Christmas Tree Ideas
As I made the decision to purchase new ornaments this year, I thought I would create a post on Christmas tree ideas for inspiration. Last year I tossed the set that I had been using over the last decade as the ornaments were showing wear and tear. Many of the low hanging ornaments had been battered and smashed by a mischievous kitten named Bryan, and the others had been tossed into their storage boxes aimlessly by helping hands. Time for a fresh start!
I’ve included a wide selection of beautifully decorated Christmas trees, from rustic and farmhouse style to traditional, modern, Scandic, and French Country. From burnished metal bulbs to hues of blue, blush, jewel tones, gleaming silver, to warm earth tone shades.
Whether you are on the hunt for the perfect tree at local farms or pulling the trusty faux evergreen out of the attic, setting up and decorating your Christmas tree is a favorite holiday pastime.
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Here are some tips on how to make the most of your family’s decorating traditions – and create new ones.
How to Decorate a Christmas Tree
The secret to decorating a beautiful Christmas tree is similar to designing any room in your home – style in layers! The standard elements that go into decorating a Christmas tree are lights, garland, tinsel, and ornaments. Whatever your preferred design aesthetic is, these are the core pieces that are familiar to almost everyone. The best Christmas trees are filled with layer upon layer of memories, traditions, and keepsakes. There is an art to Christmas tree decorating, but there is also a science. While we each have individual decorating styles, the following steps can help anyone create a seasonal showstopper.
1. Shape and Fluff
All beautifully decorated Christmas trees start with the foundation. When working with a faux tree, lift and separate the branches and tips to lose the ‘packed away’ look. Doing so will create a fullness that opens up pockets to hang lights, ornaments, and garland. You can accomplish this by working in layers – put the first section on the stand, fluff, and work your way up the tree.
When decorating a live tree, be sure to place the best side outward. You can use a pair of gloves to keep sharp bristles at bay. Gently trim a branch wherever needed to create a more uniform look.
2. Crown Your Tree
Although this is often viewed as the last step, the topper can be used to set the tone for the decorating process. It also prevents the difficulty of placing the topper after all the decorations have been placed. The classic choices are seasonal symbols such as angels and stars yet large poinsettias or burlap bows can make an unexpected and unique choice. When using a non-traditional topper, blend it in by filling in spaces with picks, flowers, or faux berries.
3. Light it Up
Many faux trees come with lights already attached. Now is the time to turn them on to ensure they are working.
Start at the base of the tree and work your way up, wrapping lights around every major branch. Be sure to add plenty of lights to the back of the tree to create extra sparkle and depth. Once the lights are draped around the tree, step back and look for areas that require small adjustments to allow more or less light through the branches.
4. Create a Focal Point
Target a few spots on the tree to group ornaments, picks, flowers, and ribbons for dimension. This step will create focal points providing your eye a place to rest. To add depth and interest, be sure to vary ornament sizes and shapes. For a cohesive design, try matching the color of these designated areas to the topper.
5. Put on the Garland & Ribbons
There are no firm rules to draping garland, but I recommend starting at the top and place it as far out toward the end of the branch as feels secure. Starting at the top and slowly increasing the amount of garland between each wave helps to avoid branches bulging between tightly cinched garland strands. Plan on using about two strands of garland for every vertical foot of tree.
You can also decorate with ribbon in addition to or rather than garland by loosely wrapping a wide patterned ribbon around the entire tree in bands. Use the ribbons to create big bows to decorate the tree branches. Varying the width of the ribbon can add visual intrigue and tucking the ribbons in at various spots helps to create a flow.
6. Layer with Ornaments
The amount of ornaments used is a matter of personal taste. Whether you are going for a full and densely ornamented tree, or prefer a minimalist approach, be sure to add ornaments deeper inside the branches. If you are working with several colors, disperse each group around the tree before moving onto the next batch to ensure a proper balance of color.
