It’s time….the Christmas season…time to deck the halls and put up a tree. I have always loved putting up our Christmas tree. In fact, as newlyweds, we ventured out in an ice storm just to save 50% of a HUGE Christmas tree. I didn’t have near enough to decorate it properly, but year by year I added to it. As our family and house grew, so did my collection of trees. 🙂 What can I say? It’s just always been ‘my thing.’ However, I realize not everyone feels the same as I do about this task. I’ve even heard that some people don’t enjoy putting up their tree at all! So, today I thought I’d share with you four easy steps to making a knockout Christmas tree this year. It’s easier than you think. Ready?
Step One for a Knockout Christmas Tree~ Fluff
Let’s start with your tree. Hopefully everyone can appreciate the beauty of pre-lit trees. So, let’s assume that your tree is already wired with lights. However, when you take it out of the box, it is not in its most attractive state. So, step one is to fluff the tree.
To do this, I go in to each branch of the tree and bend the individual limbs into different directions. I want to make sure it appears that some limbs turn up, some point down some grow on the left of the branch and some on the right. There’s really no rhyme or reason to how I arrange them, I just want them to be filling in the tree and leave no empty spaces. At this point I do test out the lights to make sure they are all still lit. However, once I’ve tested, I turn the lights off while I decorate.
Step Two for a Knockout Christmas Tree ~ Add Ribbon
Next up, you need to add ribbon to your tree. I am a big believer in the magic of ribbon. It can make our tree look more full and it can cover any remaining empty spaces. It also can disguise a very cheap looking tree and make it look lovely. I generally use two or three ribbons in my trees. Now, there are a few ways you can arrange your ribbons.
- You can make bows and wire them into your tree. Then use some extra ribbon to wind around in the branches.
- You can create a waterfall effect with ribbon. This is where you make a loop or two with your ribbon and then have a long tail. You wire the loops in at the top of the tree. Then, with your long tail, you tuck it into the branches in a straight line going to the bottom of the tree.
- You can wind the ribbon around the tree in a sort of spiral starting at the top and curling around to the bottom. This look is generally done on the edge of the tree and doesn’t really tuck into the tree.
- You can do what I usually do using 2-3 ribbons. You cut a long piece of each ribbon and make a loop with each one. Then stack the loops and tails on top of each other and twist a piece of floral wire around the loop to hold it in place. The, you tuck the loops into the tree and wire them onto the branch. The tails will now be tucked into the tree in all directions. The multiple loops will be separated to look kind of like a bow.
When placing bows or loops into the tree, I try to spread them out. I generally try to visualize a diamond and place a bow or loop at each point of the diamond. So when I stand back and look at the tree I’ve got multiple diamonds with ribbon at each point. Does that make sense?
Can you kind of see the diamond pattern here?
Step Three for a Knockout Christmas Tree – Floral Picks
Okay, so you may think this step is not necessary. Indeed it’s not…unless you want a magazine worthy tree. 🙂 For this step you need to gather floral picks to insert into the tree or at the top. Obviously, this is a matter of preference, but let me give you some ideas. If you want to make your tree look more snowy or flocked, you’d pick lots of white picks. With a playful tree you might choose bright colors or shiny, foiled picks. If you prefer a traditional tree, you’d select more pine and berry picks. A natural looking tree might use actual wood twigs or grapevine.
The idea here is again to plump up the tree and make it look full. It also allows you to add more color and different textures. I also like to find long picks or sticks to insert at the top of the tree. Mr. LouiseMarie says the tops of my trees look like an explosion. That’s okay with me. I think it adds interest to the top. Of course, you may like a large bow or an angel or star at the top. To be honest, I have a hard time reaching the tops of the trees so inserting picks is way easier for me than trying to arrange and fluff a large bow.
Whatever you choose, you want to insert them in to the tree in various places. Again, you’ll scatter them throughout. If visualizing a diamond helps, then use that technique again. However, you’ll want these diamonds to be in different spots from the ribbons. On my family tree, I used a lot of red berry picks. It helps to play up the red in the tree, it fills it in, and it adds some other texture to the tree.
Step Four for a Knockout Christmas Tree ~ Ornaments
Now, it’s time for ornaments. However, there is a method to the madness here as well. You don’t want to just slap them on. Instead, you want to start with your largest sized ornaments first. If you don’t have any, you’ll want to get some. You don’t need many, various sized ornaments add interest. On the tree in my master, I added large fluffy ‘snowball’ ornaments.
With your large ornaments in place, now you can add your filler ornaments. These are the ornaments that play up whatever color scheme you’re using. These are not necessarily special ~ these are for color and filling in. As you add these to the tree, you’ll want to reach deep into the tree and place some of the ornaments. This will give your tree more depth and a layered effect.
This is also the point where the family can get involved. I always liked our family to decorate the tree together. It’s a fun tradition and the kids love to do it. It’s also fun to reminisce as you pull out different ornaments each year. So, I would get it to this step on my own and then call them in for the ornaments.
Finally, it’s time to add the more meaningful ornaments to the tree. Save these for last because they will be more on the outside of the tree where you can easily see them. These might be the ones your kids made or ones you’ve collected over the years. Now, if you’re like me, you have more than one tree. If that’s the case, I like to make my family tree the one with all those special ornaments. My other trees have lovely ornaments, but ones that aren’t necessarily sentimental.
Another thought on ornaments… if you have managed to collect more kid themed ornaments i.e. Disney characters, I think those make for a fun kid tree in a playroom. They love seeing those ornaments, but they may not be the ones you want on your knockout tree. For years a kid tree graced our playroom. Silly ornaments with bright colors covered it. My boys loved decorating their own tree.
That’s it. That’s all there is to decorating a knockout, magazine worthy Christmas tree. You can start with the simplest, scraggly tree and turn it into something really beautiful. It just takes a little time and a few supplies. I hope this helped to break the process down for you so decorating your tree can be just a little easier this year. Do you have any special tips or ‘hacks’ for decorating your tree? I’d love to hear it in the comments below. Okay friends, I’m off to finish a few to-dos. I’m hosting a favorites party soon and have a lots to get done. Have a great week!
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Until next time~