The Upside-Down Christmas Tree Trend: How to Get the Look

Surprise Santa with a playful upside-down Christmas tree that hangs from the ceiling—and leaves ample room for gifts below.

upside down christmas tree
Photo: Courtesy of Wayfair

These gorgeous chandelier-like Christmas trees have been known to grace ritzy hotel lobbies and restaurants, but the style is easily adaptable for home decorating. An inverted design naturally draws the eye up toward the large base of the tree, which affords room for an ornate, larger-than-average topper like a collection of presents or an impressive bow. Upside-down Christmas trees are easy to integrate into holiday decor, and with these tips, you'll be hanging an inverted tree in no time. Whether you decide to invert and hang your own Christmas tree or invest in a ready one, we'll give you an overview, along with inspiration on how to decorate them with Christmas tree lights, beautiful ornament designs, and whimsical tree toppers.

Where Did Upside-Down Christmas Trees Come From?

Though interest in the upside-down Christmas tree has spiked in recent years, historians have traced the centuries-old tradition to Europe. The inverted triangle design is said to have been used to explain the Holy Trinity, and it was later adopted by working-class households as a space-saving approach to Christmas decorating. The concept continues to grow in popularity around the world as an alternative to the traditional upright tree.

How Do I Hang an Upside-Down Christmas Tree?

There are a couple of ways to hang an upside-down Christmas tree from the ceiling. The first option is to loop hanging wire around a secure part of an artificial tree, such as the part of the faux trunk where branches are secured in place. You can also drill a small hole through the bottom of the trunk, then loop a sturdy hanging wire through it. For a chandelier effect, you will need to hang the artificial Christmas tree from a heavy-duty hook screwed into the ceiling or a designated support point.

The safest, and easiest, second option is to bypass the do-it-yourself route and buy an upside-down tree with a sturdy metal or aluminum stand built into the design. Measure your ceiling height and the width of your Christmas tree area before committing to a large holiday tree. Most buyable inverted trees range from 5.5 feet to 7.5 feet tall, and are available in a range of colors from white, silver, evergreen, and lime, to champagne.

How Do I Decorate an Upside-Down Christmas Tree?

As with a regular tree, an inverted Christmas tree can be decorated to suit any style that reflects your holiday spirit. Wrap your tree in twinkling lights and try one of our favorite Christmas tree themes—like an ombre style or classic shades of gold and white ornaments. Upside-down tree toppers can extend far beyond the traditional Christmas angel or star. Add a larger-than-average tree topper (big bows, a faux gift display, or even a fruit basket), or accentuate the top with more lights for extra flash.

What are the benefits of a hanging tree? Ornaments are given a little more visibility because of the inverted branches. If the tree is suspended from your ceiling and not anchored on the ground (and thus more prone to movement), keep the ornaments light and shatterproof to avoid a mess. Add lights and garlands first, then highlight your favorite holiday baubles and long ornaments by displaying them on the tree's longest branches. Another bonus: Upside-down Christmas trees leave more room on the ground for presents.

Where Do I Put Gifts With an Upside-Down Christmas Tree?

Tradition calls for the presents to be nestled under the tree, atop a Christmas tree skirt. The same setup applies for inverted trees, though their tapered design allows for more space (a helpful feature for larger families). Arrange them in stacks or loosely scattered below the tree.

Upside-Down Christmas Tree Decorating Inspiration

These photos of upside-down Christmas trees provide decorating ideas for a range of settings and tastes.

Topsy-Turvy Tree

When displaying an upside-down Christmas tree, there are two options for keeping it in place: Hang the tree from the ceiling, or get an artificial tree with a stand that rests on the floor. We love the way this real tree is hung next to the fireplace. And because it doesn't touch the floor, there's extra room for presents below.

A World-Famous Upside-Down Christmas Tree

Claridge's Hotel in London offers an elegant upside-down Christmas tree in the center of its lobby. The 16-foot spruce tree is covered in silver lametta (tinsel) and handmade snowflakes, then topped with an ornate twist of silvered roots and a mirrored star as the topper.

Metallic Christmas Decor

If you purchase an inverted Christmas tree with a metal stand, you can assemble it quickly and enjoy it longer by avoiding the time-consuming job of hanging. We love the look of these long metallic Christmas ornaments, which dangle beautifully on this upside-down Christmas tree.

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