How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

Published by Bucks Country Gardens in Christmas

christmas-tree-lights-webIt is that busy time of year again: gifts to purchase, holiday meals to prepare, and a house to decorate for the holidays. A decorated Christmas tree will be a major focal point in many of our homes and we want it to be special. It can be a bit intimidating. I am here to help!! I have decorated the trees at Bucks Country Gardens for many years and can give you a few simple steps to make this task a bit easier and a lot of fun.


To get started, your fresh tree is already in the tree stand and hopefully standing straight or you have gotten the artificial tree out of storage and positioned all the little branches so that it looks full. I find it easiest to decorate the artificial trees, but the same steps apply to your fresh tree.

Get creative and pick a tree theme or color scheme. It can be inspired by a tree you have seen or color coordinated with a room in your home.

We always feature several tree themes in our Christmas shop, so if you are feeling stumped, simply stop in for some inspiration.

ornament-webStep 1

If your christmas tree is not pre-lit, place your lights on the tree. The lights can be white or multi-colored, depending on your theme and preference. Always weave the lights in and out on the branches to give the tree depth. The general rule of thumb is that you will need roughly 100 lights per foot of tree height.

Step 2

If using floral picks, they are added at this stage. Florals add texture and depth to the tree and can be used to fill in large spaces. I usually start with the picks with the largest flowers and longest stems to reach into the tree. Always work around the tree for balance, placing picks at different heights. Some florals can be placed deeper into the tree, while others can extend beyond the branch tips.

ribbon-webStep 3

Balls or ornaments can now be added to the tree. It is best to have a range of sizes to be aesthetically pleasing. I also like to vary the ball shapes, to keep it interesting. Always put the largest balls on first and position them in the lower portion of the tree and progress to the smallest ornaments. Smaller ornaments are best positioned in the top portion of the tree or nearer the branch tips where they will be seen.

Step 4

Garland or ribbon is placed at this time. I like to weave a ribbon in and out around the ornaments and picks. Sometimes, I will use two different, coordinated ribbons that I interlace together to create a finishing touch. Another option is to place smaller loop bows into the tree at alternating heights. Garland strands can also be draped along the branch tips at this point. tree-topper-webThere are so many garlands to choose from and they can be made of beads, pine cones, tinsel, peppermint candy, etc. (Note: If the garland you are using is very thick and heavy then it may need to be positioned in the tree earlier in the process when the larger picks are positioned.)

Step 5

Finish your Christmas tree with a decorative tree skirt and a tree topper. The tree topper can be some floral or berry picks that you used in the tree or it can be something entirely different than anything in the tree. For example, a big black top hat can be placed on top for a snowman themed tree or a standing deer can be positioned near the top for a woodland themed tree.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to personalize your tree. At Bucks Country Gardens, we have placed many elements in our trees to make them special, including lanterns, deer, stuffed animals, tree branches and birch logs, grape vines, elves, and paper cottages.tree-skirt-web

These few simple steps will help you create a Christmas tree that will leave your visitors in awe! If you get stuck or need some assistance, we have several designers that are available to help get you started. I hope that you have as much fun as I do in creating that perfect tree!

Kathy Evans | Greenhouse & Christmas Design