Christmas is a special time of year for many families. Having a masterfully decorated tree in your home is a sure way to get your family into the holiday spirit. Take it up a notch this year and impress everyone who comes over for a visit. Follow these 10 simple steps to learn how to decorate your Christmas tree like a professional.
1. Make all of the important decisions
Before you get started, make sure you have a detailed plan of what you want to do. You have to make many decisions right away, so you know what materials to buy. You can make specific choices based on what is available while you shop, but you need to at least have a general idea of the final results you are looking to achieve. Otherwise, you will end up with an unorganized mess.
Choosing the right Christmas tree
You can choose to get an artificial tree or a real one depending on your preferences. Many people insist on getting a real tree, and that will work just fine. However, a top-of-the-line artificial tree is also a possibility. They come without the natural flaws and you get to reuse them year after year.
Some artificial trees already come with lights built in to their branches. This can make decorating a lot easier. Just make sure that the lights are white or clear and that they do not flash or blink. If the lights do not fill in enough space on the tree, you can always add some more later.
By choosing a theme when decorating your tree, you are essentially creating a glue that makes everything come together and make sense as one whole idea. There are endless options for choosing themes that have a connection to Christmas or the holiday season.
Some common theme ideas are winter or snow, winter plants, the North Pole, Frosty the Snowman and candy canes. You do not have to get very specific with your theme, just use it as a rough idea of the look you are going for.
When choosing a color scheme, choose combinations that work well together. There are a few color schemes that are commonly used for Christmas trees. For example, green and brown and white and gold are common choices. However, choosing a unique color combination can make your Christmas tree design stand out. Once you do choose your color scheme, make sure to stick with it and keep it in mind while you are putting up the rest of your decorations.
Go buy everything
Now that you made all of your choices, you can go buy everything you decided you will need. Feel free to get anything extra that catches your attention as long as it fits into your overall theme and color scheme. An improvised addition is usually what makes a design unique.
2. Work with someone else
You should have someone with you when you decorate your tree. This will ensure that all angles are being looked at, but also that different ideas and perspectives are being considered. It also makes the experience much more enjoyable. Having a second opinion will help you see things you might normally overlook. This becomes even more true when you start losing energy and your inspiration begins to dwindle.
Having a decorating partner will also come in handy for some of the tasks you will do. It is always nice having a second pair of hands to assist you. Putting up garland, lights and long ribbons is hard to do by yourself.
3. Set up tree and layout decorations
Get your tree raised and secured in the position you chose for it. Adjust each branch and fluff them a little to get the tree to look as full as possible. This works on both real and artificial trees. Bare spots can quickly become eyesores on Christmas trees.
Now it is time to get all of your decorations out of their packaging and remove any tags or labels they may have. Then, you need to lay them out on the floor in organized groups. This way you will always be able to see how much of everything you have left while you decorate, and you will know where everything is at all times.
Some artificial trees come with lights built in. If this is the case for you and you are satisfied with how the lights look, you can move on to the next step. However, feel free to add more if there are not enough on there for your liking.
If you have a real tree or an artificial one that does not already have lights, you will need to apply them yourself. You want the lights to be either clear or white so they do not attract too much attention. You also want to make sure they stay on and do not flash or blink.
Garland should be used very sparingly and in a noninvasive way. Having too much garland, or the wrong kind, can make your Christmas tree look tacky. Luckily there are lots of styles of garland available that look amazing when just the right amount is used.
We have all seen the Christmas trees with fuzzy, shiny garland that overpowers all of the other decorations. Instead, look for garland with a classy jewelry-like design. Some have pearls or crystals and they generally look very elegant.
There are two main ways that ribbons are added to Christmas trees. The first way is by using one continuous string of ribbon and maneuvering it in nicely around the tree. The second way is making individual ribbons and adding them to the tree one by one. Both ways have their advantages, and there are many techniques for each one.
Commonly, two or more styles of ribbon are combined together to create a beautiful result. Some ribbons have wires threaded through them, making them easy to handle and maneuver. Try putting your ribbons on the tree in a variety of different angles to give it an interesting look.
You want to decorate the tree with just the right amount of ribbon. While it is an important part of your design, you do not want to overdo it. You also want to avoid not having enough ribbon on your tree. Find that perfect medium. Also, consider the size of the tree and the size of the ribbon. Try to find a nice balance there as well.
7. Christmas tree picks
If you are unfamiliar with Christmas tree picks, they are similar to artificial branches that can be stuck directly into your tree. A great use for these picks is putting them into the bare areas of your tree, giving it a fuller look.
There are lots of different styles of Christmas tree picks. Most of them resemble real branches from a number of different plants. Some have artificial berries, bare sticks or fake needles. There are also many that have been painted or covered in artificial snow. It looks really nice when you take a few picks and connect them together as one before sticking them into your tree. Just remember to put them in evenly spread out spots.
Ornaments come in all shapes, sizes and colors. It is okay to get some of the new stylish ones, but you should also include the simple, small traditional ones. In fact, this variety will give the Christmas tree character.
When decorating with ornaments, you want to spread them out so they all have their own space. However, a few clusters can look nice on a Christmas tree too. It also looks good when ornaments are put on branches at different depths, rather than only at the very ends of branches.
9. Tree toppers
We are far removed from the days when all tree toppers were either a star, a snowflake or an angel. If you want that professional designer look, you could make a custom tree topper using picks. There are some great natural looking picks with fake berries on them that look amazing at the top of Christmas trees. You want to choose something that looks interesting, but does not distract from the tree’s overall look.
10. Review and make corrections
When all of your decorations are in place, you will need to take time to truly look over your Christmas tree from multiple angles. You want to make sure that everything is exactly where you want it. Everything also has to look nice in regards to the entire room. This is a great time to get the opinion of your designing partner and anyone else that is available.
Slowly comb over the entire tree and make adjustments as needed. Do not go too crazy trying to make everything perfect. A little imperfection is a good thing and will give the tree its character.
Extra tips for decorating your Christmas tree like a professional
It is usually best to decorate in order of size, starting with the largest decorations. If the order listed above is not accurate for your decorations, adjust accordingly. You should also remember that rules are meant to be broken. If it makes more sense to apply the decorations in a different order, do whatever works best for you. Always remember to pay close attention to the room the tree is in to make sure everything blends properly and does not clash. Even a perfectly decorated tree can look bad in the wrong room.