...because sometimes all you need is a little inspiration...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Tree Decorating 101

You know those amazing trees?
The ones it the magazines?
And at the craft store?
Ever wondered how to make your tree look that good?
They're just so perfect!
I mean, the rooms in those magazines might have something to do with it...
But seriously, what does it take to make a tree look that good?
Having worked at a craft store and seen the secret to their Christmas Tree productions, I have a few tips for you that I use and that make me fall in love with my Christmas Tree every year.
#1: It doesn't matter what kind of tree you have or what kind of decorations you're going to put on it. It needs to be well lit to look great. And the best way to string the lights is to run them up from the trunk and back down toward the trunk on each branch...or most of them anyway. When there are lights near the center of the tree as well as on the edges, it gives your tree depth and makes it look ten times better! If your tree is pre-lit, you're a lucky ducky.
#2: String something around the tree in a spiral pattern. Regardless of they style of your tree decorations, it will look great as long as it's fairly substantial and not too thin or dinky looking. I've seen everything from feather boas, to sparkly branches, to ornament ball garlands, to ribbon used to do this and the list doesn't stop there. You could use just about anything, but make sure it's a color that you're ok with making the base of your tree scheme. The spiral pattern is a great foundation for the rest of your ornaments. It's also a great way to hide those bare spots. Just string a big chunk of it from a branch on one side of the hole to a branch on the other side of it. I use ribbon - and I make sure it's spiraling on it's own as it also spirals around the tree. I just unroll it as I walk around the tree. And for those big holes, I make sure there's a big spiral of ribbon covering it.
#3: Use ornaments of many different sizes. I have my huge ones, which my husband affectionately refers to as "bowling balls" and my tiny ones that are the size of gumballs and everything inbetween. The juxtaposition of the different sizes creates a lot of interest in the tree. You don't need very many large ornaments for the tree to look good. I have five bowling balls and five cranberry wreaths which are also on the large size and it's more than enough to give my tree the look we're going for with the different sizes. The huge ones are also great for hiding those holes in your tree.
#4: Use ornaments of many different shapes and at least a few different colors. The round balls are classic, but it makes a tree ten times more interesting if there are ornaments in other shapes and colors scattered over the branches. The long shaped ones are my favorite kind to mix in. I've seen icicles, candles, stars, and pendants just to name a few. And they all do the same thing. Bring more interest to your tree.
#5: Dress the ends. Make sure you have a great thing on top of your tree and a great thing beneath it. It doesn't have to be the classic star on top. I've seen giant bows, huge ornaments, bird nests, angels, santas, hats, ...pretty much anything used. Just make sure it ties in with the rest of your tree. On the bottom, it doesn't have to be a tree skirt either. I've seen fur fabric, burlap, other fabric scraps, and blankets used for this. Again, just make sure it ties in with the rest of the tree.
Ta-da! That's it. Doesn't it look nice!? If you can do at least four of these things, your tree will look amazing. Check out the trees at the top again if you don't believe me. They all have at least four of these five elements going on. Happy Decorating!
Merry Christmas!


Leslie@leserleeslovesandhobbies said...

THANKS! It's nice to know that I'm doing a few of them already. What I really need is a variety of sizes and shapes now. DH will be so happy. ;)

Karen said...

So elegant!

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