How to Decorate the Perfect Christmas Tree
There is nothing like decorating a Christmas tree to start feeling that incomparable holidays rush. Holiday decorations are all about evoking the warmth and the cheer that the season brings throughout your home. Most Christmas tree decorations include the same elements, lights, garland, tinsel, and ornaments, but even so, each tree is different and unique. When it comes to creating a Christmas tree that successfully expresses your style, your personality, your heritage, and your surroundings, the possibilities are endless.
Whether you’re decorating a Christmas tree for the first time or if you want to change things a bit this year, we are here to help you. In this oneHOWTO article, we will provide you with ideas and tips so that you can decorate your Christmas tree like a professional.
- Choose the right Christmas tree
- Choose an appropriate place for your tree
- Bet on your own style
- Start by putting up the lights
- Hide smaller ornaments in the inside of the tree
- Hang the Christmas balls on the tree
- Add ribbons and tinsel
- Decorate the tips of the Christmas tree
- Place the ornament on the top of the Christmas tree
- Decorate the base of the Christmas tree
Choose the right Christmas tree
Finding the right tree is the first step towards creating the perfect Christmas tree. You can choose between a natural or an artificial tree. Each of the options has its pros and cons, and in the end the decision will come down to your personal preference. Natural trees smell great, help support local markets and are biodegradable. Artificial trees, on the other hand, require no maintenance, are easy to customize and are reusable.
If you decide to buy an artificial tree, opt for a traditional one rather than a trend-led one. We know that the temptation to buy that eye-catching, unconventional, asymmetric tree is strong, but a traditional tree won't go out of date anytime soon. Besides, a traditional tree serves as a perfect base for all kinds of styles, so you will never grow tired of it, and you can customize as much and as often as you wish.
Take into consideration how big is the space where you plan to place your tree. If you buy a tree that is too small for the space, it might end up looking kind of sad. After all, Christmas is all about excess. Bigger is not always better and if you pick a tree that is too big for the space, it might end up taking over the room, and not in a good way. Keep in mind that the perfect tree should a have at least 10in of free space all around it. This will make the whole process of placing the ornaments easier. Regarding its height, you must leave at least 20in between the top of the tree, where the star will go, and the ceiling.
If the available space is not too big, don't worry. There are several narrow tree designs to choose from. This kind of tree fits better in a tight space without looking small.
Choose an appropriate place for your tree
Now that you have your tree, it's time to choose the perfect spot for it. It may seem obvious, but it's better to stay away from hallways, so the tree does not obstruct passage. As tempting as it may be to place your tree next to the fireplace, it is better to avoid doing so. If the tree is natural, it will dry out faster. It is preferable to put it in a dry, cool place.
Keep in mind that the presents will very likely be opened next to the tree, so find a room that has plenty of space to sit and walk, like living room or a library. When setting up your tree, make sure it has a good base. If it is a natural tree, see that the pot gives the tree sufficient support. If the tree is artificial, make sure the base is constructed properly. Remember that you will be placing items and ornaments on the tree that may lean to one side. Make sure the tree is stable before doing anything else.
Last but not least, make sure there is a plug nearby, so you can plug in the lights.
Bet on your own style
If you want your friends to think you hired a professional to decorate your tree, take time to decide on a theme. A professional looking Christmas tree has a central look that ties the decorations and ornaments together. When you decide on a theme before you choose your decorations, you set the tone and have a clear idea of how you will decorate your tree.
Think about the style of the room the tree will be in. For example, if one color dominates the room, the Christmas tree is a great opportunity to create contrast. You can still use that color in some small ornaments or decorations to create some harmony.
For example, if your home has a minimalist or modern décor, try to reflect that feeling when decorating the tree and avoid classic or traditional ornaments.
We know that this is easier said than done, because most of the time we are not really aware of the style of our home. Get inspiration from design catalogs or magazines where you can see both the tree and the room where it is placed. This way, you can get a better idea of the central theme you are looking for before you make a purchase.
If you want to learn how to make your own ornaments, don't miss this article on unusual handmade ornaments.
Start by putting up the lights
A lot of people think that placing the lights on the tree is the last thing to do, when actually, it is the first thing you need to do. It is easier to do it at this stage than after you have placed the decorations, which can easily fall and break while you are placing the lights.
