Follow my top Christmas tree decorating tips for a home that looks festive and jolly.
We all want to learn how to decorate the perfect Christmas tree with baubles, ornaments and lights perfectly coordinated in a festive and stylish scheme. In reality, however, it’s easier said than done. Decorating a Christmas tree is no mean feat, especially for the perfectionists among us, but if your home is your pride and joy and the tree is the centrepiece of your home come the festive season, then I’ve got you covered.
In December, I presented a TV Show called Incredible Christmas Trees & How To Decorate Them for Channel 5 – and in this post, I’m sharing my best tips from the show!
Before your start!
But you begin, you’ll need to have the right tools to ensure the safe and proper set up of your Christmas tree. This includes cotton gloves for shaping branches, scissors with safety handles for materials, packaging or equipment, and a sturdy ladder or step stool for installing toppers and arranging décor on taller trees.
Now you’re all set up, let’s get you an Insta-worthy look with very little effort? Read on…
taking care of your TREE
Take care of your tree so it lasts all the way through December with these easy-to-follow tree care tips
1. If you can visit your local organic Christmas tree farm so you can pick your tree that is the perfect shape for your home. Make sure you measure up the area where you plan to put your tree to make sure that you don’t buy one that is too small (or too big). Most trees are cut in early November, so the earliest you buy it, the freshest it will be!
2. Remove the packaging, and leave your tree outside for three days (in a bucket of water) so that the tree can have a good drink, and the branches can drop.
3. Once you have brought your tree inside, place in a bucket of water with a spoonful of sugar to re-hydrate and give it a chance to adjust to your home. And keep away from heat sources like radiators or fires. Leave to stand for a day so that the branches on your tree can relax.
4. Choose a tree stands that has a water well – this will allow your tree to drink water and will keep it alive for longer.
5. Use a specialist florist spray to keep the needles in place.
6. If your tree has a few sad, sparse sections, you can make it look fuller by adding in sections of artificial pine garland. Once you get the tree lit and decorated, you won’t even be able to tell!
Dressing Your Tree with LIGHTS
Before you hang a bauble, we need to chat about lights. I’ve got you covered so you will have the perfect amount for Christmas sparkle and shine.
7. When lighting your tree, here’s your rule of thumb: use one 100-count string of lights per vertical foot of your tree. It’s maddening to run short of lights before the job is done! Or even better go for a pre lit tree that you just plug in and go.
8. Always switch on your lights BEFORE your dress your tree to make sure they work. Keep them switches on when dressing the tree so you can see where best to place them as you go.
9. LED lights are best as they are low energy so you can have them on for longer without costing the earth too. Choose lights with green flex so they are hidden within a natural tree.
10. What colour lights you go for, really depends on the look you want to go for. I love smart fairy lights which you can control with an app on your phone – changing the lights to suit your home and your decor.
11. If you want extra sparkle to draw attention to your best baubles, then you can add battery-powered fairy lights among the branches. Also wind fairy lights in your garlands to add extra sparkle.
12. Hate tangled up lights? Store them by winding them around a large piece of cardboard or a roll of Christmas wrap. Wind them them around gently (and not too tightly) and then tape in place with masking tape.
Decorating your tree with baUbles
Baubles make a tree extra special. The trick is to start with a bumper pack, then add the special decorations that reflect your personality.
13. Most people would think popping your topper on would be the last step but it can be difficult to fix your topper securely when the tree is decorated, and you’re more likely to knock your precious decorations off branches.
14. When it comes to choosing a colour scheme, then I would limit yourself to 3 or 4 colours, for a sophisticated look. Add interest with baubles of different size, and textures and shapes in your chosen colours.
15. Buy a cheap bulk pack of baubles of various sizes in your theme colours as your starting base. I’ve gone for a jumbo pack of 50 baubles in my colours – but some are shiny, matt and glittery so they sparkle under the lights. You can pick these up from the supermarket or online without breaking the bank.
16. Add your best decorative baubles at eye level. That way everyone can see them! And they are out of harms way from pets or children.
17. Hang your largest baubles first, and put them on the bottom branches. Medium-sized in the middle, and small at the top. This reflects the ascending shape of the tree and it will make it look more balanced.
18. Are you as sick of those fiddly bauble strings as I am? They are tricky to get on the tree and never feel that secure. Use floral wire instead! It’s much sturdier, and blends right in with the tree branches. And it stops pets or children pulling them off. Handy also if your tree gets knocked over.
ALTERNATIVE TINSEL IDEAS
Tinsel is very much a HOT TOPIC. If you are not fan, then here are my three alternative tinsel ideas.
19. Paper chains – To give a tree a hand-crafted look, make paper chains from left over wrapping paper that you can drape around your tree. This is a fab craft to do with your loved ones in the run up to Christmas.
20. Giant Stars – To add drama any tree with giant paper stars.
21. Fabric fringing– Hunt in your sewing box for strings of pom poms, tassels or fringing that you can drape around your tree.
The final finishing touches
Once you have put on the lights and decorated your tree with baubles, it’s time to pay attention to the finishing touches!
22. Don’t forget about decorating the base of your tree! There are so many choices out there, from wicker skirts, fabric and even origami paper ones (like this one above from Dunelm). You could always wrap fake presents to cover up your tree stand. I got a cheap galvanised bucket from B&Q to place mine in costing £5!
23. Around the base of your tree, why not have a super cute tree train that will whizz around the base. The kids (and pets) will love it! It will look like the Santa Express is delivering your pressies.
24. Wrap your gifts in paper that is in the same colours as your tree decorations. On the top of each pressie, tie on berries, baubles or small decorations so they complement your tree.
Hope you have enjoyed these 24 Christmas Tree Styling tips! Bet you can wait to start decorating. You’re going to have the best Christmas trees this year.
Merry Christmas Love Maxine