Nov 30, 2013 - Christmas, Design Steps    5 Comments

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

It is time to pull out the old artificial Christmas tree and trim it up!  I have a decent tree that I bought at Costco seven years ago and I love getting it showroom ready for the holidays!  But I know there are some of you out there that dread decorating that old tree and aren’t sure how to make that old cheap fake tree look like a show stopper.  Follow these tips to make ANY faux tree look AMAZING!

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree {On ANY Budget}

How to Decorate A Christmas Tree | Burlap and Denim

1. Find a great “Stand”.  I use an old stone shipping crate that I found for $5.

Natural Burlap and Champagne Christmas Tree in a Crate

 Other great options include buckets, wine barrels, and baskets.

How to Decorate A Christmas Tree: Galvanized Bucket Christmas Tree Stand

(Via Migonis Home)

Whiskey Barrel for the Christmas Tree

(Via The Cavender Diary)

(Via Southern Living)

By adding a stand instead of just a tree skirt you can really add personality to your tree.  My shipping crate gives the illusion that the root ball is down in the box and this is a “fresh” tree ready to be planted.  By putting mine on top of the crate it also adds a lot of height.  My 9 ft tree now looks like it’s 11 ft which is great since I have a two-story vaulted family room.  Be sure to cover the metal tree stand that is part of the tree with a tree skirt, burlap, a wool blanket, presents, moss and pinecones, or what ever fits your style.


2. Unbox and Fluff your tree.  Put it on your stand and connect the pieces together along with plugging in all of the light strings.  Now for the part that takes all the time, opening up all of the branches.  This takes me about an hour.  First I slip on a pair of old kids gloves to protect my hands, or else I end up with dry red scratched up hands.

Wear Gloves when Fluffing a Faux Christmas Tree

Please do not skip the gloves!  Then start at the bottom and go round and round with each branch.  I like to make sure that each branch is straight.  The ones in the center usually end up sticking up and out while the ones at the tips I fan out and tilt them slightly down.

 Always Work from the Bottom Up when Fluffing a Christmas Tree

3. Fill in the Gaps.  Every time I look at a naked real or fake tree I notice all of the gaps.  I like to fill them in.  In the past I have used strips of old fabric woven throughout the tree.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: Add Strips of Fabric

(Red and Gold and Burlap Christmas)

Last year I shoved a bunch of burlap throughout my tree.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: Burlap Garland

Champagne and Neutrals

 This year I mixed things up a bit.  I made this Wrapping Paper Christmas Garland.  It is an inexpensive and has a fun unique look.

Cut and Crumple Wrapping Paper for Christmas Tree Garland

Wrapping Paper Garland


4.  Add garland.  Garland is amazing!  It can fill in all the small gaps and add your personality to a fake tree making it full and glorious.   I have made Merry Christmas Burlap Ribbon, Driftwood Garland, and bought tinsel.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: Merry Christmas Burlap Ribbon

Merry Christmas Burlap Ribbon

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: Driftwood Garland

For a 9 ft tree I used about 30 ft of my burlap ribbon, 30 ft. of driftwood garland, and 4 strings of tinsel.  You could make a paper or fabric pennant, wool ball garland, or even tiny presents!

  How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: Paper Pennant

(Via Today’s Creative Blog)

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: DIY Pinecone Garland

(Via Simply Happenstance)

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: DIY Present Garland

(Via Oh Happy Day)

5. Add your ornaments.  I don’t have a ton or ornaments that I pile on my tree.  I just put them on top of everything else like a garnish.  I have a few glass balls, a few feather clips, and a few flat glass ornaments with gold graphics.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree | Burlap and Denim

 Again you could buy ornaments (Hobby Lobby’s come out in September and are usually 40% but you need to buy them or they will disappear around Halloween).  Wal-Mart has inexpensive ornaments in lots of styles.  I have found some great Christmas ornaments and decor from thrift shops too.  Or you could MAKE ornaments.  I made an advent calendar that I have hung on the tree in years past.

Kraft Advent Boxes for Christmas

  Craft Box Advent Calendar

 I also like to pile on a bunch of pine cones I have painted with champagne craft paint.  I tied them together with some twine and group them in 5-7 and hang them in a bunch.  It is a really inexpensive way to add nature, sparkle and texture to a plain tree.

Painted Pine Cone Tree Ornaments {How to Decorate A Christmas Tree} | Burlap and Denim

6. Throw a Unique Topper on your tree.  I have used the same topper on my tree for a while because I love it so much.  Mine is a group of three artificial floral decorations from the craft store.  One is a bunch of gold sparkly spikes, another is brown fall leaves with iridescent glitter (weird but it works) and the last one is a bunch of pheasant feathers.  I layer them and wire them to the top of the tree.

Add a Unique Topper to your Christmas Tree {Tips for Decorating a Christmas Tree} | Burlap and Denim

Here are a few other ideas for unique toppers:


DIY christmas decoration owl tree topper

(Via Four Generations Under One Roof)

This next one I can’t wait to make for my tree for next year!  It is stunning.  I might make it and just set it around somewhere just to look at it.  Well done Memento Designs!

 My DIY Christmas Tree Topper

(Via Memento Designs)



7. Plug in a Dimmer or Two.  Sometimes it is great to have a bright white lit up Christmas tree in your house, but I have found that most of the time it can be blinding in a room.  And with the lights so bright it is hard to look at what is ON the tree, like the garlands or ornaments.  So I always plug in two dimmer, one for each of the main plug in lines that come from my tree.  I keep them in an easy to reach place so I can turn them up, down or off with ease.

 Add A Dimmer to Your Christmas Tree Lights


8. Sit back and enjoy Christmas!

How to Trim an Artificial Christmas TreeHow to Decorate a Christmas Tree | Burlap and Denim

Your tree should be a reflection of YOUR style!  It is such a whimsical thing to have a tree decorated and lit up INSIDE your house this one time a year!  Follow the steps above and you can turn any tree on any budget into a show stopper!

 Linked Up: Tatertots & Jello

What tips do you have for trimming your Christmas Tree?  Tell me in the comments!




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