Christmas trees are the centerpiece of our holiday decorations. We want them to be as gorgeous as the professionally decorated trees we see in magazines. Good news. You can decorate like a pro just by following these tips:
Select Your Tree
Professional decorators prefer high-quality artificial trees. They are easier to work with, don’t require water and many come pre-lit. There is nothing wrong with a live tree. It’s fun to take the family out to the tree lot or cut your own. Whichever route you go, choose a tree that fits your space. Tall trees look beautiful in homes with two-story ceilings (like those found in many Sierra Vista homes). If your ceilings aren’t quite that high, a 7-foot tree looks great in most homes.
Fluff the Branches
It’s important to make your tree look as full as possible. That requires fluffing and shaping the branches allowing you to fill in any gaps. If your tree is artificial, you can easily bend the branches to cover up those holes. If you have a real tree, orient it so the side with the least gaps faces outward.
Choose a Theme and Color Scheme
Before decorating choose a theme for your tree. It could be a traditional Christmas, Santa’s workshop, the Nutcracker or whatever appeals to you and your family. Take stock of your decorations to see which fit the theme. Professional decorators use only two or three colors for a cohesive look. White and blue are elegant. Red and gold are bold. You can also tie your colors to those used to decorate the room where you have placed the tree.
Light It Up
Always start with the lights. A pre-lit Christmas tree saves time. An unlit tree allows you to choose whatever style you like. Experts recommend one strand per foot of tree. For a 7-foot tree you will want at least seven strands. How many lights per strand depends on the style you choose. Make sure your lights work before wrapping them around the tree. Start from the base of the tree and work your way up.
Cluster Your Ornaments
Cluster three sizes of ornament balls together for balance and visual appeal. Each cluster can be the same color or a mix of the colors you have chosen. Hang larger balls closer to the center of the tree for depth. Use small ones toward the end of the branches. Clusters should be added in a Z shape down from the top. Add the balls first, then fill in the gaps with your favorite ornaments.
Tie a Ribbon Around It
Skip the tinsel and opt for colorful ribbons instead. Ribbon colors should match your color scheme. Use wired ribbon as that allows you to sculpt loops and bows. Wire will hold its shape better. Check out this guide for easily adding decorative ribbon.
Bring in Nature
Add natural elements to your tree with tree picks and floral sprays. Choose pinecones, berries or even holiday flowers. Use them to fill in gaps and accent your ornaments. Add the same picks to your garlands and wreathes to tie your decorations together.
The Top of the Tree
Tree toppers are needed to draw the eye upward and give your tree a finished look. Choose one that fits your theme. Consider the height of your ceiling, you don’t want the topper to brush it as that will give the room a cramped look.
The Bottom of the Tree
Pick out a beautiful tree skirt in your color scheme and theme. The skirt will hide that unsightly tree stand, protect your floor from falling pine needles (if you have a real tree) and serve as a backdrop for wrapped gifts.