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Your foolproof guide to Christmas tree decorating

Putting together the tree is undeniably the most important piece of holiday decor. Make sure it adds to the space rather than become an eyesore by following this foolproof guide on tree decorating.

Christmas tree

Secure the tree

Before you start any decorating, it’s crucial to ensure your tree is well secured. The last thing you want is for someone to brush past it and have the whole thing come tumbling down — fragile ornaments and all. If you’re using a Christmas tree holder, make sure the screws are secure. And if possible, tie the middle of the tree to a banister or other structure to act as a secondary hold for extra safety.

Start with the basics

It’s understandable that you (or a little one in the family) may want to jump straight to hanging your favourite ornaments. But that will make for a tougher time achieving an elegant and unified look. Instead, begin with the lights. Start at the top, and slowly weave your way around to the bottom. If you run out of lights before you get to the bottom, add another identical strand. After all, the more twinkling lights, the better! Follow the same technique with beads or garlands for added colour and sparkle throughout the tree.

Christmas ornamentAdd the big ones

It’s time for the ornaments! But don’t get too eager and random in your hanging. To create an even look, begin with the largest and plainest ornaments. Place them deep in the tree, as close to the centre as you can manage. And make sure to distribute them as evenly as possible. This will give the tree depth and variety.

beaded spire ornaments from Pottery Barn Unify the look

A great way to bring the look of the whole tree together is by purchasing sets of matching ornaments, such as sparkly balls or dainty snowflakes. When you scatter a set around the whole tree, you bring a unity to the tree that makes it seem well thought out and elegant. Consider something along the lines of these beaded spire ornaments from Pottery Barn for class and sparkle (, $32).

Time for the finishing touches

To really make your tree pop, you need some unique decorations that capture the eye. And it’s extra fun if they happen to be pieces that mean something to you or have a history. Place them in the most noticeable locations, such as at the tips of extended branches or at eye level. Now for the ultimate finishing touch: the topper. Whether you opt for a star, an angel or an original selection, make sure it sits perfectly straight so it complements all the hard work you’ve done on the rest of the tree.

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