repeat this process for each branch.

Start with the Inner Tips

fluff the inner ts

Begin with the tips farthest back on the branch or nearest to the center pole. Fully fanned inner tips help cover more area inside the tree, preventing light from passing through and ensuring there are no gaps, giving your tree a dense appearance.

Expert Tip: If your tree is pre-lit, switch on its lights beforehand so you can spot any gaps while you fluff, as well as check for and replace dead bulbs.

Fluff the Outer Tips

shape the outer tips

As you reach the end of the branch, position the outermost tips at a diagonal angle, away from the branch. Some trees have exterior tips that curve upwards or downwards, so check your photo reference. If a tree is meant to have an upswept look, like our Alexander Fir Christmas Tree, gently bend the outer tips upward as needed.

Shape by Section

how to shape your christmas tree step 4

When you finish one section, attach the next one and follow the same shaping procedure. Work your way around the tree layer by layer, carefully shaping each branch as you go.

Expert tip: Proper fluffing is a process that can’t be rushed, so feel free to take a break after finishing each section.

Shape the Top

how to shape your christmas tree step 5

For the uppermost section, position the top branches straight up to form a smooth slope. This helps enhance the natural triangular shape of your tree and gives your tree topper more room to shine. You may even pre-fluff the top section before placing it on your tree, preventing the need to shape while on a ladder or step stool.

Make Final Adjustments

step back

Look at your tree from a distance and from different angles. Check for any gaps or uneven branches and make any necessary adjustments. If you have pre-lit trees, turn the lights on one more time before decorating.

Expert Tip: Shaping your tree for the first time may take some time, but with proper handling and storage, your tree can retain much of its shape for the following season.

Learning how to shape your Christmas tree may require some time and effort, but the results will definitely be worth it. Do you have any tips and tricks for shaping a Christmas tree? We’d love to hear your ideas!



The Treetopia blog hopes to inspire you with fabulous decorating and entertaining ideas that celebrate your personal sense of style. Liven up the look of your home with our exciting selection of decorating tips and tricks for every holiday and season.
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