Let’s talk about getting ready to decorate your Christmas tree! Everyone seems anxious to get started this year. I think we’re all ready to bring some Christmas cheer into our lives. I love planning the theme for my Christmas tree. So much so that I usually begin planning my theme as early as July or August. If you have never decorated your tree with a theme, it might be something new and fun your family could try this year. There are so many different ways that you can choose a theme for your Christmas tree. You can pull inspiration from the season, your favorite hobby, even your profession. Some of my past themes have been a snowman theme, woodland theme, and a metallic theme. One year I even did a “Color Me Christmas” theme using paint samples. Even if you don’t have an actual theme, make sure you stay cohesive in your color scheme. Whether you choose classic holiday colors such as red and green, wintry neutrals like white and cream, or bold modern colors, the key is to keep the consistency throughout.
Today, I’m going to list the top 5 items that will make your tree unforgettable, as well as tips on how best to use them. These tips will help make your tree look full and keep your look cohesive. Let’s jump right in!
1) Reflective Ball Ornaments
The first item on the list is an absolute must-have to give your tree a full look. Most craft stores carry this type of ornament in packs ranging from 5-50. Buy these in bulk because you’ll be using quite a few of them. Instead of hanging these ornaments on the ends of the branches, use them to line the inside of the tree. Even though the ornaments will be towards the middle of the tree, you should still choose a color that coordinates with your theme or decor. You won’t necessarily see these ornaments, but their reflection will catch the light. This will help detract from any gaps in your tree, making it appear full and lit from within.
Shop the after Christmas sales to stock up on Christmas ornaments and decor for the following year.
The ribbon you choose for your tree should be wired-ribbon. This type of ribbon has wire sewn into each side, giving it the ability to hold any shape you form it into. There are many beautiful types of ribbon to choose from, such as Satin or Grosgrain, but they won’t be able to hold their shape as well as Wired-Ribbon. Wired-Ribbon comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, making it easy to choose one that matches your holiday decor. Most craft or hobby stores carry it and often have it on sale. Choosing a ribbon that is at least 2-3 inches wide will add the most impact. When wrapping your tree with ribbon, it is best to start at either the top or bottom and work your way around the tree. Tuck your ribbon into the branches as you twist it around the tree.
3) Decorative Mesh
You may have never heard of Decorative Mesh, but trust me, you need it! I feel that Decorative Mesh is an overlooked choice that allows for maximum impact. Craft stores sell it by the roll, and it is typically available in 6″, 12″, or 24″. It makes a beautiful garland that gathers and tucks nicely into any sparse areas on your tree. The branches of an artificial tree can be manipulated more easily than fresh cut, but both will inevitably have gaps. It’s not always possible to completely fill those gaps using ornaments alone. Layering different elements and textures will help add fullness. It’s best to decorate your Christmas tree from the inside out. Some people try to place their ornaments first, but starting with the layers will make it easier to fill out any bare areas. It is practically a subject of National debate whether to go straight down the tree or wrap around the tree. It is a personal preference…neither is wrong. Whichever you choose, you will need to secure the mesh garland to the top of the tree. If you are decorating an artificial tree, you can bend a branch around the mesh to secure it. If you have a real tree, you will need to secure the mesh with a twist-tie or similar item. Make sure you tuck it into the branches so the tie is not seen. Then simply gather and tuck every 4-6 inches as you either run the garland down the tree vertically or wrap it around the tree.
4) Tree Skirt
Your Tree Skirt should extend 4″-6” past the edge of your Christmas tree. You don’t want a skirt that is so small that it sits directly under the tree and can’t be seen. If you have a skirt with sentimental value, like your Grandma’s Christmas skirt, but is very small-buy a larger one in a neutral color to put underneath it. That way, you can see them both, but it adds to the dimension. I personally love to layer. I usually put a tree skirt down first, then layer with fabric, a blanket, or a throw. Why? Three words…artificial tree trunk. You all know what I am talking about, that unattractive artificial “tree trunk” that sticks out the bottom of your tree. We don’t want to see that, right? Gather the material and attach it with a binder clip to a tree branch in the back. Then fluff it up and secure it so that the tree’s trunk is completely covered by the fabric.
You should shop for these sooner rather than later. Often by the time you realize you need a Spray or Pick to use as filler, they will be all picked over… no pun intended! Picks are typically sold stuck together in a package of 15-20. You will want to pull them apart, so you can work with a single pick at a time. These are a great way to add dimension to your tree. You can stick it into the tree as far as you want and place it at the same angle as the branch or angle it up. These are often overlooked at craft stores but look great in arrangements. They also work really well in outdoor decorations such as greenery in outdoor urns. It’s great to choose 2 different styles that work well together, like a curly, sparkly pick paired with a berry pick. Don’t go crazy, but find 2 styles that you like and stick to that. Artificial flowers such as Poinsettias are another fantastic option to fill any gaps you are still struggling with. They can be sold as a pick or also on a clip. All of the picks will pair wonderfully with garland as well. You can buy plain garland and add your ribbon, picks, and ornaments to it. You can use fewer picks on a smaller tree, but if you have a large tree, you may need around 20-30. Keep in mind, if you’re also using them for garland on the stairs or mantel, you’ll need to factor that in as well.
I’m sometimes asked to decorate my clients’ homes for Christmas. Many of these clients ask me if I remember where everything was placed the previous year and if they should remind me. I always tell them that I don’t want to know. Even if I’m using the same decor from last season, I like to see things with new eyes and a fresh perspective each year. If you need an extra dose of cheer this holiday season, I encourage you to try it as well. Let’s say last year the Santa figure was on the mantel; maybe you could try placing it on the bookcase this year. You don’t have to go out and buy new decorations to have a fresh take on things, just get creative with what you already have.
I’ve given you the top 5 items I feel will help you create a gorgeous holiday tree. Now it’s your turn! Before you go shopping, make a list of things you currently have. What are you missing? Local craft stores should carry everything you need to get started. If you don’t feel like leaving home, Amazon also carries a wide variety of Christmas decor. I can’t wait for you to take these ideas and bring them to life with your own holiday style and traditions.
I love to hear from my readers! Tell me if you have a favorite theme for your tree or if your family has a cherished holiday keepsake or tradition.