How to decorate a Christmas tree to create a lush and full tree with an easy to follow tutorial and lots of photos.
I love decorating my Christmas tree. In fact I love it so much I usually decorate 5 Christmas trees. I often have friends ask me how I decorate my tree and some years I even have an audience because they want to watch me do it. I do put them to work though and they get to help fluff and hand me things.
Artificial Tree vs. Live Tree
We have an artificial tree. I realize that is a bit sacrilegious here in the beautiful, evergreen full Northwest but I got tired of trying to find the perfect tree each year and then having to string it with lights. The lights became my job when I realized my husband thought one string of lights should be enough to cover the whole tree.
The thing I love most about my artificial tree is that the lights are already on it except this year when half of them decided not to work. Let’s just say you really should unplug the lights before you decide to cut them off the tree!!
How to Decorate a Christmas Tree
I do have to say that the biggest trick to having a beautiful, full tree is having a lot of stuff to put on the tree. But even if you don’t have a lot you can still have a lovely tree and remember I’ve been collecting stuff for thirty years! After Christmas sales are a great way to grow that collection.
- Fluff. After setting up the tree and the lights are added make sure you fluff (this only applies to an artificial tree) The branches have gotten smooshed while its been packed away so fluff those little branches!
- Add some “filler” garlands to the tree. Push them back towards the center and it helps add depth and fill up any big “empty” spaces you may have. They are especially helpful on a live tree where the branches may not be perfectly even. I have 3 of these on my tree. My tree is 7.5 feet (we have low ceilings). They are each about four feet long.
- Flowers and Swags. I don’t just put ornaments on my tree, I have quite a bit of other decor such as flowers and fruit swags.
- Insert these fruit swags onto the tops of the branches so they are laying on top of the branch. Be sure and step back occasionally to make sure that you are placing them evenly throughout the tree.
I then add in my flowers, I have about 20 poinsettia flowers that I add into my tree – again placing them evenly throughout the tree.
Here is what the tree looks like with the garlands, fruit swags and flowers in it.
It’s pretty just the way it is but we have about 130 ornaments to put on yet!
- Add ornaments. As you can see a lot of my ornaments are the same color, red but you will notice they are different shapes. Ornaments do not all need to be round, be sure and vary the size.
I always lay my ornaments out of the floor first grouping them together by type (large, small, color, shape etc.)
No matter how careful I am there is always one or two that end up like this…
Tips for Decorating Your Christmas Tree
Start with Larger Ornaments
I have a small collection of larger ornaments that I call my “statement” ornaments. They go on the tree first. I put one group of ornaments on at a time. That way I can make sure they are evenly distributed around the tree.
How to Hang Ornaments
For hanging the ornaments I do two different things. If there is a string on the ornament, and it is a pretty string I will use it.
But I don’t like the strings hanging down so I wrap the string around the branch like this….
This is one of my best tricks on how to decorate a Christmas tree. On ornaments that don’t have strings, I do not use wire ornament hooks. I make my own out of green pipe cleaners. They blend right in with the branches and they are so easy to just wrap over the branch.
Again, keep stepping back to make sure the ornaments are evenly distributed.
I just work my way through all the different groups of ornaments.
Be sure to tuck the ornaments back into the branches too – don’t just hang them on the ends of the branches.
- Insert final filler. After all the branches are on I have a few more pieces of “filler.” which are things I stick into the tree in any empty space I might have.
I bought these fun new filler pieces this year at Joanne’s in gold and red. They drape so nicely on the tree.
- Decorate the top of the tree. Make a bouquet out of some of my filler pieces, flowers and fruit swags and insert into the top of the tree. I tie it all together with a piece of ribbon and some wire.
This step definitely requires a ladder for me!
- Put on the tree skirt. I don’t use a traditional tree skirt, rather I use some gold mesh type fabric that I like to just tuck underneath the tree. Costco is carrying something similar this year.
- Turn on the lights, step back and enjoy!
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