"A full, brightly lit, decorated tree gives a feeling of abundance that puts everyone in a happy holiday mood," Soto says.
A lighted garland can go far in filling empty space on a thin tree, she says, and creates an even warmer glow.
Add any extra lighting before you decorate with ornaments so you're not getting them tangled up. Also, while lighting makes your tree sparkle, it also can highlight bare areas and show where ornaments or other items may be needed to create an ample appearance.
— Trimming the Tree
If you're looking to create bulk or a new look, Soto says hot ornament trends this holiday season include unconventional colors such as pinks, purples and blues. Jewel tones and bright citrus hues are also popular, as are gilded and mercury ornaments that really "jazz up" a tree.
Also popular are nature themes, and upcycled or recycled items.
Karen Edenfield, a designer with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, suggests using feathers, pine cones or artificial pine stems for natural-looking filler, or floral stems and bushes for bulk, texture and color. Berry stems can be placed deep in the tree to mask gaps and give a glimpse of color. Reused and recycled items could include old sheet music, jewelry, and gift wrapping or bows.
Other trendy themes include wine and grapes; seashore; and cupcakes and other sweets. Themes can be a great fix for sparse-looking trees: "People won't focus as much on the tree as they will on the overall look," Edenfield says.
Ribbons are another simple way to fill out a scraggly tree, and can be found in an array of patterns. If placed horizontally, they should go on after lights and before ornaments. Or use a large, multi-bow ribbon at the top of the tree with ribbon streamers hanging down for a finishing touch.