Each year I decorate about 6 trees in my own home and many more for clients that hire me to decorate for their business or personal tree for their home. If you haven’t noticed I LOVE Christmas. I start the day after Christmas gathering sale items for the next year. I may not already know my theme, but I collect mercury class ornaments so I’m always on the look out for those and other gorgeous items that I know I can find a home for. I have some steps that I follow when putting up any tree I decorate. I hope these help you when decorating this year.
Steps for Decorating Your Tree
Choose your theme early– I already had my holiday theme picked by June so I was able to shop for ribbon and mixed metals when I was out and about. Dishes, entertaining pieces, candles, and other items you may use for the holidays go on sale throughout the year. Plus you may not be able to spend a ton of money on holiday decor around the holidays when you’re purchasing gifts for others. If you shop year round you can spread out your budget.
Choose artificial or real tree- If you choose an artificial tree you need to decide whether it is pre-lit or will you add lights yourself. I always buy pre-lit trees. We buy artificial trees because my husband is allergic to real trees. However, I have become used to them and love them. I can put them up whenever I want and the branches are easy to manipulate. Of course live trees smell amazing!! But you have to worry about dried needles that fall off. Also you have to be careful if your ornaments are heavy. If you are adding your own lights make sure you run extension cords down the center of your tree. DON’T put them on one cord or you will blow a fuse. Also, you should put 100 lights per each foot. For example, if you have a 9′ tree you should add 900 lights.
Fluff your Tree- One of the most important things to make your tree look realistic is to fluff it and cut off the tags. After being in the box all year it is quite smushed. You want all your branches to be hiding holes and gaps in your tree. Fluff each section and start to get it back in shape.
Put on the tree topper- You want to add your tree topper before you put on the ornaments. More than likely you will be on some sort of ladder and you don’t want to knock off your precious glass ornaments. There are so many options these days that you can add on the top of your tree. Try using a bow, an angel, picks, a star, a reindeer etc..
Add large tree fillers- This is where I like to add extra branches to my tree that make them look more realistic. My favorite are the branches that are frosted or covered in ice. I love to make my green trees look like they have been hit with a little bit of snow. You don’t know how many people have asked me where I bought my tree when I used these branches. This tree happened to be just a regular inexpensive tree and was just filled with wonderful picks and fillers to make it look amazing.
Add color with designer ribbon- Ribbon can be a game changer for your tree. You can find this in any theme and color that you’re looking for. Weaving ribbon in and out can take a special technique. You don’t want to make it look like you just circled around the tree and wrapped the ribbon around and around and around. Here is a post I did last year showing the full decorating of all my trees. And if you’re not already reading Kristen’s blog Ella Clare Inspired, you need to head over there and read her post on using ribbon on your Christmas Tree. For an 8 foot tree you want to buy at least 4 rolls of ribbon that are 10 yards long. This way you have enough to use on packages at the base of your tree.
Organize ornaments by color and put large ornaments on the bottom- I took the time this year to take all my ornaments down in October and instead of having them labeled by tree I put them in tubs by color. This was the smartest thing I did organization wise. I started seeing how my trees could be decorated by using different color combinations. I really started mixing metals and materials and saved money by using the items I already own. Start down low and hang your large ornaments first. Also, look for holes deep inside the tree where big ornaments can fill holes and dangle without hitting branches. Remember, with artificial trees you can manipulate the branches.
Finish off with smaller Picks and decorative pieces- This is one of my favorite steps. I really love to add decorative fillers to the tree. When you add items like colored picks, flowers, and netting you can really start to see the tree take a designer look. These items can be expensive when buying multiple sets. Look for sales and try to get these early so they are not picked over.
You want to put a tree skirt and holiday packages to finish off the look- You can find tree skirts everywhere in every theme. I always like the classic white or gold ones so they go with most of my trees. I also like to save some of my ribbon from the tree to use on my packages at the bottom of the tree. It really pulls the look together.
Lastly, Put a stomper on your tree- I love stompers. When you have as much holiday decor as I do stompers make your life so much easier. They are cheap and can easily be found.
I hope some of these tips will help you add some pizzazz to your tree. What are some of your holiday decorating tips? I’m sure you have some that we could add. Please leave a comment below and add to the discussion. Happy Holidays.