Tips for Decorating Your Christmas Tree

Posted by Laine Smith on 12/17/14 9:00 AM

Topics: Home Ownership

Using a little help from Better Homes and Gardens, if you haven’t finished putting up your Christmas tree and decorations, here are some great tips for making your tree shine this year!

Step 1: Hang Christmas Tree Lights

The first step in decorating a tree is adding the lights.  Choose the strand color that matches your tree, like green or white, so that the wires will look hidden.  Start at the bottom of the tree trunk and work your way up, wrapping lights around every major branch, moving from the inside tree trunk to the edge of the branches and back.  Don't skimp on lights! The say that for every vertical foot of tree, you should use a strand of 100 lights.


The main types of lights to choose from when decorating are:

Traditional incandescent lights: These Christmas tree lights, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, are the most popular type of tree lights. They warm up the branches of a real tree, which will release the scent of pine into the room.

LED lights: These Christmas tree lights are newer than the traditional incandescent lights and don't produce heat. They're typically more expensive, but they are flameproof, fireproof, and completely safe to put on your tree.

Globe lights: These Christmas tree lights are round and come in many sizes. They look like balls of color on the tree, and while they have a softer glow than mini lights, the light they produce covers a larger area on the tree.

Bubble lights: These retro lights stand straight up on the limbs of your Christmas tree. When the liquid tube on top of the light warms up, bubbles float up and down inside the tube, resembling lava lamps.

It is totally fine to mix and match your lights to see what you like best.  For example, experiment with a background of white lights on the interior and then throw pops of color on the outer parts of the tree branches. 


Step 2: Add Christmas Tree Garlands

There are no firm rules when it comes to garland on your Christmas tree, or saying that you even have to use garland at all.  If you do decide to use it though, in order to avoid an overly adorned tree, start at the top of the tree and slowly increase the amount of garland between each wave as you work your way down to the fuller branches. Also, use a variety of garlands to keep your tree from looking too busy.  Use thin, metallic on some parts and intertwine with a thicker paper or ribbon garland that is wrapped more loosely. 



Step 3: Hang Christmas Tree Ornaments

The last step in Christmas tree decorating is to hang your ornaments.  To showcase your favorites, place them in the front, prime positions on the tree first. Next, hang your larger ornaments, being sure to space them evenly around the tree for a more balanced look.  Fill in the areas around those ornaments with medium and smaller ornaments.  Also, hang some of your lesser favorite ornaments closer to the trunk to help create depth.  To add interest, change textures by using bulb ornaments, homemade ones, and odd shaped ones like icicles. 


All photos are courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Feel free to see more decorating tips and tricks on our Pinterest page or download our Rehab & Construction Guide for more on loans to help you make your DIY house into your “Dream Home!”

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