Tips for Decorating Your Christmas Tree

Hi, friends! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! I wanted to jump on here and show you some sneaks of how our home is coming along for Christmas {yes, we decorate early, and I love it!}. One of the things I’ve struggled with for years is how to decorate my tree without it looking basic and like every other tree out there. Much like you, I’m sure, my taste has changed over the years, so my Christmas tree is an ever evolving game of musical decor. You’ve probably figured out by now that farmhouse style is my thing. I love it. I love the mixture of woods and whites, of old and new.

Along with that has come a love of knitted stockings, all things Hearth and Hand {let’s be honest}, flocked trees and garland, fresh pine and cedar and, of course, wood signs {hello… sign maker}. I’ve moved more toward garland on my tree and further from typical ornaments — I don’t use a tree topper anymore. Instead, I’ve experimented with ribbon, floral picks and most recently cotton stems. With all of that rearranging and tried {and sometimes failed} attempts, I finally feel like I’ve mastered the art of decorating a tree so that it looks full and beautiful, intentional and somewhat professional. Of course, I wanted to share what I’ve learned with all of you, so here are my best tips for getting that beautiful tree every time.

Invest in a full tree.

Does it have to be live? No {although, it’s a tradition I’ve fallen in love with over the years}. Regardless of whether you go artificial or live, spend your money wisely on one that is lush and full. Ideally, it will stand almost as tall as your ceiling minus an inch or two. The worst thing when decorating a tree is trying to fill in holes with ornaments and garland. Already have one that’s a little more bare? Go pick up some pine picks from your local tree farm and mix them in with the artificial branches.

Start with the lights.

I like to use two sets of lights, one large and one small. I’ve never been a fan of colored lights, but that’s not to say they can’t be just as pretty as the white ones when done correctly! So if you love color, don’t shy away from them! Embrace it and keep the rest of your tree to one or two additional colors. Start with the small lights. Wrap them all the way up the tree, then go back up the tree with larger lights in the same color(s).

Add garland.

Ribbon is probably my favorite garland to use. Get the ribbon with wire so you can pinch it every 8-12″ and weave it in and out of the tree. Always start at the bottom and work your way up. I like to wrap up diagonally to give the tree a bit more interest. You can also put ribbon on vertically, but still pinch and weave on your way up. After adding ribbon, I’ll add another garland — sometimes a faux cranberry garland and sometimes a pennant banner. Feel free to try a few different things until you find the combination you like. The best tip I’ve heard lately is to buy buffalo check socks, fill with old ornaments and tie them off with floral wire. It makes a beautiful buffalo check “garland” at a fraction of the cost. A friend of mine told me about this, and now I’m going to have to try it out. I’ll be sure to post once I do.

Hang larger ornaments and picks.

I found these soft mini stockings at Target last year, and they’ve really helped tie the whites and creams on my tree together. They, along with some cranberry picks, some Hobby Lobby metal pieces are the larger pieces I’ve added to the tree.  You can get really creative with these — wood slice ornaments, even Christmas signs can make great statement pieces for your tree. Spread these out on all sides of your tree before adding in smaller ornaments to add to the overall symmetry and fullness of your tree.

Add the smaller ornaments.

This is where those older ornaments, the family heirlooms, the first home/first Christmas/first baby ornaments come into play. Try to stick with a color scheme as best you can for a more professional look. If your ornaments run the gamut of colors, choose your favorites and add in some solid colored ornaments to help balance it out. My favorite trick is to use solid white ornaments to as base pieces, my grandmother’s mercury glass ornaments to add some glam, a few rustic ornaments that I’ve picked up recently and our family ornaments to make sure all the pieces honor the color scheme.

Pick your topper.

The possibilities are endless here. From premade ribbons to traditional stars to floral picks and everything in between, as long as it has some body to it, it will work as a topper! Have a small decorative sled laying around? Hang it at the top of the tree and add some holly or cranberry picks. All I did this year was take a few bunches of cotton stems and tuck them down on either side of the top branch of the tree. It was simple and effective.

Those are my best tips and steps for getting that professional looking tree every time! If you try these tips, I’d love to know about it in the comments below! Happy decorating, friends! Click here to see last year’s decor!



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