Tips for Prettier Christmas Trees

Want a designer look for your holiday tree? Browse our best tips for better Christmas tree decor!


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Tree in living room
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Tip #1: Think Overscale

    Our first tree illustrates a technique that most home decorators miss: using overscaled ornaments. The large silver balls and stars have a huge impact. Though oversized decorations may cost a bit more, you won't need many (about a dozen for an average size tree), and the effect will be stunning.

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Tip #2: Stick with a Theme

    A large white butterfly gives a clue to the leafy garden theme of this tree. Green dragonflies and a selection of artificial leaf sprays add to the theme that's further enhanced with green ornaments and glittered netting. Even the tree skirt was embellished with floral sprays.

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Tip #3: Glam It Up

    Crystals add sparkle and shine to any tree. Because they are see-through, however, you'll want to place them near lights and mix them in with more colorful items.

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Tip #4: Remember to Repeat

    Repeat one type of ornament so it creates a color, shape, or theme through a tree. These red decorations help unite the other one-of-a-kind ornaments. We recommend buying two to four dozen of a main theme element (like these red balls). Various sizes, shapes, or finishes of such an element will add even more flair.

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Tip #5: Nature Sings

    Natural elements add an earthy quality to holiday decorating and are an inexpensive addition to a tree. Try wiring on pinecones (large or small), leaf sprays (dried, preserved, or silk), leafy garlands, or branches of berries for a wonderfully rustic and elegant look.

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Tip #6: Color Your World

    Designers create trees using colors and themes that relate to the room where the tree is displayed. Repeat your room's hues and motifs using ribbons, wrapping paper, garlands, and ornaments to harmonize with or complement what you already have.

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Tip #7: Fill in with Floral Sprays

    Fill gaps between branches with floral filler such as silk flower sprays, leaf bunches, or a DIY nosegay as shown here. We used a base of artificial leaves, a floral pick of silver berries, and green ornaments, then wired and tied it with sheer ribbon. Plan to make at least 24 of these decorations for an 8-foot tree.

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Tip #8: Design with Line

    Ornaments in one color and style get a designer look by varying the sizes (small, medium, and large) and by choosing them in a unique matte luster finish rather than a standard shiny gloss. Slim ribbon garlands criss-cross horizontally across the tree while dozens of glass icicles add a vertical element.

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Tip #9: Designer Monochromatic

    Do you love one color? Go for it with a monochromatic tree. One-color trees work their magic with shape and texture. Vary the size of the decorations and mix up shiny and matte finishes as well.

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Tip #10: Got Flowers?

    Silk flowers are a lovely way to add a softer texture to a tree. Choose large blooms or add sprays of smaller blooms nestled into branches. Or wire a silk flower to a handful of artificial leaves or wheat for a surprising decoration that's a pure designer touch.

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Tree Decorating

    Try these classic tree decorating ideas.

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