How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Like a Pro

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Like a Pro

Decorating the holiday tree is a family tradition in many homes, but tradition shouldn’t keep you from refreshing your tree’s look. Consider these designer tree decorating ideas and tips to create a truly stunning Christmas tree for your home, workplace, or any hall that needs decking. With simple layering and a little planning, you too can decorate a Christmas tree like a professional.

Keep It Simple

Minimalist Christmas living room

As your holiday decoration collection grows over the years, you may end up with a truly eclectic Christmas tree. If you want to decorate your Christmas tree like a professional, layer your decorations and keep the color scheme simple. Before you start hanging your stockings or setting up the tree, look through your decorations and choose a simple theme or color combination to keep the project reigned in. For example, stick with bright, cheerful metallics or unique colors, like turquoise or purple, for a new spin on your holiday look. Break from the traditional red-and-green motif by creating your own “winter wonderland” theme complete with white tinsel or flocking and ornaments in silver and gold. Or, dress your tree solely in black and white for an eye-catching arrangement that’s sure to start a conversation.  Whatever holiday look you want to capture with your tree, planning out your vision is the first step to realizing your Christmas masterpiece.


Start with the Tree Skirt

White and red decorative Christmas tree skirt

The tree skirts are the understated foundation of your Christmas tree. It establishes a base of colors and textures you’ll follow throughout your decorating process. Simply place it around the tree stand and straighten out the fabric so it lays evenly. If you’re decorating a live tree, your tree skirt will catch falling pine needles and sap, protecting your floor or carpet.


Tree skirts are easy to decorate with and come in a variety of materials, patterns, and colors. For a professional look, choose a skirt that works with your overall theme and the room’s decor. For example, flannel or jute tree skirts are great options to complement a Rustic or Farmhouse Christmas style.


Add the Lights

Contemporary living room with Christmas tree lights and wreath lights

String lights are available in many colors and styles to make your Christmas tree look professionally decorated. If you’re using a traditional green tree, opt for lights with green wiring to blend into the branches. When hanging twinkling lights on your Christmas tree, start from the top and work your way down, winding around branches as you go. Classic white string lights match almost any type of tree, making them perfect if you change colors or themes each year. Colored or multicolored lights are always fun but can clash with your theme or palette if you aren’t careful. For a more versatile look, try LED lights that switch between white and colored lights.


Add Ribbon or Garland

Christmas tree decorated with pine cones, ornaments, and garland

Garland isn’t just the plastic, tinsel-like material that attracts cats and toddlers. Garland comes in many different colors and materials. From imitation evergreen to quirky strands of pompoms, feathers, and flowers, you can find a garland that matches your theme or color scheme for a professionally decorated look. Use both ribbons and garlands strategically for a uniform look. Broad ribbons and thick garlands fill out thin foliage and balance the appearance of denser trees. Whatever you choose, start garland from the top and move down about four to six inches above the last branch.


Add Large Ornaments

Large red Christmas tree ornaments hanging from tree

If you have lots of ornaments of varying sizes, start with your largest first. You can find large sets of globe ornaments in a variety of finishes and colors that match your palette. Don’t be afraid to mix shades of one color or use ornaments with different finishes like matte, glitter, or plastic. Choose one to three colors to keep the theme consistent and look for ornaments in large sets so you’ll have enough for your tree. If you have plastic flowers or other large decorations to add, place them before adding any smaller pieces.


Add Small and Heirloom Ornaments

Small heirloom ornament

Many families own small ornaments that have been passed through generations or were made by kids long ago. These special ornaments fit anywhere on the tree, so let your creativity run wild. Just be sure to spread the ornaments evenly throughout the tree. Like when decorating with lights and garland, it’s best to start at the top and move down. You can group sets of similar ornaments together or scatter them evenly throughout the branches – the choice is yours.


Add Festive Finishing Touches

Christmas tree flush with red and white ornaments

Now that you’ve learned how to decorate your tree like a professional, finish the job with a tree topper and presents. At the base of the tree, add a small gift-wrapping station, nativity set, or anything you think the tree needs. From angels to Santas, tree topper decorations come in many different forms, so choose one that matches your tree’s style. Afterwards, place the presents under the tree and get ready to show it off when you celebrate with family. Having an attractive and well-planned Christmas tree display will elevate your supporting decor and add to a festive holiday ambiance.

Watch How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree