How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

A more accurate title for this post would "How I Decorate a Christmas Tree" since there are hundreds of ways to decorate a tree and this is in no way the "right" way.  This is just a way that I have found helps make the process move quicker and creates a balanced tree with a lot of texture and dimension.  Most of you probably already have your trees up but I wanted to get us all in the Christmas spirit.  I stick with a pretty traditional color scheme for my tree: red and gold. I like to play with different shades, sheens, and textures with in that color scheme. Step 1: Wrap it up

My tree is a pretty cheap prelit artificial tree.  Since it's pretty skimpy, I start by wrapping the tree in red velvet ribbon to try and mask some of the gaping holes.  I try to keep the spacing consistent but eventually just give up  embrace the character of the natural movement of the ribbon.  This would also work great with garland or fabric.

Step 2: Fill it inLast year I was looking for more ways to fill in my skimpy tree.  I ran across these fun holly berry stems and thought they would add some great texture and whimsy and add some more depth to my tree.  Plus I am a sucker for anything that glitters.I try to fill the largest holes with the berries.  Some are placed deeper into the tree while others are on the edge.I love how the cute little berries look sticking out of the tree and break up the perfect conical shape found in artificial trees.  Any stem with some texture would work.  You could even add natural pine boughs.  That would be a great way to add a little into a fake tree and the smell would be fantastic.

Step 3: Non Hanging Ornaments

Some ornaments look best hanging on the edge of the tree while others look best nestled into the tree.  For me my non hanging ornaments are round ornaments.  I start by organizing all the round ornaments by size and color and start by placing the largest ones first.I place the largest round ornaments deep into the tree to add a little dimension.  Right now I only have 3 large round ornaments but could use a couple more.  The medium round ornaments come next.  I start with all of the gold ones.I love the mix of glitter gold, mirror gold, and matte gold.Next comes the red medium round ornaments also in a mix of texture and sheens.  I try to move in a zig zag pattern on the tree to there is an even distribution of the ornaments. The tiniest round ornaments come next.

Step 4: The Hanging Ornaments

My ornaments that look best hanging are icicles and snowflakes.  The icicles break of the tree a bit and add contrast to all of the round ornaments.  I have a lot of icicle ornaments.  Some are glittery and some are really shiny.  By this point in the decorating I am basically just sticking the ornaments on the nearest branch, but that works for icicles. This is also the time when I would add the more unique ornaments that should be the star of the show.

Step 5: The TopperI needed a little height on my tree so I used a bunch of gold glittered oak leaf stems for my topper.  You could any kind of stem, feathers, or sticks as a topper. There is also the classic star or angel toppers.  I've also used large bows for the topper and left the ribbon trailing down the tree instead of wrapping around it which is pretty.

Step 6: Add the stuff you found hiding in the bottom of the bin.It doesn't matter how much I try to be organized when putting the ornaments away, I always get a few stragglers.  I found these red poinsettia ornaments hiding in the bottom of a bin.

And what would tree decorating be without little helpers?  There was also a little dachshund that wouldn't stay out from under my feet that made the process a bit more difficult and let's not forget the two cats that think they need to live under the tree. 

Now I'd like to spread a little Christmas cheer and have a tree party.  Send any photos you have of your tree to pamelaj@atmosphere-id.com  and I will post them all next week.  Awards will be given for the best non traditional tree, best traditional tree, best rustic tree, best whimsical tree, and most unique ornament or feature.  Winners will receive coupons for furniture and home decor items at Liv by Atmosphere ID, and everyone that sends pictures will be entered into a drawing for a free design package.

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