5 tricks decor experts use to make an artificial Christmas wreath look expensive on a tiny budget

Jazz up your artificial wreath this Christmas with these budget hacks

Christmas wreath on front door
(Image credit: Habitat)

Artificial Christmas wreaths can be a sound investment if you don't fancy dropping upwards of £15 every year on a new wreath from a florist. Plus, with a few simple tips you can endlessly upcycle a faux wreath to look more expensive year after year.  

We’re constantly on the lookout for budget Christmas decorating ideas that won’t break the bank. While it’s incredibly easy to make a DIY wreath from scratch, sometimes throwing some attention (and a few pound coins) in the direction of an old artificial wreath is enough to transform it into a magical new wreath idea.

So save yourself some money without scrimping on style AND have the pleasure of knowing you’ve upgraded your dusty old wreath into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that no one else has. 

How to make an artificial wreath look more expensive

'Artificial wreaths are increasingly popular and a good quality one can look great in its own right,’ explains Nathalie Gibbins, Founder of Pow Pots. ‘However, adding a few extra touches can give it a real wow factor.’ It can also make a wreath look more expensive, and here are some tips on how to nail this budget-friendly Christmas hack.

1. Add some fairy lights

Lights4Fun Christmas wreath

(Image credit: Lights4Fun)

Let’s be honest; you can never go wrong with adding more fairy lights to your Christmas decorations. Not only will these lights make your wreath stand out during the dark nights, but they’ll also work wonders to cover up any unsavoury aspects of an artificial wreath. 

For example, if your wreath has become a little dusty or bent after years in the loft, these lights can help to draw the eye away from it. 

Home decor expert Margaret Larson from Sustainable Furniture says, ‘The glimmers of light make an eye-catching and glamorous design, perfect for creating a cosy atmosphere during the dark winter months. We recommend using fine wire fairy lights for the ultimate boujee look, as the thin and subtle wire ensures they are barely noticeable, and they can be easily manipulated around branches.’

You have to be careful when adding fairy lights to a wreath, though, as many battery-powered lights come with huge battery packs that can stick out like a sore thumb and instantly cheapen the whole aesthetic. Instead, you should opt for lights that have smaller battery packs that can be hidden within the foliage - like these BXROIU Fairy Lights from Amazon.

2. Make it more natural

Streamer garland hung over door

(Image credit: Future PLC / Mark Scott)

This year, ‘quiet luxury’ decorations are dominating the festive period. These decorations focus on neutral tones and natural themes, which is why one of the best ways to make your artificial wreath look more expensive is to add these natural accents to it. 

‘Another great idea is adding a little fresh foliage to artificial wreaths - it doesn’t take much,’ says Nathalie. ‘A single decent branch or small bunch of eucalyptus or red berries can be transformative. Simply cut into smaller pieces and attach using thin rose wire or a glue gun.’

You could also grab some pine cones from your garden or use some real foliage from your bushes. However, it’s important to note that if you do choose to add real plants to your artificial wreath, you’ll need to give it a spritz with water every two or three days to keep it fresh. Alternatively, you can go down the dried flowers route and leave the foliage to dry out before adding to your wreath.

If you wanted to, you could even go down an edible route by drying oranges in your air fryer and attaching cinnamon sticks to your artificial wreath. This will add a beautiful fragrance, too. 

3. Attach leftover decorations

Christmas wreath on turqoise front door

(Image credit: Future/Simon Whitmore)

No matter whether you’re on the side of the best artificial Christmas trees or you’re fond of the real deal, we can all agree that no Christmas tree would be complete without some decorations. But if you have some leftovers this year, why not add them to your wreath?

You could attach these spare baubles, ribbons, and other Christmas tree decorations with a hot glue gun or by the string that’s already attached to them, and this will instantly make your artificial wreath more striking and expensive. Alternatively, you could embrace the trend of re-using your autumnal decorations for Christmas and attach them to your artificial wreath. 

Whatever you do, Annah Kelly, Styling Expert for Bridgman, suggests choosing your decorations carefully. ‘Add silk ribbons and velvet bows to complement the wreath's colours. Incorporate shades of gold and burgundy to create a sophisticated ambience, adding a personal touch to each layer by including a monogrammed ornament or a symbol that tells a unique story. Balance statement pieces with subtle elegance to create a captivating and eye-catching wreath.’

4. Make it skinny

Miners lantern

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

This year, skinny Christmas wreaths like this Frosted Eucalyptus Wreath from The White Company are becoming more and more popular. But if you don’t have the cash to buy a whole new wreath, you’ll be happy to know that you can turn your old wreath into something that looks very similar to this for a fraction of the price. 

To do this, you can either use some festive ribbon or some natural twine, depending on the aesthetic you’re after. Then, wrap your ribbon or twine around half of your wreath, pushing down the foliage and creating this open space. 

The end result looks incredibly chic and won’t cost you a lot at all. In fact, you might already have some spare ribbon in the house, and you'll no doubt find some extra twine in your shed. 

5. Start from scratch

Christmas wreath on front door

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you have a rather plain-looking artificial wreath that needs jazzing up for Christmas, sometimes it could be worth your while to re-make your wreath from scratch. In doing this, you can keep the foliage and the main accents of your original wreath while adding your own personal and expensive-looking touches. 

It’s easy to find new wreath frames, and these won’t cost you a lot at all. In fact, this Wire Wreath Frame from Hobbycraft is just £3! You can then re-attach the foliage and decorations from your old wreath onto this new frame with some wire or twine, and then add any accents from the tips above to create something beautiful and bespoke. 

Alick Burnett, Managing Director at Blooming Artificial says, ‘Try to stick to a theme, and don’t overdo it if you want that ‘expensive-looking’ finish. The main thing is to be creative, go for decor which suits your own style, and is versatile enough to be re-used year after year - which is the best thing about artificial wreaths!’


How do you fluff an artificial Christmas wreath?

Artificial wreaths can often lack the fluffiness of a real wreath, but this is easily rectified. All you need to do is lay your wreath on a flat surface and then carefully lift up each branch in a way that looks natural. 

In general, you should try to ensure that the branches along the edges are pointing outwards, the ones in the centre should point forward, and the ones on the inner edge should point inward. By doing this, your artificial wreath should look fluffy and more like a real wreath. 

Can you put a fake wreath outside?

Yes! In fact, artificial wreaths are perfect for outside use, as they can withstand all kinds of weather patterns and temperature changes. 

However, it is important to check the specifications of the artificial wreath you buy, as some wreaths may need to be protected or kept undercover to stop them from going mouldy. 

How do you attach ornaments to an artificial wreath?

There are many ways to attach ornaments to an artificial wreath. While some people have a huge amount of success with a hot glue gun, there are others who prefer the security of tying these ornaments and decorations on with twine, ribbons, or invisible wire. 

If you want to make your artificial wreath look more expensive, then it’s time to get crafty! 

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.