To showcase your favorite ornaments, place them in prime positions on the tree first. Next, begin with the large ornaments placing them as far into the center of the tree as your branches allow. This will keep them sturdy and fill uneven spaces. Hang them as high up on the tree as is comfortable, but plan to use medium and small ornaments farther up. Then it is time to place medium-sized ornaments farther out on the branches. Lastly, place small ornaments on the outermost part of the branches, where their scale won’t get lost and the weight won’t shift the branch.
Be sure to hang some ornaments closer to the trunk to create depth and interest. They reflect the light to make your tree sparkle from the inside. Stand back and study your tree from various angles to determine if there are empty areas that need filling.
7. Place the Tree Skirt
The tree skirt provides function as well as making a fashion statement. It not only catches the needles, but it also sets the stage for beautifully wrapped presents.
20 + Stunning Christmas Trees
The Christmas tree is the focal point for all your holiday decor, so it should make a statement. Here are over 20 photographs of stunning trees that are perfect for celebrating the season in style.
Christmas Tree Ideas: Nordic, French Country, Farmhouse & Traditional
Nordic Christmas Ornaments
Ornament Set Shown Above: Nordic Christmas Ornaments
A NOD TO SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN
Celebrate Christmas with understated European elegance. Mix and match plaid and Nordic ornaments with plaid ribbon red berry picks.
Winter Wishes Christmas Ornaments
Ornament Set Shown Above: Winter Wishes Ornaments
DREAMS OF A WINTER WONDERLAND
This stunning Christmas Tree was designed using ornaments in gold, blush with ivory accents. Complete the enchanting look by pairing this collection with holiday floral picks for a touch of romantic elegance.
French Country Christmas Ornaments
Ornament Set Shown Above: French Country Ornaments
Inspired by antique French baubles, these handcrafted ornaments are reminiscent of the subtlety and sophistication of French design.
Editor’s Note: I recently purchased two sets of the Poinsettia Glitter Flowers in white, and they are gorgeous! They arrived individually wrapped, and it was very easy to spread and gently curve the petals of the flower. They were a bit larger than what I had expected, but will fill out my tree perfectly. For a larger tree, I’d recommend 3 packages. They’d also look lovely displayed in a vase on a mantel, or added to a wreath. Each package contains 6 poinsettia’s and they are available in pink, gold, silver, red and white. They did lose a bit of glitter while I was re-shaping the form and so I would recommend setting them out on a table.
Farmhouse Christmas Ornaments
Ornament Set Shown Above: Farmhouse Christmas Ornaments
A REFRESHING TAKE ON A CHRISTMAS CLASSIC
This exclusive set offers an eclectic mix of traditional designs to spruce up your Christmas tree with rustic charm. This collection includes assorted glass ornaments hand-painted in an updated Christmas color palette of sage green, burgundy, and blue. The mixed materials ornaments include miniature sleds and ice skates, fabric reindeer, and vintage sleigh bells, charming pieces that evoke the cozy look of a wintry countryside cottage.
Burnished Metal Christmas Ornaments
Ornament Set Shown Above: Burnished Metals Christmas Ornaments
A TOUCH OF VINTAGE
Create stunning contrast with earthy tones and hints of gold. Add luster to your tree with the blend of glittery glamour and old-world elegance of these metallic ornaments.
Christmas Cheer Ornaments
Ornament Set Shown Above: Christmas Cheer Ornaments
Pay homage to Christmases past by decorating with vintage-style ornaments. Choose one design for a unified theme or mix and match to create a festive holiday display.
Silver & Gold Ornament Set
Ornament Set Shown Above: Silver & Gold Christmas Ornaments
THE GLITTER OF HOLIDAY JEWELS
Inspired by finely crafted jewelry, this exclusive collection features highly decorated glass Christmas ornaments. The varied shapes and sizes of these heirloom-quality ornaments add depth to your holiday décor, while elegant tones of gold, silver, and platinum lend a lustrous touch to your tree.
