Fake Christmas trees win the convenience award, but they don’t always win points for being beautiful. The squished plastic needles and that annoying lack of scent are things that even twinkle lights can’t fix. If your fake tree is looking a little more Charlie Brown than you would like, check out these 15 tricks to make it look faux-bulous without spending a lot of money. Bonus: You might get to DIY some ornaments and throw in a LOT of color.

1. Layer on the Ornaments: Layer on the ornaments and garlands. Shiny baubles, tinsel and lights are a sure-fire way to disguise those plastic needles. You could even go big and add a star or two (or ten) with the printable DIY download in the link. (via Cuckoo 4 Design)

2. Fluff, Fluff + Keep Fluffing: Fluff the daylights out of your tree. Bend every branch to fill in gaps and then keep adjusting and straightening until every faux needle is strategically placed. (via Pencil Shavings Studio)

3. Layer on More Branches: If your tree is green, pick up a few cheap pre-lit garlands and faux greenery to fill in the gaps. Wrap the garlands around the base to thicken up the scraggly bits and zigzag it around the branches. (via Lovely Indeed)

4. Stick to a Monochromatic Color Theme: If your artificial tree is looking a bit bald on top, snag a tree topper that makes you smile. Choose one that won’t look disproportionately large or small with your tree and you’ll be good to go. (via Sugar and Cloth)

5. Bling, Bling, Bling: Use your shiniest, most reflective ornaments and hang them closer to the trunk of the tree, rather than at the tip of the branch. Any ornaments that mirror the branches and bounce around more light will make the tree look super full. (via Centsational Girl)

6. Make a Rad Tree Skirt: Until Amazon Prime — err, Santa — delivers your gifts, the plastic base of the tree can look pretty sad and empty. A tree skirt will not only help draw the eye away from an ugly base, but it’ll also help Santa zero in on the target. Have fun with the skirt with a cool DIY project, like this pizza one we linked. Just don’t forget to leave some cookies for dessert! (via Brit + Co)

7. Bring on the Glitter: Add shiny “filler” ornaments to the inside of the tree to make it look more full, then DIY this tinsel garland to distract the eye from the shiny faux pine needles. (via A Bubbly Life)

8. Just Add Feathers: Snow filled? Try faux filled, with white faux fur or feather garlands tucked into the gaps in your tree. Anything fluffy will add a flocking effect to your branches, PLUS bring the white Christmas effect right into your home. (via Craftberry Bush)

9. Embrace a Non-Traditional Color Theme: Nix the traditional red + green color scheme and go for something more fun, like hot pink on a pure white tree. (via Dream Green DIY)

10. Give Shorter Trees More Height: So you couldn’t get that 10-f00t noble fir — that doesn’t mean you have to settle. Place a shorter tree on a table or box or anything that makes it look like you splurged on a big tree this year and deck it out with ornaments and ribbons like you would any other. (via Just Destiny)

11. DIY Felt Garland: Add colorful layers and texture with lots and lots of garlands. This felt garland is easy enough to put together while you’re watching movies and affordable enough that you can make a lot of them. (via Tell Love and Party)

12. Spell Out the Cheer: Unconventional ornaments are always a win, as long as you keep placement in mind. Whether you’re using giant typography or vintage glass balls, don’t clump all your colors together. Spread out the color as evenly as possible. (via Little Inspiration)

13. DIY Monogram Tree Topper: Personalize your tree topper by making a meaningful monogram topper and letting the whole family help decorate it. (via Brit + Co)

14. DIY Ombre Tree: Embrace the faux-ness whole-heartedly with a little spray paint. To get the full effect, paint the ornaments the same shade as their respective branches. (via Little Inspiration)

15. Work from the Inside Out: Do your best to let the ornaments hang naturally and not get caught up on limbs below. Adjust the wire branches around each ornament to keep it from looking like the ornaments are “stuck” on a stiff branch. (via Emily Henderson)

How did you decorate your tree this year? Show us your tree by tagging us on Instagram + using hashtag #iamcreative!