Whether your tree is real or fake, this is how to elegantly decorate your Christmas tree step-by-step. You’re only five steps away from a gorgeous tree!

Step One- Choose Your Color Scheme

The first step in decorating your tree is always to figure out what colors you want for your tree. I recommend using your Christmas tree to complement existing colors in your home, while still adding holiday flair, or go with a traditional holiday color scheme (think all red and white). Since I love neutrals and texture, I went with shimmery golds, bronzes, champagne and silver tones for a metallic extravaganza. Otherwise, nature tones like browns and greens can be beautiful, as well as blues and silvers, all white, and so much more. Try to limit to 3-4 colors at most and make sure they complement each other in some way. For inspiration, check out Design Seeds for color palette ideas based on beautiful photos.

Step One- Choose Your Color Scheme

The first step in decorating your tree is always to figure out what colors you want for your tree. I recommend using your Christmas tree to complement existing colors in your home, while still adding holiday flair, or go with a traditional holiday color scheme (think all red and white). Since I love neutrals and texture, I went with shimmery golds, bronzes, champagne and silver tones for a metallic extravaganza. Otherwise, nature tones like browns and greens can be beautiful, as well as blues and silvers, all white, and so much more. Try to limit to 3-4 colors at most and make sure they complement each other in some way. For inspiration, check out Design Seeds for color palette ideas based on beautiful photos.

Step Two- Christmas Lights

Now to finally add things to the tree! Colored lights and clear can both look great, but my preference will always lean towards the clear ones. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your color scheme. No matter which you choose, the key to making the lights in your tree look great is to really make sure that the lights not just on the outer portion of three but are also inside of the tree. Starting from the bottom and working your way up focus on making sure you wrap the lights from near the base of a branch and work your way outward. Repeat this process around and up– the idea is to not have the lights just draped loosely around the outside of the tree. This is going to require more lights, but the result is worth it!

Step Two- Christmas Lights

Now to finally add things to the tree! Colored lights and clear can both look great, but my preference will always lean towards the clear ones. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your color scheme. No matter which you choose, the key to making the lights in your tree look great is to really make sure that the lights not just on the outer portion of three but are also inside of the tree. Starting from the bottom and working your way up focus on making sure you wrap the lights from near the base of a branch and work your way outward. Repeat this process around and up– the idea is to not have the lights just draped loosely around the outside of the tree. This is going to require more lights, but the result is worth it!

Step Three- Add Ribbon

Pick one to two ribbon choices that fit within your color scheme. Make sure to find the kind with the wire so that you can easily manipulate it into the correct shapes. Next, you’ll want to cut strips around 4-5 feet long, and then starting at the top, insert the ribbon into the tree in wave shapes and work your way down. By adding the ribbon first, you’ll use a lot less ornaments to fill in the blank spots, and ribbon is a lot cheaper than ornaments! You can either alternate directions or work clockwise or counter-clockwise. As a bonus, if you buy extra ribbon you can use that to decorate your gifts to keep everything cohesive– it’s an extra touch that looks gorgeous!

Step Three- Add Ribbon

Pick one to two ribbon choices that fit within your color scheme. Make sure to find the kind with the wire so that you can easily manipulate it into the correct shapes. Next, you’ll want to cut strips around 4-5 feet long, and then starting at the top, insert the ribbon into the tree in wave shapes and work your way down. By adding the ribbon first, you’ll use a lot less ornaments to fill in the blank spots, and ribbon is a lot cheaper than ornaments! You can either alternate directions or work clockwise or counter-clockwise. As a bonus, if you buy extra ribbon you can use that to decorate your gifts to keep everything cohesive– it’s an extra touch that looks gorgeous!

Step Four- Add the Ornaments!

Filling in the blank spots left over from the ornaments is going to be the name of the game now! I recommend purchasing bulk coordinated ornaments sets to save time and money, rather than purchasing individual ornaments. Individual ornaments are great for accents, but they can get very pricey, very very quickly.  I purchased mine at Sam’s Club but you can really find them at a variety of stores, whether its Hobby Lobby, At Home, Wal-Mart, etc. Just because they aren’t super expensive doesn’t mean it won’t look great! That color scheme is really going to help. No matter what you do, make sure to really load the tree up as much as possible, you don’t want to see much of the tree after you’re done here! The more ornaments, the better.

Step Four- Add the Ornaments!

Filling in the blank spots left over from the ornaments is going to be the name of the game now! I recommend purchasing bulk coordinated ornaments sets to save time and money, rather than purchasing individual ornaments. Individual ornaments are great for accents, but they can get very pricey, very very quickly.  I purchased mine at Sam’s Club but you can really find them at a variety of stores, whether its Hobby Lobby, At Home, Wal-Mart, etc. Just because they aren’t super expensive doesn’t mean it won’t look great! That color scheme is really going to help. No matter what you do, make sure to really load the tree up as much as possible, you don’t want to see much of the tree after you’re done here! The more ornaments, the better.

Step Five- Add Embellishments

To really elevate the look of your tree, you’re going to want to add embellishments. These are sometimes called “picks”, and to buy them on their own from the Christmas section can get a little crazy for your wallet. Instead, get creative! By using unique things like fake foliage, glittery accents, small lanterns, and other unique items from places like dollar and craft stores, you can really spruce up your tree (no pun intended, but I’ll take it!) I love adding embellishments that catch light–so I looked for anything with glitter or reflection. Another gorgeous add-on is red holly berry. It adds a striking blast of color and dimension!

Step Five- Add Embellishments

To really elevate the look of your tree, you’re going to want to add embellishments. These are sometimes called “picks”, and to buy them on their own from the Christmas section can get a little crazy for your wallet. Instead, get creative! By using unique things like fake foliage, glittery accents, small lanterns, and other unique items from places like dollar and craft stores, you can really spruce up your tree (no pun intended, but I’ll take it!) I love adding embellishments that catch light–so I looked for anything with glitter or reflection. Another gorgeous add-on is red holly berry. It adds a striking blast of color and dimension!

Here is a photo of my tree, complete with Zelda who insisted on helping me undo the ribbon! If anyone figures out the secret to keeping feline friends away from Christmas trees, let me know 😉
Here is a photo of my tree, complete with Zelda who insisted on helping me undo the ribbon! If anyone figures out the secret to keeping feline friends away from Christmas trees, let me know 😉