Christmas Crafting Day 3 – How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

I expressed my obsession love for Christmas trees yesterday and thought today I’d share my method on how to decorate a Christmas tree. Something about choosing a theme and running with it makes my heart go pitter patter. In past years I’ve had an all white and light blue tree, a whimsical colorful tree, and one with glass and crystal baubles.

This year we had to switch to all shatterproof (ie. plastic) ornaments since our little princess likes to throw things on the ground. If you have a toddler or if you’ve met my daughter, you’ll appreciate this slightly inappropriate video from The Lonely Island :)

Alright, now back to the real topic of this post. How to decorate a Christmas tree. This year I chose to do a “Candylandish” red and white tree.

how to decorate a christmas tree

This small tree sits in the corner of my daughter’s play area. We have it raised about two feet off the ground to help deter the damage little hands can do. I’m sure you noticed a few things about my tree, but I’m sure the number and size of the ornaments is the first. So let’s get started on the topic of ornaments.

Step 1: Add sparkle
There are so many topics on Pinterest swirling around and tips on how to decorate a Christmas tree and one that I’ve taken to heart before the dawn of the addicting website is placing shiny objects near the trunk of your tree. Notice the crystal drop ornament between the bird and the present ornament? I have nearly 30 sprinkled near the trunk of my tree and a few on the outside branches. The idea is to increase the sparkle of your lights. I got them at Target a few years ago, but I’m sure you can find something similar now.

Step 2: Add a little flair
This is where tinsel, mesh, ribbon and garland come into play. You want to do this before your ornaments go on. I prefer wired ribbon. I don’t fuss with it much as it comes off the roll, but will adjust it as I add ornaments. For example, I’ll tuck the ribbon behind some ornaments or curl it around specific branches for staying power.

Step 3: Size matters
Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about ornaments here. Generally you should place your smaller/lighter ornaments near the top and place larger ornaments near the bottom. However, sometimes rules are meant to be broken.  I chose to have these large white snowflakes as my exception to the rule and placed them all over the tree.

Step 4: Get personal
Have a few ornaments that don’t exactly fit your theme, but mean something to you. For example, we added this silver ornament from my husband’s last duty station near the top of the tree.

Step 5: Think outside the box
I added a few Pinterest inspired Scrabble ornaments, added a few bows made with the same ribbon I used as garland, added giant candy canes and a few sprigs of glittered berry picks as my “outside the box” items. I’ve seen other trees with actual picture frames, glittered tree branches and wooden plaques with holiday sayings used on trees and they looked amazing. It’s all about adding visual interest.

Step 6: Do what you want
I’m no tree decorating pro, but I know what I like and what I don’t. I choose to do multiple themed trees and once we have enough memento ornaments from our children, we’ll dedicate a tree or set up a display specifically for keepsakes. If a themed tree isn’t your thing and prefer to do the tried and true, do it. I do guarantee that following my steps on how to decorate a Christmas tree even if it’s not a themed tree will increase the wow factor of your holiday tree.

Are you a Christmas tree decorating junkie like me? I’d love to hear about how you decorate your Christmas tree and any themes you have up your sleeve this year!


If you missed the previous Christmas Crafting posts:
Day 1 – Advent Calendar
Day 2 – Tree Flocking Tutorial 


  1. 1

    Wow! This is the prettiest tree!! Thank you for all the great tips!

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