Make sure that all the lights are working. It is easier to fix any problems before than after the lights are already on the tree. Also, make sure the lights are on while you are decorating the tree, so you can have a better idea of how the final result will look and fix it on the go.
Use the plug as the starting point, wrapping the lights around your Christmas tree's trunk and working your way up from the center of the base of your tree. Continue wrapping the center of the tree until you reach the top, then start wrapping the outer parts of the tree.
Calculate well so that you have enough cable to reach the plug and make sure that the final piece of the cable is on the back face of the tree, so that it is seen as little as possible. Normally, you will need 100 bulbs or 5 meters of lights per 2ft (0.61 m) of Christmas tree.
Hide smaller ornaments in the inside of the tree
This is a designer's secret that children will love. If you have decided to renovate your Christmas tree decorations this year but don't feel like throwing the old ones away, you can reuse them and hide them in the center of the tree. This way, you will only get a glimpse of them, but they will help reflect the lights in the inside. It will also make the tree look fuller and will fill up any empty space. If you don't have enough decorations to spare, you can always use small toys and other shiny or Christmas themed objects.
Hang the Christmas balls on the tree
Once you have the fairy lights in place, it's time to hang the tree balls. When it comes to tree balls, the options are endless. You can decorate them in a single color, in two shades, or with different designs. The important thing is that you spread the balls out well across the tree, always working from the inside out. Make sure that the balls are well-balanced and distributed according to your taste. Do not forget the back of the tree, even if you think no one will notice. If you place some balls at the back of the tree, the tree will look fuller.
Combine balls of different sizes. This will create a visual effect that will give your tree more volume and movement. Arrange the ornaments from the top of the tree and then work your way down. This way, you can easily review your design as you decorate your tree. Remember to place the largest Christmas ornaments at the bottom of the tree for a balanced look.
If you want to create your own balls this Christmas, don't miss this article on how to make paper balls.
Add ribbons and tinsel
Ribbons and tinsel are the finishing touches that make your tree look perfect. If you are going for a more subtle style, ribbons may be the best choice. Use only one type of ribbon, or combine ribbons with contrasting textures and different widths for more impact. If you prefer a tree that shines spectacularly, tinsel is your best ally.
When placing these ornaments, you need to decide whether you want a vertical or horizontal distribution. This does not mean that ribbons and tinsel have to run completely straight, but it is advisable that they run in the same direction to achieve a harmonious result.
If you have a small and wide tree, the vertical ribbons will give it height and make it look slimmer. On the other hand, if your tree is very large, you should spread the tinsel horizontally.
Decorate the tips of the Christmas tree
Finally, add other elements such as light garland and glitter ribbon to the branch tips once you have added all the ornaments and oversized pieces to the tree. This will add a professional touch to your tree. Remember that the decorations need to be small and light, as they will hang from the weakest branches.
Another tip from the designers is to loosen up the branches of the tree to make it look fuller and more natural. Separate the individual branches so that they fan out and cover as much area as possible. And do not hesitate to bend individual branches to fill in gaps. A properly shaped tree is an attractive sight, no matter how minimal or lush your ornaments may be.
Place the ornament on the top of the Christmas tree
The Christmas tree ornaments that top the Christmas tree are usually somewhat elaborate and help to define the look of the entire tree. Some people prefer to do this step at the end of the decorating process, while others prefer to do it at the beginning to set the theme of the tree from the start. Most elements, such as a star or an angel, look best when combined with something else, such as stakes or ribbons.
As we mentioned earlier, the key to a professional looking tree is that it has a central theme and does not look like you just threw everything you had at the tree.
Decorate the base of the Christmas tree
The base of the tree is an element that is often overlooked, but it is actually a key component in your tree decoration. It is the place where the gifts are kept and therefore plays a very important role. If your tree is natural, a tree stand will help keep your tree upright and make it look neat and organized. You can place a variety of items at the base of the tree. Some examples include boxes wrapped in eye-catching wrapping paper, a Christmas-themed blanket covering the base of the tree, a basket of natural elements like pine cones and twigs, or some LED lights in the form of candles. Just make sure that it combines with the rest of the theme of the tree.
As a general recommendation, if you have pets or small children, do not put small objects that can be easily swallowed at the base of the tree.
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