5 festive ways to decorate a Christmas tree

Christmas tree and decorations
Christmas tree and decorations (Image credit: Shutterstock)

When it comes to decking the halls, the Christmas tree is the ultimate showstopper. Whether you opt for real fir, artificial, big or small, there are plenty of festive ways to decorate a Christmas tree. 

You may wish to stick to the classic styles of red and green shiny baubles and tinsel, or prefer your own theme of colorful candy, vintage ribbons or citrus ornaments. Whatever theme you choose, the Christmas tree is a festive way of bringing family and friends together, and a great talking point. So if you want to impress your guests this holiday, here are 5 ways to decorate your Christmas tree. 

Just be sure not to make these Christmas decorating mistakes! Ever wondered which is better: real Christmas tree versus fake? Here's the answer. 

1. Classic Christmas tree with baubles

1. First, you’ll need a secure stand or base for your real or artificial Christmas tree. Then, fluff out the branches to make the tree look fuller and appear more natural, especially if it’s one of the best artificial Christmas trees

2. Next, put the lights on the tree before the decorations. A good tip is to start by putting lights against the trunk of the tree first, before reaching out the branches. Rather than walking around the tree, use the zig-zag method of going from left to right, and right to left, only focusing on the front of the tree. This will ensure you see the lights from underneath the branches, as well as on top. 

Christmas bauble and lights on tree

Christmas bauble and lights on tree (Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Now you can start adding your baubles or other shiny decorations to the tree.  The best method is to place the heaviest decorations towards the inside of the tree first, so the weight is supported by the branches. Then use the larger baubles at the base and medium sized ones in the middle and top of the tree. This looks visually appealing, and neatly places, plus limit yourself to two or three different colors so it won’t look too overwhelming.  

4. Then, add any finishing touches like the topper, tree skirt, decorative cover or any garland strings. Now your Christmas tree is ready to put your gifts under. 

2. Floral Christmas tree 

Floral Christmas tree decor

Floral Christmas tree decor (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Another popular idea is to decorate your Christmas tree with flowers. Artificial flower garlands or soft flowers can make a tree look stunning. Once you’ve followed the initial steps above, simply add your blooms inside the branches, using the stem to hook and secure them on. Make sure you give them equal space between, so they’re not all cluttered. What’s more, pastel colors can bring elegance to your Christmas tree, and really make a statement.  

3. Festive fruit Christmas tree 

Dried fruit on Christmas tree

Dried fruit on Christmas tree (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Many people are opting for eco-friendly/organic decorations to spruce up their Christmas tree. In contrast to the glitzy baubles, these create a subtle, nature-inspired theme. Favourites include using dehydrated citrus garlands, orange and red berries or cinnamon on the tree. Simply attach the dried fruit with a wire ornament hook and poke a hole around the rind. Then pinch it closed around the branch to secure it. To create a vibrant garland, use twine and dehydrated citrus to wrap around the tree, or if you're attaching citrus fruit pieces to a wreath, use floristry wire rather than glue. Best of all, these can be reused for another year, which will save you money.  

4. Ribboned Christmas tree 

Ribbon bows on Christmas tree

Ribbon bows on Christmas tree (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you don’t want to decorate with shiny baubles or glittery tinsel, a ribbon garland or tartan bows can work just as well. An easy, garland method is to start at the top of the tree, and wind it around, letting it cascade vertically down the tree. Loosely intertwine each branch along the way.  For ribbon bows, simply attach on top of the tree or pin them around the tree like other ornaments. Plus, there are tons of ribbon types to choose from including satin, lace, velvet, jute, organza or even striped fabrics.   

5. Homemade ornaments Christmas tree 

Homemade tree decorations

Homemade tree decorations (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Give your Christmas tree a more bespoke look by crafting your own ornaments. This is the perfect time of the year to get creative, especially for children who enjoy crafting their own decorations to hang on the tree. There is plenty of inspiration online for making DIY ornaments, using cardboard, felt, or even salt dough. What’s more, homemade ornaments add a special, personal touch to the festive tree. You can even use some of the leftover materials to make your own holiday cards.

Once it's time to put your decorations away, we can share some tips for storing Christmas decorations. If you want to know how to save money when buying a Christmas tree, check out these top tips. Or you can always learn how to grow a Christmas tree and keep it for next year.  And if you have pets, here's how to keep cats out of the Christmas tree. Want to recycle your Christmas tree? Here's 7 clever ways to reuse your real Christmas tree after the holidays.

Next: Looking for something to watch this Christmas? Check out the 10 best Hallmark Christmas movies

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!