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Wichita Falls Living Magazine

Decorate your Christmas Tree like a Pro

Use these pro tips when decorating your tree this year for a designer look without the designer price and bragging rights to boot!

1. Design around a theme

A professional-looking Christmas tree has a central look that ties the decorations together. Deciding on a theme before choosing your decorations sets the tone for your materials and gives you a clear idea of how to decorate your tree.  If you are like me, I look for after Christmas sales for decorations.  Keep in mind your overall theme when buying to ensure all your decor will compliment each other.  Are you drawn to natural, classic items or the glitter and glam?  Traditional or non-traditional color schemes?

2. Fluffing and shaping the tree

Fluffing the branches helps to make your Christmas tree look fuller and more natural. This can be a very time-consuming task, but trust us, the end result is more than worth it. Separate each branch so they fan out to cover as much area as possible. And don't hesitate to bend individual branches to fill in gaps. Keep in mind that a properly shaped tree is an appealing sight, however minimal or lavish your embellishments may be.  Pro tip: wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and arms from scratchy branches.


3. Start with the lights first

While pre-lit Christmas trees are popular and will save you time (and money), you'll need Christmas tree lights if you have a plain tree (real or artificial).  The first, most important thing you need to do when decorating your Christmas tree, is to always add the lights first – it's more difficult to do this after you've added decorations like ornaments and ribbons.  Pro tip: Start at the trunk of the tree and work your way out to the tips of the branches, then back in towards the trunk to move to the next branch.

4. Ornaments

We have all seen the inexpensive cylinder containers of colored ornaments.  Many sets include different shapes, sizes, finishes, and designs. Combining these with your sentimental ornaments will give you more bang for your buck.   Pro tip: Using floral wire or pipe cleaners, group three generic ornaments of different sizes together to add flair and visual appeal.

Add the generic ornaments first in a 'Z' shape down the tree, take a step back to look, and arrange as needed.  You should hang larger ornaments closer to the center of the tree to give it more depth (and fill in gaps in the branches), and use smaller ones towards the ends of the branches.  Dangle delicate glass ornaments at the top of the tree to prevent any breakages, and add special ones last to ensure they are in the perfect position.

6. Use tree picks

Tree picks and floral sprays come in many forms, such as decorated branches, twigs, berries, or even pinecones – use them as subtle accents to complement the entire look of your tree.  As with the ornaments, start at the top and work your way down in a Z pattern, take a step back to look and make needed adjustments.  Make sure to choose picks with bendable stems to make shaping easier.  Pro tip: Make tree picks more concentrated towards the top, accenting your tree topper, and thinning out towards the bottom.


5. Layer and style ribbons

Another expert tip is to layer your Christmas tree with decorative ribbons. You may use one type of ribbon or pair ribbons of contrasting textures and different widths to create more impact.  Starting from the top, tie one end of your ribbon to the tree, and position it so that it drapes in and out of the foliage in waves. Anchor the ribbon at intervals by securing it with pipe cleaners or floral wire within the tree. This technique gives your tree movement while adding dimension and depth.  Pro tip: Use Wired Ribbons for Decorating.  The wired edges make it easier to create loops or rolls by holding their form longer and staying where you position it.


7. Choose the right tree topper

An eye-catching Christmas tree topper is a beautiful way to complete the designer look of your tree.  You can consider a giant bow,  a star, an angel or you could make your own topper!  Make sure to choose one that best fits your theme and the proportion of your tree.  Pro tip: When in doubt, go oversized for the topper.  It will look like an intentional design choice in contrast to if it is too small. 



8. Finish off with a tree skirt

Often overlooked, a Christmas tree skirt is the finishing touch to your decorations and serves to balance the overall design of your Christmas tree. Tree skirts have many benefits too, from covering the unsightly 'legs', trunk or stand of a tree, to protecting your floors and carpets from any fallen pine needles (if you have a real tree).  It also naturally draws attention to the tree's lower portion and helps to produce a complete, harmonious look. Plus, it's the perfect backdrop for beautifully wrapped Christmas presents.  Pro tip: if you are on a budget, a throw blanket or a couple of yards of fabric or burlap is a cost-effective alternative!

The rest of the house

Your home doesn't have to be bursting at the seams with Christmas decor to make a statement.  Focus on your tree, mantel, entry, and dining table centerpiece.  Floral picks and generic ornaments are also great for adding lively splashes of color to wreaths, garlands, and your everyday decor.  



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