Christmas tree is iconic symbol of Christmas so that many people are concerned how to have their Christmas tree well-decorated. We've rounded up beautiful Christmas tree decorating secrets that are inexpensive, easy to pull off, and even simple enough for your kids to help out with. Plus, they look fantastic on both real andartificial Christmas trees.

1. Pick your theme

5731 theme
Photo: House Beautiful

This relates to your personal style or the look your seeking to create. Do you prefer an earthy natural look? Then perhaps a woodland theme is the way you want to go. Love floral and lace? Victorian might best suit your style.

If you want to try something that is classically Christmas like red plaids and pinecones, you most likely are into a lodge or a cozy cabin theme. Maybe you would like to create a winter wonderland and add a touch of whimsy to your holiday decor.

Creating a theme helps you stick to your objective and not stray in too many directions. Every theme I design is named to help direct my creative process. For instance, I’ll use names like Rustic Glam or Lodge Chic to describe the style I’m going for.

2. Pick your thing

By thing I mean what is your subject. Don’t go with too many symbols or objects all at once. If you’re creating a Nordic look, then stick with stags and snowflakes. A Victorian theme might use hearts and flowers. Winter Wonderland pairs well with polar bears and icicles.

You get the idea. Keep your symbols to a minimum so you don’t end up with a tree that has angels, reindeer, snowballs and gingerbread men. The name of your theme should never be ‘Everything but the kitchen sink’. Even if everything is the same colour, don’t do it. It’s too busy and that professional look your going for won’t be achieved.

Have fun with everyday decor objects or try putting in one large item that fits your theme like I did in this tree named ‘Coming Home’…. it’s all about bringing the tree home for the holidays and this truck was perfect!

3. Pick your colours

Now you pick the colours to match your theme. Don’t start here or you’ll run into the problem I described in step number two. If you decide you want to go with gold and silver before you choose your theme, then you’ll enter into a designing nightmare because you can go so many directions and become overwhelmed.

Lets say your theme is Victorian; your colors then could be rose, gold and ivory. Choosing rustic might lead to natural burlap, warm woods and soft evergreen. Winter Wonderland can be white, teal, and ice blue, as suggested by sowanddipity.

4. Place the Christmas tree and fluff the branches

5915 branches
Photo: idealhome.co.uk

First you’ll need to set your tree in a secure stand – we’ll later cover this with a tree skirt. If you have a faux tree, fluffing the branches is really important, as it will make your tree look more natural and full, and also much more beautiful!

You can also do this to a certain extent with real trees, but be gentle so the needles don’t drop. Another tip – wear gloves because the branches can be extremely prickly and you could risk a splinter.

5. Put the lights on

5433 light
Photo: Pinterest

If your tree is not pre-lit, now is the time to put your lights on the tree.Firstly consider which lights. ‘When choosing lighting for your tree the golden rule is to ensure the colour of your lights don’t clash with your decorations and baubles,’ advises Georgina Horspool, Lighting Designer at Alexander Joseph.

‘Begin with coloured lights to provide the main colour to your tree, then use decorations to provide contrasting bursts of colour. If you have a larger tree, consider using ‘globe’ shaped bulbs rather than the smaller LED stings – they create a better sense of scale and will be more cost effective. This year soft white light is in vogue.’

All sorted. Now it’s time to place them on. The best way to do this is firstly by switching them on, it’s far easier to see where you’re placing them this way. Drape the light strand across the branches, working from one side to the other, top to bottom to ensure they are evenly distributed.

For best results void visible cords, using green cord lights can help to eliminate this problem.

6. Add your tree topper

5126 add topper
The topper should be decorated first (Photo: idealhome.co.uk)
Most people think this should be the finishing touch, but when a tree is fully decorated it can actually be quite difficult to fix the topper. It’s a real preference, to top or not to top that is the question?

‘The tree does not look complete without a focal point perched high on the top vertical branch of the Christmas tree,’ says Vanessa Arbuthnott, Founder and CEO of Vanessa Arbuthnott. ‘ I am a homespun type who wouldn’t buy anything plastic or sequinned or tinselled – just plain Scandinavian style using simple wooden or home-made paper decorations.’

A star, fairy or oversized ribbon bow are traditional options but you could take a tip from our Shopping Editor, Tamara Kelly. ‘I, personally, am not a fan of traditional tree toppers. They can often be unwieldy. I prefer to take my favourite decoration, and make that the star of the show at the top of the tree.’

7. Start adding decorations

4929 decorating
Photo: idealhome.co.uk

Our best tip is to put the heaviest decorations towards the inside the tree first, so the weight is supported by the branches. For the around the middle fill with inexpensive incidental glitter or shiny ornaments, that are perfect to catch the light from within the depth of the tree.

If you have a fake tree you don’t even need to hang them, they will just easily nestle in amongst the branches.

This step will fill all the gaps inside the tree and make it more three-dimensional and interesting, according to idealhome.co.uk.

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