6 Important Tips for Decorating a Christmas Tree

This year, I'm helping you prepare for the holidays with tips for decorating a Christmas tree. Today's episode is part one of how I decorated this tree. She is a beast. I call her the great ornament eater. I hope you walk away with some great tips.

So today, we'll talk about the tree topper, we'll talk about garland, and we'll talk about anchor ornaments.

1. Pick a theme

The inspiration for this tree came from our backyard. We have an amazing backyard. It's a nature preserve. We experience all sorts of incredible wildlife back there.

I figured why not bring the outside elements in with a rustic glam theme but with an emphasis on the glam? I'm using warm colors, warm metals, champagnes, golds and ivories.

Fluffed tree with lights

2. Fluff the tree

We've been using artificial trees since our children were born, and they were all allergic to the real trees. The most important step in using an artificial tree is to take the time to fluff your tree. Every branch needs to be touched, and the lights must be distributed evenly.

Custom tree topper

3. Start with the tree topper

I designed this tree topper this year; I wanted something custom and beautiful.

Especially when dealing with the mega tree, is to first start with your tree topper. I had to learn this the hard way back when it was amateur hour years ago, and I'd knock over all of my ornaments because I was putting the tree topper on last.

Placing the tree topper first

You'll save time, heartache, and money by starting at the top and working your way down.

Ribbon for bows

4. Make bows

When I started designing this year's tree, I envisioned the monogrammed initials sitting on a cloud of bows. I wanted lots of sparkly bows at the top of the tree, so I will show you how I made these.

This year, I use a beautiful four-inch champagne sparkle ribbon and about a two-and-a-half-inch ivory ribbon.

Cutting the ribbon

How to make bows

I took both pieces, measured out about 17 inches, and layered them on each other.

Folding the ribbon over

Next, I folded the ribbon in half and then folded it backward on each half on both sides.

Making loops with the ribbon

I clamped the base of the bow together and secured it with 22 gauge floral wire very, very tightly. I left myself a stem because I will use that part to stick the bow into the tree.

Cute bow for a Christmas tree

Then, I fluffed each side, and they were ready to go.

Tips for decorating a Christmas tree

So that was a lot of work getting that tree topper done, but I think it turned out beautifully, and hopefully, you agree.

5. Scatter garlands

So once you're done with your tree topper next, you'll want to move on to your garland. So, there are many different methods to apply your garland.

Some people like to wrap around the tree, and others like to do a cascade. I did that last year, but to achieve that designer look a lot of times, you'll see a scattered pattern, which is what I'm going to do this year.

I'm changing out the colors this year, and so since we're doing this rustic glam theme. I thought I would try to add the grapevine. I've never used it before, but I've already started applying it to the tree, and I think it looks great.

Ribbon for a garland

I ordered this gorgeous ribbon from Balsam Hill, and it took about five rolls to decorate our tree.

For dramatic effect, I like to use two or four different types of ribbon in a tree when decorating. This year, I stuck with two. The ivory ribbon I got from Michaels.

Layer your ribbon, start adding it from the top of the tree, and work your way down. Instead of using the whole roll, I usually cut about two and a half to three-foot pieces and use those one at a time. It's just a lot easier to work with.

Wrapping a ribbon around a Christmas tree

I start from deep within the tree, come out, and go deep within the tree again.

Here's another tip you may not know: you can use the tips of the tree to wrap and tuck the ribbon in, but sometimes I use the 22 gauge wire as well. It just depends on where the tip of the tree is located.

6. Think outside the box with ornaments

So we've talked about the ribbon, and once you're done getting your ribbon or garland loaded onto your tree, it's time to load your ornaments.

The one tip I want to mention in this ornament section is don't be afraid to think outside of the box when loading your ornaments. Today, I'm loading my anchor ornaments, and then in the next video, I'll show you how to load the rest of the ornaments.

So, an anchor ornament is like your big pieces. You can get creative with these things, thinking outside of the box or non-traditional items. It can be signs. It could be letters.

In this case, today I'm going to load lanterns, or they look kind of like bird cages, kind of like lanterns. But when I think about going into the woods, what do you need? Well, you need light, and I thought this would be a great way to keep the tree animated because I will put the battery-operated flickering candles inside. So let's get started.

Lanterns for ornaments

I ordered these lanterns from Walmart.com

They're about three feet tall and were perfect because they didn't have any glass in them. I can use them in other parts of the house at different times of the year. Next, I'll fill them in a little bit.

Filling the bottom of the lantern

I found these cute rustic and glam picks at Hobby Lobby, So I picked up a few of those and filled them in the bottom of the lantern.

Not only did these picks add a lovely warm and rustic feel, but They will help the lantern not look so empty once it goes into the tree

Securing lanterns to the tree

Next, I secured the lanterns into the tree with some hobby sticks.

The biggest tip I can give you regarding placing the anchor ornaments is to order them in odd numbers. It's a little bit easier to style that way.

Finished decorated Christmas tree

I'll add ornaments later, but I've completed the anchoring elements.

Tips for decorating a Christmas tree

What tips for decorating a Christmas tree do you have? Share your ideas and hacks in the comments below. Stay tuned for tips on how to place ornaments on your Christmas tree in the next video.

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