I have been decorating a Christmas tree since I was little. I assumed everyone had but then one day when it came to my kids decorating their own trees, I realized they had not paid attention. They didn’t know the steps of how to decorate a Christmas tree.
In all fairness, they were pretty young but rather than think it through they just jumped right in and began putting ornaments on here and there. What about the lights? What about garlands?
The other consideration is that you may be new to decorating a Christmas tree because you didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas or maybe you moved from a country where you didn’t decorate a tree, etc.
So if you are that person, here is my handy dandy guide to decorating a Christmas tree.
One more thing before we get started, today I am part of a blog hop that Wendy of WM Design House is hosting. Thank you Wendy! If you are coming on over from Kim’s blog, Cottage in the Mitten, Welcome. Weren’t Kim’s tips of how to decorate a traditional tree excellent? If you haven’t checked her out just click this link.
- a real or faux Christmas tree
- tree skirt or collar
- if you are using a real tree, you will need a good stand that allows you to fill it with water and you will also need a watering can because it is important to keep the tree watered at all times
- if your faux tree is not lit, you will need lots of string lights
- garlands or ribbon of your choice
- floral, berry, evergreen or glittery pics
- a variety of different sized ornaments
- tree topper – angel, star, etc. My son found the cutest snowman head this year.
If you choose a faux tree, think of it as a long time purchase and get the best quality tree you can. We have had cheap trees and the branches fall off, the lights stop working, there are large gaps between branches, etc.
The best tree I have ever had is the King of Christmas, Queen, flocked and lit tree that we got this year. It is so good, it can be bare and looks amazing. The branches are so realistic and the flocking is done properly so it too looks natural.
The best looking trees are created with a well thought out color scheme. It is best to consider your style of furniture and decor and present color schemes happening in the room that the tree will be situated in and then pick something that will coordinate well with those elements.
Some lovely color schemes beyond red and green are:
- Navy and gold
- Purple and champagne
- Emerald green
- Black and silver or black and gold
- Light blue and cream
- matte browns
- blush and cream
- naturals or neutrals
It is also a good idea to search around early in the season to see what catches your eye and buy early because the best usually get picked over quickly.
Below are three versions of our tree this year. The first tree is all decorated in natural elements. If you would like more details on this version, click this link.
The middle tree is adorned in all of our keepsake ornaments that we have collected over the years and even the ones that my mom has passed down to me. This is such a special tree. If you would like to learn about all these special ornaments, click this link for the post.
The last tree is bright, cheery and traditional all in red with big red bells.
So one tree, with three looks!
When picking ornaments, pick ornaments of all different sizes as this creates interest. When hanging the ornaments, always tuck some deep inside the branches. I like to make sure these are near a light so that you still see them.
It is also nice to pick up a few more expensive and higher quality ones each year to add to your collection.
If your style is vintage, make sure to attend estate sales, garage sales and second hand stores. Keep an eye on facebook marketplace too. Also see if any of the vintage or second hand stores have a “wish list” where you can place you name, contact and what it is you are hoping to find so that they call you when something comes in.
The steps of decorating
Step 1 – Collar
If you are using a tree collar, the time to place it is right at the beginning. If you are using a tree skirt, it will be the last thing you place.
Step 2 – Lights
If your tree is pre-lit skip this step.
If not, then first check to make sure all the lights are working and replace any burnt out bulbs.
Starting at the base, weave the lights in from the trunk of the tree out onto each branch, looping back and forth. It is important to get the lights right into the center of the tree. Work your way all the way up the tree.
Step 3 – Garlands or Ribbon
Garlands and ribbon can be applied in a variety of ways. One way is to start with the garlands at the very top and swirl them down like on May day. You can also swoop them up and down horizontally around the tree.
Ribbon is the same but one the best ways is to tuck them far into the tree and the puff them out and around and back into the tree, kind of like speed bumps on a road. Here is an example. Make sure to roll up the ends and then let them fall so that they drape down attractively.
Step 4 – Floral, berry, evergreen or glittery picks
The next bests step is to add your picks because they are quite large and take up a lot of space. Count up how many picks you have and space them throughout your tree from side to side and top to bottom.
Step 5 – Ornaments
I always start with my favorite and most sentimental ornaments first and find places of honour for them so that you can always see them.
Next start with the largest ornaments first and work down to the smallest. Place them on the tips of the branches and deep into the branches for interest.
I always places glittery or translucent ornaments in front of lights so that the lights shine through.
Step 6 – Tree Topper
Whatever you may choose as your tree topper, star, angel, snowflake, snowman, floral or glittery picks it is time to secure it at the top.
Step 7 – Tree Skirt
Now that everything is on the tree, sweep up any evergreen needles, flocking or anything else that has fallen down. Once it is clean then you can add your tree skirt. I don’t place it at the beginning because so much usually falls off of the tree and then you will need to shake out your tree skirt.
Time to Enjoy!
Now all this is left to do is sit back and enjoy!
Next up on the hop…
Next up on the hop is Tammy from White Lilac Farmhouse. Tammy is just the sweetest person and her tips on how to decorate naturally for the season are fantastic. Be sure to check her out by clicking this link.
Below is a graphic will all of the designers and links to their Christmas tree posts.
Pretty Christmas Decor Inspiration
Below are pictures of some great decor I found through Walmart that I thought you might enjoy. The prices are fantastic. Should you decide to purchase any of these, I will earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.