Grand Forest Ornament Set
Ornament Set Shown Above: Grand Forest Christmas Ornaments
INTO THE WOODS
Bring a playful yet polished look to your holiday décor. Glass ornaments in gleaming earth tones fill your Christmas tree with woodland warmth and elegance.
Gilded Gold Ornament Set
Gilded Gold Christmas Ornaments
FESTIVE & ELEGANT
Decorate with luxurious ornaments that echo the richness of the season. Layer your Christmas tree or use as bowl fillers to elevate the look of your tablescapes.
3 More Beautiful Trees
ANTIQUED ACCENTS TO ADORN YOUR TREE
Brighten your holiday décor with stunning metal ornaments inspired by the intricate structure of snowflakes. This set features 4 different designs, all crafted by hand and decorated with crystal-like beads for a touch of winter sparkle.
A GLITTERING TOUCH OF GRANDEUR
Add a dazzling touch of sophistication to your holiday display with these burgundy and gold glass ornaments. Featuring intricate patterns embellished with bead and glitter accents, our collection of hand-painted ornaments transforms your Christmas tree into a stunning statement piece. Its assortment of shapes, textures, and finishes adds rich variety and design flexibility to your decorating theme.
CELEBRATE WITH TIMELESS ELEGANCE
Make your Christmas tree sparkle with glass ornaments that reflect the grandeur and elegance of Biltmore®. This collection features Christmas balls, jumbo ornaments, and finials intricately hand-painted with golden details. Mix with matching picks to achieve a layered, multi-dimensional look.
My Christmas Tree
Here is my own Christmas Tree this year. Last year I made the decision to get rid of the red and green ornaments we’d been using for the past 15 years and update with metallics in silver, gold and blush. Our tree looks a little sparse before being decorated, so I purchased larger scale flowers and shimmering leaves to fill in the gap. I ordered the bows for the gifts from Amazon, and was surprised they had to be assembled. On a good note – they were super easy to make. You just have to pull two loose strings and they automatically form a beautiful bow.
I ordered the Satin Wired Glitter Ribbon from Michael’s and used it to create a bow at the top of the tree. Next year I’ll order more and use it throughout the tree, as it’s stunning! It has a beautiful color, with just enough bling. The Christmas Ball Ornaments are from Canadian Tire.
Christmas Tree Ideas: Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn’s Holiday Lookbook features three curated stunning design styles for decorating your home for Christmas, Rustic Lodge, Nostalgia and Alpine Luxe.
With extra-cozy, indulgent textures, distinctive pops of greenery and subtle holiday touches, this warm and woodsy style is designed for savoring the season at home, together. Here you’ll see cozy throws, twinkling lights, Pendleton pillows, jolly gnomes and whimsical woodland creatures that add a cheery disposition to your tree.
Visions of velvet, touches of tartan and pops of merry red – it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, refreshed with unexpected accents of black and new ideas to make the season magical. Wrap up some comfort and joy in festive throws from classic plaids to cozy cable knits.
With a wintry mix of soft textures, tonal shades of white and touches of shimmer and shine, this chalet-inspired look transforms your home into a snowy wonderland, where après ski is a state of mind.
Christmas Tree Ideas: Frontgate
Frontgate is also another great source for ornaments. They also have a gorgeous selection of wreaths, garlands and outdoor Christmas decor.
Royal Blush Christmas Ornament Set
Dress your tree in a dream-like collection featuring hand-painted chinoiserie designs, pottery-inspired shapes and opalescent and dew-kissed finishes. Despite its whisper-soft palette, this collection of mouth-blown glass ornaments captivates with hand-applied gemstones, trim, sequins and beading. [Shop the Look]
Delft Blue Christmas Ornament Set
Blue Christmas Ornament Set
Inspired by the classic charm of chinoiserie designs, these handcrafted, hand-embellished glass ornaments are handpainted in rich detail. Ginger jars join classic ornament shapes to create a 40-piece collection with an heirloom look. [Shop the Look]
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BH & G Holiday Editors. How to Decorate a Christmas Tree in 3 Easy Steps. Updated August 12, 2020.