Styling our Christmas tree is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the season. I love turning on the Christmas music, baking up some holiday treats, and decorating our tree in new and festive themes. Over the past few years, we have enjoyed a luxe glamour metallic theme followed by our red and white winter wonderland, and this year, we are creating a wintry-rustic Christmas tree!
With Thanksgiving so early this year, we can enjoy the Christmas spirit and our beautifully decorated and festive homes even longer! So let’s not waste any time and get to decorating! First step – the Christmas tree!
No matter what your style is, we’ve tackled some of your tree trimming questions and created a step-by-step tutorial to decorate the perfect Christmas tree.
Step One: Select Your Tree
The Christmas tree will be the centerpiece of your holiday décor, so selecting the right tree is key! I grew up cutting down our own trees in Colorado; however, over the years I have grown to prefer artificial trees because they are easy to decorate and style by bending branches to secure ornaments and ribbon.
If you decide to go down the artificial route, you’ve got a whole host of options. Classic evergreen, frosted tree, or flocked trees. Flocked trees really gained in popularity last year and are still one of the most popular options this year. They are perfect if you are going for a winter wonderland vibe and want to enjoy the heavy artificial snow in which the tree is adorned.
If you decide to buy a real tree and want your family to experience cutting down the tree on their own, check out Flower Mound Christmas Trees. Holiday Warehouse in Plano is a great bet if you’re looking for a beautiful variety of artificial trees and a warehouse full of festive displays that will give you plenty of decorating inspiration!
To bring out my winter rustic chic theme, I chose a flocked tree this year. The white snow complements the red and green plaid color scheme perfectly to give my tree a wintery and festive look.
Whichever way you decide to go, make sure that you measure your ceiling height and the space where you will be placing your tree, so you know the proper measurements for your tree.
Step Two: Decide on a Theme
Decide on a theme and color palette that embodies your style or represents you and your family. Select a variety of basic ornaments to create a sense of unity, then incorporate more ornate pieces or sentimental favorites to show off your personality. Lay out and organize all of your ornaments in advance so you can plan accordingly. You’ll want to make sure that you have a variety of sizes. This is the best way to add intrigue and volume to your tree.
To help portray my wintry-rustic look for my tree, I selected a red and green plaid ribbon and based the rest of my décor, ornaments, and picks off of the style of the ribbon. This helped create a consistent look where all details complemented each other.
Step Three: Hang Christmas Tree Lights
If you bought an artificial tree, chances are the lights are already strung; however, if your tree does not include them, this is the first step you will want to take in decorating your tree!
When planning, allow about 100 lights for every vertical foot of tree. Christmas tree lights come in a variety of different colors and lengths. Lights usually come on white or green strands. Be sure to choose the color that matches your tree, so the strands are not visible through the branches.
In order to hang the Christmas tree lights, start at the bottom bough and move upwards. String the lights starting at the trunk and moving towards the tip of the branch and then back. Continue until you reach the top of the tree. Make sure that the lights are plugged in while you are wrapping the tree, so you can easily see if you missed any sections.
Step Four: Add the Ribbon or Garland
This is the step where you can really bring in some personality and style.
Choose a ribbon or garland that correlates with the theme of your tree. Ribbons add a beautiful pop of color and texture that gives some added appeal to your tree. They can be quite pricey, but I highly recommend a good quality ribbon that you can use throughout the years – think of it as an investment! This is the most important aspect to convey your theme and add some depth to your tree.
If you really want to spoof up your tree, consider layering two ribbons. I selected a 4-inch wide red and green plaid ribbon and layered the top of it with a 1-inch green ribbon. I love that the solid layer helped bring out the deeper greens in some of my ornaments.
To assemble, start at the top of the tree and softly wrap your ribbon slowly around the tree, increasing the width as you move down. If you want to mix up the classic ribbon look, consider draping the ribbon in a vertical manner by starting at the top of the tree and creating bustles of about 1.5 feet in length moving towards the base of the tree. (This is my personal favorite way to decorate!)
Step Five: Add the Christmas Tree Picks and Stems
Christmas tree picks and stems are a great way to add a little volume to your tree and add some extra depth. You can buy these florals already made or have your local holiday store make you one that matches the theme of you tree. Holiday Warehouse here in Dallas is one of my favorite local holiday shops and they have a beautiful floral department that will design and customize a pick for your tree. They also have aisles and aisles of options where you can create your own.
I wanted to create a pick that married my wintery-rustic theme with the playful natural red tones, so I used a red berry pick with snow covered pine cones. I also added some frosted birch branches to give the tree a very natural look!
You always want to decorate with odd numbers, so make sure that you have an odd number of picks for your tree. For my 7.5 foot tree, I used 7 picks. If your tree is a bit smaller, you may want to use just 5, but if it’s bigger, you may want 9-11 or even 13 picks.
Step Six: Hang the Christmas Tree Ornaments
Now this is the fun part of the decorating process! Start by hanging the larger balls evenly throughout the tree, ensuring that you hang some closer to the trunk to create depth and dimension. Use a wire to secure them to the tree and place heavier balls towards the top of the tree and closer to the trunk so they are not knocked off by pets or passersby. Once you have hung the larger balls and ornaments, fill in around them with medium to small sized ornaments.
Finally, add your accent pieces! Your decorative ornaments is where your tree can really shine and you can show off your personality. For my winter-rustic look, I continued to pull in more natural elements such as pinecones, berry balls and birch balls.
Make sure you step back and evaluate your work while you are decorating to ensure you aren’t missing any sections and that your favorite pieces are properly showcased!
Step Seven: Add the Tree Topper
Finally, add your tree topper. There are such a beautiful variety of tree toppers including angels, stars, and bows. Include whatever matches your theme best. This year, I strayed away from my favorite bows, and went with a more natural look, showcasing the berry picks and snow-frosted pinecones. I just love the whimsical nature of it!
Step Eight: Decorate Around the Tree
Just because the tree is complete, your work isn’t over! The setting around the tree is almost as important as the tree itself.
Place your presents at the base of the tree on top of your tree skirt with the larger gifts in the back and the smaller ones in the front. I recommend wrapping your presents in 3 to 4 different wrapping papers that match the color scheme of your tree. I also incorporated the same ribbon from my tree into the presents to maintain consistency.
Finally I added some cozy pillows (who doesn’t want to curl up next to the glistening tree at night?), as well as an adorable blanket ladder from my friend at Middle Made Designs. I draped it in neutral blankets and placed two large birch branches that match the ones I put in the tree to pull it all together!
The perfect, wintry-rustic tree!
Now sit back, dim the lights, and enjoy the beautiful glow of your Christmas tree with your loved ones! Merry Christmas to all!