Home Tip Tuesday! Tips on Decorating Your Christmas Tree

Follow our tips for a beautifully decorated tree.

Displaying a magazine-perfect tree at home may seem something of a Christmas miracle, especially after looking at the mismatched collection of ornaments and lights you’ve collected through the years. But there really is a way to create that beautiful tree of your dreams without hiring a designer or spending hundreds of dollars on trendy new lights and bulbs.  

Light It Up
Lighting is the first step to a stunning Christmas tree. If being disappointed with the lighting on your tree is an annual tradition, it may be the placement—not the number of lights—you're getting wrong. A six-foot tree needs about 600 mini lights or 5 standard C7 bulbs. Some of those lights should be placed near the center of the tree and some toward the branch ends. If you like to mix different types of lights, secure larger, heavier bulbs closer to the center, and reserve the smallest lights for further out on the branch. And of course, check each strand for proper function before putting it on the tree.

To Garland, or not to Garland
Strings of popcorn, paper chains and store-bought ropes of tinsel, people seem to either love garland or hate it. If you’re on team garland, the time to weave your favorite strands onto the branches is after the lights are on. There are many options for placing garland, it can be spiraled around the tree, criss-crossed or scalloped like bunting. The key to making garland look beautiful is to decide on one pattern and follow it for each strand, even if you mix different types.

Fill It Up
All those plain dollar-store bulb ornaments you’ve been thinking of throwing out can make your tree look amazing if used correctly. Hang the ordinary ornaments, especially ones with a reflective finish, toward the center of the tree to fill in blank spots. Their shiny surfaces will help bounce light around the tree for a glowing effect. Place some of those least favorites in the back of the tree. Even if they’re not directly seen, ornaments placed in the back add an overall sense of fullness.  Mixing size, texture and shape adds interest, but reserve extra-large bulbs for the lower third to keep the look balanced.

Make It Special
Finally, it’s time for those special ornaments that bring back fond Christmas memories. Place them in key spots where they’ll be more easily seen. Remember to place smaller, lighter ornaments further out on the branches, and larger ones closer to the center.

Take time to stop, step back and take a look at your work as you go. Make certain lights and garlands look balanced before hanging filler bulbs. Check that ornaments look balanced before placing those extra special items as a finishing touch. Working step-by-step you can have a Christmas tree that will make Santa proud.

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