Ten Tips for a Great Looking Christmas Tree

Santa on the Eiffel Tower seems to be hiding from the camera.
Santa on the Eiffel Tower seems to be hiding from the camera.

I hope your tree is fabulous looking!  But if you suffer from a boring, uneventful Christmas tree, here are a few ideas to add some sparkle.

I layout all my ornaments, so that they are evenly distributed around the tree.
I lay out all my ornaments, so that they are evenly distributed around the tree.

1.  Fluff your branches before you add any decorations to the tree.  If it looks pretty good without adornment, it will look fabulous with the ornaments.

Before you add lights or ornaments, fluff the tree branches so that they look full and natural.
Before you add lights or ornaments, fluff the tree branches so that they look full and natural.

2.  Lights are very important to the look.  If you have a pre-lit tree, you should be set.  But, if you put lights on the tree yourself, make sure you don’t just wrap a couple of strings of lights along the outline of the tree.  Lights should be wrapped up and down each branch.  If you are like me, you probably have no patience for that.  So, I just lay the lights up and down the branches.  Undecorating goes so much faster!  Anyway, you need lots of lights all over the tree.

The open space near the trunk of the tree, between the branches is perfect for large colorful ornaments. Smaller ornaments can go on the tips of the branches.
The open space near the trunk of the tree, between the branches is perfect for large colorful ornaments. Smaller ornaments can go on the tips of the branches.

3.  For ornaments, you have to lay them on thick.  Forty ornaments will not look appropriate on a 7 1/2 ft tree.  Hundreds of ornaments are needed to complete a tree this size.  Ornaments should be hung deep into the branches as well as the tips.  When I was growing up, ornaments were only hung on the outer edge of the branches.  These days, trees are really loaded with decorations and they look great!

This is a little beach themed tree that I put in my bedroom.
This is a little beach themed tree that I put in my bedroom.

4.  To theme or not to theme!  I don’t think a beautiful tree needs a theme.  But is does need something that is cohesive in its decorations.  Maybe a garland that is a color that shows up in the mismatched ornaments will help to draw it all together.  Or maybe you mix 10 or 20 matching ornaments with the mismatched ornaments.  Of course, themes are fabulous also!  I have tried several themes through the years and loved them all:  Lions; vintage Shiny Brite; red, white and blue; blue and gold; Santa Claus; seashell; and snowmen.  If you choose a theme, go big.  The skirt and topper can both play into the theme.

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In addition to Santa ornaments, beaded icicles, silver bells, glass pinecones, small wreaths, dragonfly clips, and glass ball garlands, there are several glittery antlers made of resin affixed to my tree.

5.  Think outside the box.  Whatever you want on your tree can be added.  I just saw a guitar that had been hung on a tree.  It looked awesome!  If you love your red bottom shoes, why not display them?  Just make sure anything you hang is securely fastened to the tree.  And, the weight needs to be balanced on all sides.  You do not want any accidents!

6.  Make sure your ornaments are size-appropriate for your tree.  I just saw a lovely, big tree that had several small ornaments on it…and lights…and that was it. The ornaments were expensive collectors items, but the tree needed more coverage-garlands, accent ornaments, twigs, anything to add some interest.

Bad photo, but hopefully you can see the cut planter that changed up the look of my tree one year.
Bad photo, but hopefully you can see the cut planter that changed up the look of my tree one year.

7.  Try something different.  Maybe a rotating base or a tall decorative container instead of a skirt.  Give your tree a unique twist.  Sew a string of red and green triangles to use as a garland or string cotton balls on red and white bakers twine.   Several years ago, I made some flower clips to add to the tree; they really worked well, adding texture and color and helping to fill up space. There are several, cheap ideas that you can come up with to make your tree unique.  If you can’t think of anything, check Pinterest for tons of ideas.

My tree topper consists of several large bunches of flowers and filler. My 7 1/2 foot tree becomes a 9 1/2 foot tree!
My tree topper consists of several large bunches of flowers and filler. My 7 1/2 foot tree becomes a 9 1/2 foot tree!

8.  Choose an appropriate sized tree topper.  You wouldn’t want a three-inch angel topping your ten foot tree.  Whether you choose a star, angel, cross or something else, make sure it is the right size for your tree.  Trees are often topped now with sprigs of color and or bows.  Again, they need to be large enough to top off the tree.  And, they need to look good from all sides.

9.  Put your larger ornaments at the bottom, medium-sized in the middle, and smaller at the top.  Then add a few transition ornaments to blend it all together.  So add a few large ornaments to the middle of the tree and a few medium-sized ornaments to the bottom.  Do the same with the middle and top sections.  It will help to tie it all together.

My Santa ornament collection makes me smile! Who can't love Santa in a hula skirt?

10.  Always add something to your tree that makes you smile.  Maybe it is a rotating ornament or a lighted ornament.  It could be a family keepsake or something to do with a favorite hobby.  Whatever it is, it can just be your little secret or something you show off to anyone seeing your tree.  For me, I have several mementos that make me happy to have on my tree.  A small sprig of glass balls with velvet leaves that my grandmother wore on her lapel has been on my tree since my mom gave it to me twenty years ago.  My Aunt Pinkie gave me some icicles she made along with the instructions and beads to make more.  They are beautiful reminders of a sweet aunt.  I also have a few flocked Santas from my parent’s tree.  We always had so much fun decorating the tree!

A beautifully decorated tree can take hours to create.  With a bit of planning your can design a tree that works for you and your family and is gorgeous!  Good luck decorating!  Enjoy!

Bonus:  Why not engage other senses in your tree?  Add pine scented sticks or a fir scented Renuzit to the inner branches of your tree.  Put real candy canes on your tree for treats throughout the season.  Back when I was small, my mom had a bird in a gold ball that hung on the tree.  It was  plugged in and would chirp from time to time.  I am not sure I really liked it, but it did make you notice the tree!

Sometimes the best Christmas tree is the simplest. This little tree drawn on the beach is perfect!
Sometimes the best Christmas tree is the simplest. This little tree drawn on the beach is perfect!

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