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Ali LaBelle never considered putting up a Christmas tree. “I live by myself. It felt like too much work,” she recalls. But a couple of years ago, the Los Angeles–based creative came across a tiny white faux option at RH with lightbulb branches. “It added a little sparkliness to my apartment,” she says. Plus it could easily be stored out of the way in her hallway closet during nonholiday months. 

Not having yet accrued a solid ornament collection (“I’m 31, so I only have around four,” she jokes), LaBelle searched for a speedy way to spruce up her fake tree this year. Her hack? Baby’s breath. While the affordable floral (she bought four bunches at the grocery store) is often associated with springtime, Easter, and weddings, it also happens to look like snow. “It added a really pretty, twinkly texture to the tree that it didn’t have before,” she says. 

Each stem is secured to the faux tree’s wiry branches with white embroidery thread. The key is to not deviate too far from its natural triangular shape. “I didn’t want it to look like an explosion,” she notes. The best part: When the baby’s breath dries out, you can leave it (it still looks good, even when it shrinks down a bit) and continue to fill it in with fresh bundles. Putting the faux tree in a basic storage basket is a chic way to hide the unsightly base legs (LaBelle just used one she already had in her apartment).

For a final touch, LaBelle bought a cheap pack of multicolored velvet ribbons on Amazon for less than $15 and tied the strips to some of the branches. “I watched three different YouTube tutorials trying to figure out how to tie the perfect bow, but at the end of the day I did it like a shoelace,” she says with a laugh. “I just winged it for the most part.” She can hang on to the ribbons well after New Year’s and use them for other projects or store them away for the next holiday season—they barely take up any space, after all. 

“It’s not hard to get creative with your tree when you use materials you have access to, like ribbon, flowers, linen, or tinsel,” says LaBelle. “You can spend $20 and get your whole Christmas vibe done.” Think of it as a gift—to yourself.