Learn how to fluff like an expert with our easy guide to fluffing or shaping an artificial Christmas tree. No matter the size of your tree, proper fluffing will make it look full and gorgeous! Follow these simple steps on how to fluff and shape a Christmas tree to make it look fantastic this holiday season.

Get your artificial Christmas tree in shape by learning how to fluff and shape it.

Step 1: Prepare Your Fluff and Shape Tools

Treetopia Basics - True Blue Tree
Probably the cutest way to use a step ladder! Image and décor courtesy of Décor Adventures.

1. Use a Ladder

This or a step stool helps you reach the higher areas of your tree without difficulty.

2. Study the Instruction Manual

Most trees come with a set of instructions for shaping or fluffing. Keep it on hand in case you run into any snags.

3. Wear Cotton Gloves

This isn’t absolutely necessary, but we recommend wearing a pair of gloves while you shape or fluff your artificial Christmas tree. Shaping your tree can be rough on your hands and gloves protect them from prickly tree needles.

Treetopia tip: By the way, if you’re working with a pre-lit tree, plug in the lights to check if all the bulbs work.

4. Find a Photo Reference

Research for photos of Christmas trees that have the shape you want. As you shape or fluff, compare your tree with the image. Use a photo of a live tree for a more natural look.

Step 2: Shape From the Bottom Up

Addison Spruce Christmas Tree

Start by securing the bottom section of the tree to the stand and check that every hinged branch falls into place. Then, spread each branch tip out and away from the main branch.

Step 3: Fluff from the Inside Moving Out

Fluffed Orange Christmas tree branch
Photo courtesy of A Kailo Chic Life.

Begin with the tips nearest to the center pole. Fully fanned inner tips help cover gaps and prevent light from passing through. Then, check to see that the tree trunk isn’t exposed.

Once the inner tips are fluffed, move on to the outer needles. Check your photo reference for what direction they should point. For the upswept look, check out our Balsam Spruce Rotating Christmas Tree, or our Frozen Fir Flocked tree for a downwards-facing effect. Whichever it is, you call the shaping shots!

Treetopia Tip: Arrange your branches by alternating them in opposite vertical and horizontal directions. These don’t have to be perfectly aligned for a more natural look. Here are more fluffing tips from our brand ambassador Kara Whitten.

Step 4: Shape the Tree by Section

White Christmas Tree

Make sure that get most of your shaping done in one section before moving to the next. Repeat from step 3 until you’re ready to shape the top of your tree.

Step 5: Shape or fluff the Top of the Tree

For the last section, position the topmost branches straight up to form a smooth slope. This enhances the triangular shape of your tree.

If you’re using a tree topper, keep it in mind as you shape the branches. In fact, go ahead and position your tree topper to see the actual effect.

Treetopia tip: If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out these fantastic tree topper ideas!

Step 6: Stand Back and Look at the Tree

Tinkerbell Silver Christmas Tree

Take a step back and survey your work. Make a few extra fluffs here and there until you’re satisfied. Then give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back!

The last thing you need to do is jazz up your tree with a decorating theme that’s all you. All that effort will give you a beautifully shaped Christmas tree this year and, with proper storage, many more to come.

Treetopia Tip: If you’re looking for gorgeous tree decorating ideas, we’ve got lots more in store!

Do you know anyone who needs help with shaping his or her tree? Share these tips with your friends on social media. You might want to pop on over to their place to lend them a helping hand, too. Now that’s what we call Christmas spirit!

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