How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

The Definitive 8 Step Guide

1. Build the Christmas Tree

First things first, I get the tree out from where it’s been hibernating for the last 11 months and check to make sure it’s still in good condition. I like to use an artificial tree as we have our tree up for most of December and it means I can perfectly position the branches. Most artificial trees have branches which are colour coded or numbered to making them each to see what length goes where. If you are buying a real Christmas tree, make sure to invest in a good quality one with no gaps to achieve the classic full look all the way to the top when it’s decorated.

2. Spread out Branches

If you’re a perfectionist, this is the step that can take the most time and for good reason. The branches create the canvas for your decorations so they need to be arranged perfectly. Starting with the bottom layer of branches and working your way up, gently straighten each tip and fan them out in different directions from the branch to create a natural look. Take a step back after you have arranged each layer to make sure all the branches are sitting well together and you don’t have any gaps.

3. Evenly Wrap the Lights

Make sure you have enough lights to wrap round each layer of branches and again start at the bottom and work your way up to the top. The lights should sit closer to the trunk than the decorations to create a warming glow peeking through the branches.

Christmas still life of a live Christmas tree, decorations and festive wreath on a background of knitted clothes and Mandarin

4. Add the Core Baubles

Your core baubles are those in your main colour and are ones you normally get in large sets so you can easily create the base for the rest of your decorations. These often plain baubles in mirror polished, matt or even glitter finishes start off your Christmas colour scheme and make your bolder decorations pop when you add them later. They are usually in metallic or white tones which are a fantastic foundation for more daring hues.

5. Layer some Colour

This is your chance to layer your other festive colours throughout your tree. For the tree in the video I went for the opulent jeweled tones so have added plush fuchsias, purple and teals to the gold core baubles, and as you can see, this is the point where the decoration starts to take shape. Make sure to layer these colours evenly throughout the branches so you don’t have too many of the same shade in one area.

6. Add the Extra Special Decorations

This is my favourite part – adding the special decorations. These could be the more flamboyant decorations you only have a few of, or the special one-of-a-kind designs you have collected on your travels, or the particularly large pieces. Again spread these out amongst the branches so they don’t sit too close to each other to achieve the full effect. For the tree in the video, I added beautiful jewel embellished and flower embroidered decorations in complementing shades to the colourful baubles I added in the last step.

7. Place the Finishing Touches & Star on Top

This stage is for the real showstopper decorations which will really set your tree apart from the rest. Real or artificial flowers have been popular in recent years as finishing touches for the tree and the deep pink flowers in the video bring the tree to life. For a tree topper I always go for the classic star but you could use a large statement decoration instead to give your tree a contemporary twist.

8. Start Adding Presents Underneath

The final flourish for any tree is of course the presents underneath. So finish your perfectly styled Christmas tree with a small pile of impeccably wrapped gifts. Getting these wrapped early also means more time to relax closer to the big day, so be prepared and tick that job of your list when the tree goes up.

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