Decorate Your Christmas Tree like a Pro:
Easy Decorating Tips
Let me 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. Note: My gorgeous 8 ft. flocked tree this year is from King of Christmas.
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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)
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. What would I do for Christmas? Since my decorating style has been increasingly farmhouse oriented I chose to continue with my holiday decor and create a “Country, Rustic Farmhouse Christmas”. (I made that up!) I mean, 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! So 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 you know, we can try! Also, if you have a plan before you begin all the better. 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.
Let’s Build Your Tree
So after the lights are on it’s time for BOWS! Bows are relatively inexpensive and easy to create. You can use 2, 3 or 4 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″).
My choices this year for my “Country Rustic Farmhouse” theme were the following.
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- 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:
Making Your Bows
- To begin, cut approximately 30 inch pieces.
- Next, fold your pieces in half and grab them all together holding each in a “loop” position.
- Next, wrap a piece of craft wire around the ribbon loop to secure, leaving enough wire to attach ribbon to tree.
- Then spread out your ribbons so they create side by side loops and spread out the tails as you like 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.
In order to create an artful 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! Bonus! 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.
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.
Here are some rules of thumb to artfully arrange 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! Such an improvement!
- Repeat ornaments to give your tree a cohesive look
- Bunch ornaments by attaching 3 together with your craft wire and attach your trio to the tree.
- Have your color scheme fully represented in your trio bunch.
Lastly, I recommend you use some element to drape around the tree in sweeping motions to add cohesion, drama, and another layer of dimension. Most often this is created by ribbon. 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 into a three dimensional sculpture instead of flat and predictable.
More Christmas Trees and Holiday Decor to Inspire
Jodie and I have lots more Christmas trees and holiday inspiration. Here are some of our favorite Christmas home home tours:
In summary, I hope I have given your some inspiration and motivation to create your own masterpiece. This is my true desire. If you can take away any message here it is that by thinking outside the box it is easy and inexpensive to create a tree you can be proud of. You don’t need fancy or expensive ornaments to create a magical Christmas tree that will add joy and beauty to your holiday celebrations. Happy Holidays and Happy Decorating!
With love and blessings,