Create your designer-looking tree step-by-step on a budget, how to make DIY Christmas bows, Christmas tree themes, and more!
Throughout the holiday season the Christmas Tree is the centerpiece of the home. Here are easy, inexpensive tips and techniques to make yours special.
Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro: Easy Decorating Tips
I’ll tell you the honest truth. For many years all I did was open up ornament boxes, load up the Christmas tree, stand back, and wonder, is this it? I hadn’t studied the art of decorating a tree. I had no plan, no color scheme, just boxes of stuff. And you know what? It was fine. We had fun. The kids put their homemade ornaments front and center with pride, and we were happy. But if you are wanting a fancy tree or just want to add more sophistication and style to your Christmas tree, I’m here to say, it’s easy and fun. And the best part is it doesn’t have to cost a lot. It just takes a little planning and a few strategies.
Actually, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to turn tree decor into an art. There are so many styles of tree decorating. The options are endless. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. So, I am going to break it down and show you how to create an artistic, swoon-worthy tree with some easy Christmas tree decorating tips.
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Choose a Theme or Color Scheme for Your Christmas Tree
First things first, you need to choose a theme. You can choose one theme for your entire Christmas decor so everything works together. Or, you can go room by room. Some people put up several trees and each tree has it’s own theme. If you have a variety of themes throughout your home just be sure that the surrounding area goes together.
Examples of Christmas Tree Themes:
- Country or Rustic Christmas
- Traditional Christmas
- Silver Christmas, Gold Christmas, or a mix of metallics
- White Christmas
- Natural Christmas (green and brown)
- Blue Christmas
- Modern or Glam (color combinations can vary)
Brainstorming your Christmas Tree Theme
Your theme can be simply the colors you’ve chosen, or you can define the mood or style and then choose the colors which you will use to express that style. For example, this year before any buying or decorating began I started to brainstorm. Since my decorating style has been increasingly farmhouse oriented I chose to continue with my holiday decor and create a “Country, Rustic Farmhouse Christmas.”
Decorating isn’t a science. It’s an art. So, like any art, you make it up. It comes from your creativity. Remember that and you’ll have fun and not worry about any rules. Every suggestion that follows is just that, a suggestion. In the end, you can do whatever you want.
So next I thought about what would that mean for Christmas. I imagined tartan, a lot of tartan. I imagined plaid, red, old-fashioned details, antiques, rustic, natural elements, pine cones, farmhouse details.
My advice is to look at all you own first, and then shop. I don’t always take my own advice, but I try. Also, it’ best to begin with a plan. I know some of you are planners and some of you have to create organically (as it comes to you). The more you can brainstorm and gather supplies in advance the better the process will be.
With these supplies and my easy instructions you will be a master bow maker in no time.
Let’s Build Your Christmas Tree
So after the lights are on it’s time for bows. Bows are relatively inexpensive and easy to create. You can use two, three, four different ribbons to create your bows. You’ll want to incorporate all your colors in your bow choices. I suggest using different widths, one wide and billowy, two mid-range (approx. 2″), and one thinner (1/2′-1″).
You can find my ribbon choices for my “Country Rustic Farmhouse” theme below.
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Christmas Tree Bow Shopping List (with links)
- wide burlap wire ribbon with glitter edges
- solid red wire ribbon
- red taffeta wire ribbon
- tartan plaid
- thinner burlap
I recommend buying ribbon with wire. They often cost a bit more, but in my opinion they are worth it. You can shape these ribbons beautifully, and they look great year after year when you bring them out of storage.
Besides ribbon you also need:
5 Easy Steps to Making Your Christmas Tree Bows
- To begin, cut approximately 30 inch pieces.
- I recommend using different width ribbons for added interest.
- Next, fold your pieces in half
- Grab them all together holding each in a loop position.
- Next, wrap a piece of craft wire around the ribbon loop to secure.
- Leave enough wire to attach ribbon to tree.
- Gather your ribbons and secure them tightly with craft wire.
- Then spread out your ribbons so they create side by side loops.
- Spread out the tails so it looks like a flower.
- Remember to trim the tails on the diagonal (if you haven’t already).
- Finally, attach in a diamond shape all around the Christmas tree.
Surprising Christmas Tree Elements
In order to create an artful Christmas tree you need to think outside the box. Besides having a Christmas tree that looks amazing, often these elements can be way less expensive than regular ornaments. For example, I thought about what items I already owned that expressed farmhouse, rustic, country decor.
I came up with two items that I had plenty of already: pine cones and cotton stems. Using wire cutters I cut up my cotton stems into small pieces to add to the tree. I recommend heading to the floral aisle instead of the Christmas aisle to find festive floral stems that add your colors and mood to the tree.
3 Easy Tips to Decorating Your Christmas Tree
No matter what you decide to use to create your Christmas tree, here are the key points to remember:
- Firstly, cut up your floral stems so you don’t have big clumps.
- Next, cluster your elements, don’t scatter or sprinkle.
- Finally, arrange in diamond patterns around your Christmas tree.
How to Arrange Christmas Ornaments
Here are some rules of thumb to artfully arrange Christmas ornaments on your Christmas tree.
- Don’t let ornaments dangle from long strings. Instead attach a hook at the base and attach from there to the tree. The key is to make the ornament look like it is growing right from the branch. It makes such an improvement.
- Repeat ornaments to give your tree a cohesive look.
- Bunch ornaments by attaching three together with your craft wire and attach your trio to the Christmas tree.
- Have your color scheme fully represented in your trio bunch.
Have fun adding unique elements to your tree. To create a rustic farmhouse feel I added pine cones and cotton stems throughout the tree.
Final Christmas Tree Touches
Lastly, I recommend using some element to drape around the tree in sweeping motions. This adds cohesion, drama, fullness, and another layer of dimension. Most often this is created by ribbon. Large mesh ribbon (6-12″ wide) is a great choice.
The other most common option is garland. Your choice of garland will depend entirely on your theme. The choices are endless, from the traditional popcorn and cranberries, to modern beads, and on and on. Since my theme is rustic I decided to use long twig-like “floral” pieces. These really added the final “je ne sais quoi” to my Christmas tree turning it from flat and predictable into a three dimensional sculpture.
Christmas Tree and Holiday Decor to Inspire
Jodie and I have many more Christmas tree decorating and holiday inspiration posts. Here are some of our favorite Christmas home tours:
Why Do We Decorate Christmas Trees?
Besides the obvious reasons, ever wonder why we decorate a Christmas tree? Tradition of course. But what started this long-held tradition? Knowing the origins of our traditions adds even more meaning to them. If you are fascinated like we are read the brief History of Christmas Trees. Your new understanding may even lead to a fun family discusion this holiday.
I hope we have given your some inspiration and motivation to create your own masterpiece. You are truly only limited by your own imagination. Get creative and enjoy the process. You don’t need fancy or expensive ornaments to create a magical Christmas tree that will add joy and beauty to your holiday celebrations. If you think outside the box it is easy and inexpensive to create a Christmas tree you’re proud of and that your family will love.
Happy Holidays and Happy Decorating!
With love and blessings,