Christmas is the most magical time of year and I absolutely love decorating my home and adding in all of those cozy, Christmas-y touches that make this time of year so special. My absolute favorite part of Christmas decorating is decorating the tree. I have a thing for Christmas trees and I seem to add a new one every year (much to my husband’s delight). I get a lot of comments on my Christmas tree so I thought I would take a moment to compile my tips and tricks that I use year after year and on every tree in my home to take it to the next level. You know those trees that you see in department stores or boutiques that are gorgeous and over the top? Yeah, that’s the goal. Follow these steps to your best tree ever.
- Choosing the Right Tree – I always put up an artificial tree because they last the entire season, you can reuse year after year, and most of them come with lights already strung which saves me a lot of time. I invested in a gorgeous 9-ft frosted Jade Mountain tree three years ago and I’m still in love with it. The tree came with pre-strung clear lights and these amazing globe lights that really make the tree glow. Make sure you measure and take into consideration your space and ceiling height when choosing the size of your tree. Especially if you have a large tree topper. Whatever type of tree you pick out whether it be frosted, sparkling, flocked, make sure you love it and it goes with the rest of your Christmas decor because it is an investment and will be used every year.
- Spread Branches – This step is especially important if you are decorating an artificial tree because your tree has been sitting in storage all year and it is most likely squished from being crammed into a box or storage bag. Straightening out the branches and separating them brings the tree back to life. Do not skip this step. It’s tedious but you’ll regret it later. I find that it’s best to wear long sleeves during this process and gloves so your hands and arms don’t get scratched up from the branches.
- Add Tree Topper – A lot of people add the tree topper last but I like to add it first. That way if I need to lean against the tree to reach the top, I’m not risking breaking any ornaments. Also, I feel like it anchors the whole tree and I can begin placing other pieces around it to highlight it. I consider the top of the tree the crown and I love to draw the viewers eye up to the top so I tend to place branches and other greenery near the top to showcase my topper. You can use an angel, a bow, a star, any unique piece will do. I like using this oversized “Merry Christmas” sign as mine.
- Add Branches and Picks – Add any branches, picks, and greenery or flowers that you have. I always add branches to the top and then start to fill in any large holes or gaps in the tree. I try to keep things somewhat symmetrical but so much that it looks too uniform. Basically I don’t want all of my flowers on the right side of the tree and none on the left. I try to keep things balanced. You can add branches, berries, greenery, artificial flowers, pinecones, feathers. Really anything goes.
- Place Tree Skirt – After adding the branches and picks, I place the tree skirt around the tree. That way once I start hanging the ornaments, if I drop one, it will most likely fall on the tree skirt and I can avoid breaking any ornaments. This has saved me countless times. To make your tree skirt look full and fluffy, place crumbled tissue, old grocery bags, or small pillows for that full, fluffy look you see in catalogs.
- Add Ribbon, Bows, or Garland – If you’re choosing to decorate with ribbon, bows, or garland, add these before placing the ornaments. It’ll make your life a lot easier. Weave ribbon in and out of the branches and work your way down at a diagonal.
- Add Ornaments – Finally, you’re ready to add the ornaments. I start with my big ornaments first and work to fill in larger holes in tree. As a general rule of thumb, place bigger ornaments lower on the tree and smaller ornaments towards the top. Also, if you have any specialty ornaments or ornaments that you want to showcase, place those on first where you want them and in front to make sure they’re seen. Any clip-on ornaments can be placed on the tips of branches. Larger ornaments can be tucked in the back of larger holes to really fill in space and add dimension. I like to have a variety of ornaments in all shapes of sizes like balls, animals, snowflakes, etc. I also like to work with different textures, so I’ll have more natural wooden elements on my tree but also glitter balls, faux fur, burlap, and glass. Having a variety makes your tree more interesting to look at. The last thing I do is fill in the empty spaces and branches with basic ornaments and balls. That way the tree looks full. You can often buy these ornaments at places like Target or Hobby Lobby. You get a bunch for a reasonable price and they come in a ton of different colors.
That’s it! Adding just a couple of these steps will take your tree from looking basic to the focal point of your house during Christmas time. These steps can be applied whether your tree is real or artificial and your house guests will be singing you praises. I hope you all are having so much fun decorating your house for the holidays and are taking time to enjoy the holiday season. Be on the lookout for more holiday posts all month long. If you guys are decorating a tree from Christmas this year, please leave a comment below and tell me your decor theme this year. I love hearing how creative people can get.