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How to decorate the perfect Christmas Tree

How to decorate a Christmas tree

Ok, I’m going to unashamedly blow my own trumpet here, and say that I do a bloody good Christmas tree! My tree gets lots of compliments every year, so I thought I’d pass on my wisdom and give you some tips for how to decorate your Christmas tree!…

How to decorate the perfect Christmas tree

Fake or Real?

After trying out both, I actually prefer our fake Christmas tree. We’ve had it for about 16 years, and people always ask if it’s real, so it must look pretty good! It cost £80 back then, so it is an investment for a good quality realistic tree, but I think it’s worth it. A 7′ Nordman Fir is about £45, so it quickly becomes better value. Nordman Firs don’t drop their needles, but they don’t have a scent anyway, so there’s no advantage to it really. Cheaper pine trees have a nicer smell, but drop their needles quickly. We have our tree up for a full month, so there’s no point in going down that route either!

Sometimes I’ve bought a cheaper pine to go outside the front door with some cheap tinsel and outdoor lights strung around it, and that’s a lovely extra festive touch to the house!

Fairy lights

Always buy more than you think, because you can never have too many fairy lights can you?! I like to change the colour of our Christmas tree lights according to the colour scheme of our decorations that year, so I’ll usually always have a string of bright white lights, and then add a strand with colour. Twinkling options are a must!

Check the colour of the cord of the lights you buy. If your colour scheme is red and gold, then lights with a white cord won’t look right – go with green or black instead.

Colour schemes for Christmas trees

Christmas decoration colour schemes

Now I know this topic could be a bit controversial because some people like to just chuck it all on the tree with no rhyme or reason. Obviously, that’s absolutely fine if that’s your preference. I tend to be a little bit precious about my tree and do pick a colour scheme every year. The way I’ve done it, is to build a collection over the years of white and silver decorations which go on every year, and have then added a colour to that, which sometimes changes. On the whole we’ve gone with blue or purple; sometimes both; once or twice, pink. Last year we did something radical and did something completely new for the first time: copper, teal and pink! – It looked lovely, but we still have to build more of a collection of decorations in those colours, particularly of garlands.

The advantage of always having a base colour such as silver or gold, is that you know you can invest in more expensive decorations that will come out every year. Colour schemes can be changed up with cheaper multi-packs of baubles. When picking a colour, consider the colours of the walls and decor in the room and try and make sure they look good together.

How to decorate a Christmas tree

The best order to decorate your tree

  1. Start with the lights, and work from the bottom up.
  2. Add the horizontal garlands – wired ribbon looks good. And I’m not even averse to some tinsel for added sparkle, as long it’s pushed quite far back in the branches!
  3. Add the long droplet decorations. On real trees this is easy, but on bushy fake trees it can be difficult to find spaces for those and you don’t want those rare branches to be taken up with a normal bauble!
  4. Next get out the multi-packs of matching decorations and put those on the tree so you can easily check they are spaced out around the tree and you don’t up with two the same too close together.
  5. Then go for it, adding everything else!

Tips and Advice for decorating your Christmas tree

Some additional quick points to note:

  • If children or pets are likely to go anywhere near your tree, put your glass and other precious decorations near the top.
  • Keep standing back to look at the tree as you decorate it to make sure everything is evenly balanced.
  • Walk around the room and check that the decorations go round all angles you can see the tree from.
  • Make sure baubles and decorations aren’t touching each other.
  • Also make sure they have space to hang straight down and aren’t nudged into a wonky angle by another branch.
  • Have as much variety of decorations as you can. If you have all the same size and colour of bauble it will look like a tree in a corner of an office or car show-room!

tips and advice for decorating a Christmas tree

The Christmas Tree Topper

When you find a good Christmas tree topper in a shop, nab it while you can! Make sure it’s not too heavy, and I would personally avoid the ones on a spiral – I’ve never seen one that stays upright! I personally like a star, but an angel with a big skirt that goes over the top of the top branch has the advantage of looking good from all directions around the room.

Save a short length of the fairy lights to wrap around your tree topper to make it stand out and look extra pretty!

Is there space for a children’s Christmas tree?

As the years have gone on I have got more and more fussy about my Christmas Tree! However, the kids have got older and know what I’m like, and know how I like it! I’ve never denied them the fun of decorating the Christmas tree together and I was more relaxed about it when they were younger, and obviously did a little subtle re-jigging after they’d gone to bed! However, when we moved here, we had space for a second tree that they could decorate themselves, and this was the perfect solution!

They’ve had their tree on the landing; in the porch; or in the corner of the kitchen/dining room; and I haven’t interfered at all with that tree! If you can find the space; it keeps you and the children happy!

I hope these tips help you out if you’re not sure where to begin or you’ve been disappointed in the past about the way your Christmas tree has looked. If you’d like to follow along as I decorate a Christmas tree, here’s the video that goes with this blog post:

If you’re on the look-out for some unique Christmas tree ornaments, I have a few I have engraved with pyrography on my Etsy shop, byHelenHobden.

handmade wooden starssilver wooden starspyrographed christmas decorations

Pin for later!

How to decorate the perfect Christmas Tree


Linking with the #sharealllinkup at Not Dressed as Lamb.



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What a super post Helen. And you do indeed do a good tree. For the first time ever this year, I’m not getting a real tree, preferring to use a pre-lit artificial one. I love your colour scheme and the pink, copper and teal sounds amazing! Happy Christmas xxx



Thank you so much Lizzy! Happy Christmas to you too – enjoy the lack of needles on your carpet!!


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