Tips for Decorating Your Christmas Tree

ChristmasWorldNovember 20, 2012

Decorating your Christmas tree is not a shoot-first-aim-later process. To get the classic, symmetrical look you see in stores, you have to have a plan. Plus, a few decorating tricks to help trick the eye. Fortunately for you, we've got all sorts of tricks, tips, and ideas and we're happy to share...

Tip #1: Choose a Colour Theme

Choose a color theme for your d�cor before you pick out your tree; it may affect which kind of tree you want. For example, if you're going with a traditional colour scheme, you'll probably want a fresh, verdant tree to make your red, white, and green ornaments stand out. A multicolour theme, on the other hand, might look best on a metallic tree or an artificial white tree which allows those bright colours to pop. Going for that winter wonderland look in white, blue, and silver? A snow-tipped artificial green fir is the tree for you.

Tip #2: Prune Your Branches

Once you get your tree set up, take a step back and have a good look at it. Sometimes trees get a little bent up during transport. First, rotate the tree to find the best side. Then check the symmetry. If its artificial, you might have to rearrange some branches for a better look. If its a fresh tree, you might have to prune back the odd branch with a pair secateurs, cutting at an angle to disguise the fresh cuts. These few simple alterations will turn your tree into the perfect blank canvas to let your decorative imagination run wild!

Tip #3: Light's Up First

Always put your lights up first. These are the brightest spots on your tree, the thing people will see first, so choose lights that flatter your colour theme. We always recommend LED lights- they're brighter and very energy efficient. When putting up your lights, remember to weave the wire through the branches, tucking it in but allowing the bulbs to show. Secure with garden wire, if necessary. You will need around 30 lights per foot of vertical height on your tree. For extra sparkle, add tinsel or a beaded garland next to catch that beautiful glow.

Tip #4: Keep Size in Mind

When choosing your decorations, remember to choose decorations appropriate to the size of your tree. A five foot tree overloaded with commercial sized baubles looks very heavy. Instead, choose smaller, more delicate ornaments and give the tree a chance to breathe. On the other hand, trees seven feet and up can handle ornaments and baubles up to 25cm in diameter. Use commercial baubles, large picks, and giant bows spaced evenly on the tree and fill in the spaces with smaller items. Use too many small ornaments and the tree will look naked. Using a mixture- perfect.

Tip #5: Appropriate Placement

When you add ornaments to a tree, don't add them randomly. Larger ornaments should be more heavily distributed towards the bottom of the tree, where there's plenty of space to absorb their size. Smaller ornaments should be more concentrated towards the top, where they'll look larger because there's less space to fill. The result is that the ornaments shrink as the tree narrows- making the overall effect balanced and even.

Tip # 6: Tricking the Eye

Here's another tip for creating a symmetrical tree: you will need physically more decorations at the bottom than you will at the top. If you use the same amount, the tree will look either naked at the bottom or overloaded at the top. For a balanced, even look, add more to the bottom; you'll "trick" the eye into thinking the tree is symmetrical.

Here's one final tip. Your tree should be the focal point of your Christmas display. The rest of your d�cor should revolve around it, leading spectators to that point. To do this, use some of the same d�cor motifs on your tree throughout the rest of your house. If you're using red baubles in the tree, hang some in the window or on the mantlepiece as well. It will give your d�cor a cohesive look and draw everybody's eyes back to the important point: your beautiful tree.

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Thank you for sharing your tree decorating hints.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:22AM
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I think that tip #6 is especially interesting.... I've never heard that about overloading the tree bottom with ornaments on purpose. Then again, I'd bet that whoever suggested this tip does not have cats! :)

Did I ever tell you about the time I made gingerbread men to decorate the tree? Every day I'd come home from work and find a cookie or two on the floor broken -- but I could never fine their heads! I eventually saw her do it: my cat would knock a cookie off the tree, eat the head, and leave the rest. :p

So, is there a tip about WHERE TO PLACE A TREE within a room??? I have a 24' long LR, but it's narrow and one long wall has a large bank of windows across the middle, as well as a door. I've tried placing the tree in the far corner, but it seems so out-of-view. I've tried placing the tree on the opposite end, centered on the other short wall near the door, but it seems to be too "in your face", IYKWIM. I'm tempted to try placing it more in the center of the room -- near those windows -- but does it make sense to do that if the furniture has to be changed some to accommodate it???

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:38AM
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Nice collection of tips. Thanks for posting.

Party_music50, I love your cat story. I wonder why she ate just the heads...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Fun2BHere, in telling the story just now it finally occurred to me! the gingerbread men were her prey! ewwww..... :O)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:49AM
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I agree about tip #6. I'm definitely going to try it. I only learned about the larger ornaments placed on the bottom last year, and it does make a difference!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:53PM
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