It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and we all want to decorate the most perfect Christmas tree. However, it’s easier said than done. Decorating your Christmas tree can be a daunting task for some, but this festive season, we have you covered!
Here are 8 secrets to help you create a Hallmark-inspired Christmas tree:
- The tree. I can only speak for artificial trees when it comes to decorating, and as someone who has owned a variety of priced trees, I can say my higher-quality tree is much easier to decorate. Invest in a high-quality tree and you will spend less time and money filling in the gaps from the scarce branches.
- Branches. Speaking of branches, you can’t just pop up your tree and start decorating. Fluffing and separating each branch will create a fuller looking tree. Don’t be afraid to bend the branches to cover extra gaps; it will be worth it in the end.
- Lights. Start with lights first. If you have a pre-lit tree, this should be easy. I also add extra lights; the clear globe lights from Target are my favorite. Adding the extra dimension of lights creates a magical glow. Balsam Hill has a great chart on how many lights you may need for your tree. First, I would plug in each set of lights to make sure they actually work. The worst thing in the world is to string your lights, plug them in, and nothing happens. Once all lights are checked, you are ready to start. There is a great debate on how to string lights; after trying several ways, the easiest is to start at the top weaving in and out of each branch and circling around the tree. A great tip: during the weaving process, go above one branch and below the next as you encircle the tree. Make sure to keep the lights off during this process, as you will be able to see gaps and holes better.
- Theme. Technically, this should be done before you start decorating. Your theme can be anything from a color scheme to pink candy cane nutcrackers. This will help you guide your decoration. I change my theme about every three years. My theme this year is “White Christmas.” I will discuss decorations next.
- Decorations. Once you have a theme, decorations will be easier. I recommend several different decor pieces fitting in with your theme. Fortunately, I was able to re-use several decor pieces for my “White Christmas” tree. First, I strung white buffalo check garland like I did with the lights, but brought it very close to the tip of each branch. Next, I added champagne round ornaments at least six inches apart in a triangle. As I move down my tree, I rotate my triangle. After I am happy with the placement, I gather my miscellaneous items. I love a series of “sticks” purchased from Hobby Lobby. I continue to place different items such as an iced pine branch, glitter urchin, and champagne berry branch at least three inches from each other in a triangular shape. This creates an equal balance of each piece. If you decorate with traditional round ornaments, this process still works, but start with the largest ornaments first working your way to the odd shaped or smallest last.
- Ribbon. This is another personal preference; I prefer to string my garland first, then add my ribbon to cover any gaps. There are many ways to add ribbon and I will cover a few. You can cut ribbon, yes CUT your ribbon (people are really afraid of this) into six-inch strips and tie them on each branch going in a diagonal form. Another great option is to cut the wired ribbon in 6-12 inch strips (the size can vary if you like), and bounce the ribbon (my favorite technique). How?
- Take the first strip of ribbon and insert one end at eye level into the tree.
- “Bounce” the ribbon either straight down or diagonally into a hole visible in the tree. I typically don’t do much to the piece of ribbon, but make sure it isn’t pulled tight. I love the natural bounce look.
- If you have left over ribbon, continue to bounce down until you have none left for that strip.
- Find another hole close to the first, and repeat those steps.
- You will want to step back and look at the tree every few strands to make sure you are filling in all gaps, but equally apart from each other.
- Tip: You can use different colors and styles of wired ribbon to create a fun layered tree. I use sheer glitter, champagne, and white.
7. Topper. I have leniency when it comes to tree toppers. This is the one tradition that can withstand any theme/decor change. If you don’t have a traditional tree topper, matching your theme can be fun! Country themed tree? A brass star would look beautiful as a topper.
8. Skirt. The last and final magical touch for your Christmas tree is the tree skirt. Over the past few years, we have seen a transition from tree skirt to bucket/basket. I still love the traditional skirt, but it’s up to you. My family has moved over to the galvanized bucket trend which fits perfectly into their country Christmas tree. I chose the classic buffalo plaid skirt which tied in my buffalo plaid garland. Don’t be afraid to add a pink skirt for a pop of color or a galvanized bucket for the latest trend.