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festive decorated table and christmas tree with blue, green and gold decorations

How to decorate your Christmas tree like a pro

Published: 01/12/2023

It’s the centrepiece of your decorations, the focal point for visitors and the backdrop to memories. So, getting your Christmas tree right can feel like a big deal! We’ve gathered a few of our top tree tips to take away any stress and help you achieve a professional Insta-worthy tree.

1. Choose your Christmas tree

First things first, you’ll need to choose a tree! Whether it’s real or artificial, the choice can be overwhelming. Think about where the tree is going to stand so you know how tall and wide your tree can be. We suggest going for a tree about one foot shorter than your ceiling height so that you’ve got plenty of room for the topper without it looking pinched.

The most sustainable tree option is a high quality artificial Christmas tree. These come in a range of sizes and shapes and should remain in great condition for 10 years or more. Make sure you have a plan for storage to keep it dust-free and dry for the rest of the year. Other sustainable options are sourcing a real potted tree that you can bring in from the garden each year.

Our favourite tree types (real or artificial) are the Norway Spruces and Nordmann Firs whose classic shape and festive deep green can play host to any decorative style you want to try out. Try to avoid getting swept up in a trend such as a gold or silver tree as these artificial trees are likely to be poorer quality, fall out of fashion in a year or two, and end up in landfill.

If you’ve chosen an artificial tree, you cannot skip the next step!

2. Free your tree

Fluffing, plumping, tweaking, whatever you like to call it, we can’t overstate how important it is to do this for an artificial tree. When trees arrive or after they’ve been stored for a year, branches are flat and often all pointing in one direction. Grab some gloves (we’d recommend wearing long sleeves too), construct the tree and then dedicate some time to bending each main branch and offshoot to create a fluffed out luxurious look. It does take a while but it’s well worth it to help show off your decorations to their very best.

3. Getting the lighting right

We’ve all done it in the wrong order at least once, so we don’t need to remind you that lights should be the first thing onto the tree. Prelit trees can save you an untangling job but do come at a premium price and give you less scope for changing up lighting styles and colours. We prefer separate light strings and tend to work with around 50-80 lights for every foot of tree, so a 7 ft tree works well with around 400-500 lights.

Plug in the lights to check they are all working after a year in storage and then start to wind up from the base of the tree, making sure some are placed towards the back, and some pulled forward. Try to alternate placing them above and below branches.

Stand back and check the tree for areas without lights and adjust as needed. You could even try the squint test – stand back and half close your eyes whilst the tree lights are on. For some reason this makes it easier to see where the lighting is uneven. We don’t know why it works, but it does!

4. Choose your colour scheme or theme

We suggest choosing a colour scheme for your Christmas tree or opting for a selection of coordinating textures, such as natural woods, felts and ceramics. Use the Colour Wheel to see which colours work well together. Colours opposite one another are the most complementary. Blue and yellow or pink and green are well known as great pairings, and can easily be translated into the more festive tones of blue and gold or dark green and red. A white or other bright accent colour will tie the scheme together and add a pop of interest.

matching pink, purple and gold christmas tree and garland over fireplace in living room
frosted christmas tree with white decorations and christmas presents in a hallway
colourful christmas tree display with wreath and tent
red, silver and white christmas tree with santa hat next to dresser with festive artificial flower arrangement

5. Try out faux flowers on your Christmas tree

Adding faux flowers into your tree is a great way to add depth and interest. Festive or metallic colours and seasonal blooms or foliage can all be used to fill gaps or add a consistent colour base to the theme.

Picks are shorter stems which can be a great option for sprinkling around your tree – you might need to add floristry wire to help with positioning. High quality artificial stems will already be wired so can be bent to the correct angle and stems tucked away so they don’t peek out, especially in the narrower top section.

6. Baubles at the ready!

Whilst you might be sticking to a specific colour palette there are plenty of variations you can introduce such as the size, style and finish of baubles, finials, or other ornaments. Place your largest items towards the back of branches to create depth and around the base and centre of the tree with the more delicate items on the smaller limbs and towards the top.

Try to have at least six of each style or type to add consistency to the look. Decorations don’t always have to dangle, there are birds on clips that can perch on a branch or baubles can be twisted over a branch a few times to vary the hang length.

Children love to hang special decorations on the tree. If you’ve got little ones in the house or visiting, make sure you have unbreakable options such as felt or resin on the lower branches. If you’ve got lots of creative contributions from nursery or preschool, you might even consider a second tree to show them all off along with a few novelty or fun decorations that the children can enjoy positioning themselves.

7. Showstopper treetopper

You don’t always have to use the same tree topper, change things up to match your colour scheme or theme. There are plenty of creative and inventive options from Santa hats to floral crowns to light up stars or the traditional angel or fairy.


8. Dress up your tree with a skirt

For a really polished professional Christmas tree you will need to hide the base area, which is often revealed after the gifts are all unwrapped. Tree skirts or wicker baskets are great for this. Adding some beautifully wrapped empty boxes which coordinate with your theme will finish off your tree whilst you wait for the real presents to arrive.

Whether you stick to a theme or go all in on the novelty decorations, there is so much fun to be had with Christmas tree decoration. So, don your Christmas knitwear, put the festive tunes on and dive in!