Tips for Prettier Christmas Trees

DecoratingNov04_Colorful Holiday decorated living room

Want a designer look for your holiday tree? Browse our best tips for better Christmas tree decor that you can easily do yourself.

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Let the Room Be Your Guide

Christmas tree decorations

Place your tree in the center of the holiday action so all can enjoy (even if that's in the dining room), and let the room you choose inspire the decorations. Here, a glass finial topper coordinates with the crystal chandelier and glassware on the table, while the tree's regal color scheme mirrors the icy blue buffet in the corner.

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Consider Different Tree Styles

Christmas decor

Showcase your favorite ornaments on a spruce with lots of space between its branches, which allows decorations to steal the show. Adding light layers of faux snow boosts the room's forest-inspired feel.

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Get Crafty

Christmas tree

Saving money on ornaments doesn't mean sacrificing glamour, plus it's fun to do a little holiday DIY. Create a one-of-a-kind star tree topper by covering inexpensive kraft paper with gold leaf. Match handmade holly ornaments with metallic baubles.

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Stay True to Your Personal Style

Christmas Tree

Dress a tree in trinkets to reflect the style of your home. For a costal-inspired space, hang embellished monograms, starfish, and seashell ornaments on the branches. Using a mix of blue and coral wrapping papers reinforces the seaside feel.

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Mix Old and New

Christmas tree

A combination of pink vintage ornaments in varying sizes and store-bought white dove decorations creates a whimsical feel. Compared to a traditional star or angel, an over-the-top bow complements the tree's teal-and-pink color palette flawlessly.

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Decorate with Memories


Show off your favorite Christmas memories by using mini clothespins to attach old photos to the branches of a small tree. To make the photos cohesive, use pins with a black-and-white finish. Small black paper tags with handwritten messages and sayings add even more memories. Watch the video for more tips on how to personalize your tree.

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Remember Less Can Be More

Strikingly Simple

Let a fir's natural beauty steal the spotlight with minimal and timeless decorations, like twinkly Christmas lights and gold, glass, and silver baubles—no topper needed.

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Take Risks

Christmas tree decorating

Ornaments don't have to match perfectly to look flawless. Bright, bold, and colorful baubles of all shapes and sizes work well together when you follow an overarching theme—like the use of saturated hues. A simpler garland and topper keep the tree from looking busy.

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Make It Monochromatic

white topiary with silver balls

Do you love one color? Go for it with a monochromatic tree. One-color Christmas tree designs work their magic with shape and texture. Just be sure to vary the size of the decorations, as well as mixing shiny and matte finishes for maximum impact.

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Think Overscale

Tree in living room

Try this technique that most home decorators miss: Use overscale ornaments. The large silver balls and stars make a huge impact, and you won't need as many (about a dozen for an average-size tree) as you would with regular-size ornaments. And the bonus is, the overall effect is stunning.

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Personalize It

Real Home Christmas Tree, White and Gray Ornaments, Antique-looking

Personalize your tree by adding the names of family and friends to purchased chalkboard labels, then press them into place on painted ornaments . The bold black color pairs well with metallic golds and sparkling whites to give your tree a designer look.

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Think Fancy Forest

Christmas Tree

Break-resistant ball ornaments, soft feathered friends, and ribbons reminiscent of birch bark create a stunning tree that also happens to be kid-friendly. Keeping the colors of the ornaments and trimmings neutral creates an elegant look that's right at home in even the busiest part of the house.

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Vary the Size

Decorated tree

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

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Factor in Flowers

FestofTrees_Yellow pinkish rose

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. Try wiring a silk flower to a handful of artificial leaves, or wheat, for a surprising designer touch.

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Decorate with Mini Trees

Christmas Tree

Small, festive flourishes throughout the house can create an undercurrent of holiday cheer. Place a sapling (or a branch trimmed from the base of your tree) in a vintage urn and water as needed for simple Christmas elegance.

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Make It Sparkle

Christmas Tree

Glittering garlands, sparkling ornaments, and light-catching baubles create a tree worthy of center stage. By keeping the the trimming colors contained to gold, white, and clear, your tree will look elegant, but still be easy to decorate.

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Nod to Nature

Christmas Tree

More is more on this nature-inspired tree, where oversize pinecones, red berries, branches, and jute combine to make a holiday statement. Enhance the look with clear string lights and presents wrapped in classic kraft paper with crisp red ribbons.

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Fill In with Floral Sprays

FestofTrees_Small silver bulbs in a bunch with gold ribbon

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

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Remember to Repeat

Christmas tree decorated

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

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Color Your World

DecoratingNov04_Colorful Holiday decorated living room

Designers create Christmas tree designs using colors and themes that relate to the room where the tree is displayed. Echo 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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