How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree

Decorating the tree is one of the most magical aspects of Christmas. Whether you choose to do it as a family or tackle it on your own (or even let the kids do it, if you are brave enough!), following a few simple tips and tricks can help to make your tree a real festive season showstopper.

Shape The Branches First

If you’ve chosen an artificial tree and it’s been in its’ box in the loft for the best part of the year, it’s going to need a little straightening out before dressing it, fan out the branches to give it a more realistic look. Even real trees can get a little crumpled during wrapping to transport them home. As real tree branches come in all shapes and sizes, a little trim and shape will give it a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing look. There are some excellent tips on pruning and caring for real Christmas trees on the RHS website.

Let There Be Light

Fairy lights twinkling away on the tree give a beautifully Christmassy feel. Getting an even spread of lights can prove difficult – especially if you have a tall tree! As a rough rule of thumb, you’ll need around 100 lights for every foot or foot and a half of tree. Plug them in first so you can see the distribution as you work. Start at the bottom and carefully weave the lights throughout the branches as you work upwards towards the top of the tree. For guaranteed even-ness, try a pre-lit Christmas trees, the working out of the perfect amount of lights has already been done for you. Check out for a wide range of pre-lit Christmas trees!

Hang Your Garlands

Once the lights are in situ, you can then begin the garlands of pinecones, ribbons, strings of bells, tinsel or whatever you choose to decorate your tree with. This time, work from the top down, carefully tucking and weaving amongst the branches. Make sure that you secure each garland at the top first so that it does not creep down.


Once all the garlands are completed, now you can go to town with your ornaments. Having a design in mind first, in terms or style, colour and size is a good idea to achieve a great result. Are you using all the same size, colour or shape or going for a multi-size and colour look? Maybe mixing nostalgic, much-loved pieces with modern items for a truly personal feel. Stand back every few items to ensure that you are happy with the look. Does it feel well balanced or are there too many at the top or bottom or on either side? Remember, there is no right or wrong! Just what you feel looks the best for your home. Top Tip: Try placing larger items on the lower branches for a balanced look. Heavier ornaments will help lower stubborn branches that have not dropped.

Placing the Topper

Whether it is the traditional fairy, a star or something completely different, the topper sets the whole tree off to beautiful effect. Consider what size it should be in proportion to your tree and overall look. A teeny-tiny fairy will look a bit lost on a huge tree, brimming with decorations. Similarly, a massive topper can make a smaller tree look over-balanced and can even pull the tip of the tree down.

Dressing under the Tree

Will you place presents under the tree? Or do you want a plush tree skirt, a wicker basket or how about a glorious train scene running around the tree? Dressing the under side of the tree will help to hide the bucket or stand. If you are thinking about a Christmas tree train, check out this really helpful article from for some superb ideas!

We hope you have found our tips on how to decorate your Christmas tree useful. All that’s left to do now is to pour yourself a glass of something festive, put your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labour!