Well, we did it. We put up our Christmas tree on November 9th. Too early? Probably. Regrets? Not at all! I kind of knew I would want to put up my tree sooner than usual
Well, we did it. We put up our Christmas tree on November 9th. Too early? Probably. Regrets? Not at all! I kind of knew I would want to put up my tree sooner than usual this season. It is 2020 after all—the year all normal protocol has gone out the window. And I couldn’t wait to start spreading some Christmas cheer.
Last year, after I put up our tree (pictured below), I had multiple requests to share how I decorated it, what ornaments I used, and so forth. I believe I explained in stories, but it was a little tough to share the full picture since it was already decorated. That’s another reason why I wanted our tree to go up early this year—so that I could share the step by step process of how I decorated ours before most of you who were asking get around to putting up your trees!
Before I start, the tree we have is this 9ft faux Fraser Fir tree from Wayfair and I cannot recommend it enough. I searched high and low for the fullest tree I could find and with the most lights. This one fits the bill and it’s also so life-like! We have 10ft ceilings, for reference.
There are so many ways to decorate a tree and certainly no wrong or right way, but this is the way we do it and I’m excited to share! By no means am I an expert, but it’s such fun for me and it was made all the more enjoyable this year because Watson and Rosie were both really excited for the first time to help put up ornaments.
Now, the fun part… here is the bare tree! The process is very much made in the layers, so I’m listing out each and every step below. Also, one little tip that I follow. Again, there are a million ways to decorate a tree and no wrong or right way, but I try to pick out a color scheme and stick to it! I love to add in sentimental ornaments at the very end, which are often all sorts of colors. So it’s nice for the rest of the tree to be a little softer on the eyes, if that makes sense.
I like to use a wide 2.5″+ wired sheer organza ribbon all across the tree. You can find this at any craft store and I’ve linked some below as well from amazon. I prefer the sheer look because it allows the lights to shine through, but I also think a solid, tartan, or gingham ribbon would look nice for a different vibe! Always buy more ribbon than you think you’ll need because chances are, you’ll use it, but worst case, you can return what you don’t need. A couple years ago, I bought two large rolls of the ribbon we use and then it sold out! I wish I had one more roll.
I start at the top, then work my way down. You want to move the ribbon in the slightest downward diagonal, from top to bottom. The biggest key is to make the ribbon look like it is truly woven throughout the middle of the tree, then back to the surface, then back to the center of the tree, then back to the surface. In other words, when done properly, you can’t see the face of the ribbon in long strands at a time. There’s always a “break” every so often where the ribbon is pushed back towards the center of the tree in one precise spot.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be perfect! This is simply the first part of the layering process, so once everything else is on, you won’t notice the exact whereabouts of the ribbon.
I let about 1.5ft to 2.5ft of the ribbon show at a time, then pinch it and pull it into the center of the tree (as shown below), before bringing it back to the surface to create a new 1.5ft to 2.5ft “run” of ribbon. With each time I push the ribbon into the center and bring it back out, I’m reminding myself to bring the ribbon slightly down diagonally in order to keep the ribbon moving in the right direction.
I have two small strands of ornament garland, which I found at Homegoods a couple years ago. It really adds a lot! I like to tuck each strand in between two runs of ribbon.
See how I placed one of these in between two of the ribbon strands? You’ll see this in a bigger picture after the next step!
I like to add these branches to the top of my tree. Growing up, we always had an angel at the top of our tree, which I also love. The branches add height, texture, and interest. Here are the ones I have below, which I purchased last year from the floral section at Hobby Lobby. I have four bunches of them.
It’s easier than you’d think to make them look impressive. I vertically stick the branches all around the very top of the tree. It’s super simple! Just make sure you are not pushing them too far down. You want to keep the height.
Here’s everything I’ve done so far—ribbon, garland, and now the branches.
I suppose that’s the right name for it? Picks. Basically, they look like ornaments, but just have a little stick part at the end. I have a ton of them from Hobby Lobby and Michaels that I’ve accumulated over the years.
These are golden to me. (Literally and figuratively!) They make a huge difference in the overall final look of the tree, are game changers at filling in sparse areas, and the best part? By far the easiest way to decorate a tree since there’s no hanging involved.
I also use a bunch of these kinds of picks shown below that resemble branches. For my faux tree, they are great at making the edges look imperfect, much like a real tree. They also bring in various textures and shades of green—all of which I believe make the tree more life-like. I have about 3-5 of each of the below, also found at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.
I make sure to arrange them on the left and right sides to where they are poking out a decent amount. (I know there aren’t distinct sides on a tree, but stand in the main perspective in which you see your tree, then pinpoint the left edge and the right edge. That’s the area I’m talking about where I place these.)
This tree below has not one single hanging ornament on it! These are all picks! Do you see how the branch picks are poking out along the edges of the tree? And this is important—I specifically like to place them in the center of the tree up to the top. This helps to balance out the stark triangle shape that faux trees usually have. In other words, add that extra width and interest only from the middle of the tree up to the top to fill it out as much as you can in those areas. You can also use these to fill in any sparse areas you may have throughout the tree!
I like to pick a color focus, which for me is champagne and blush tones. I bought a few sets of bigger ornaments that fit that color scheme. The ones below are from Hobby Lobby and they are shatter-proof!
I also have some that look like this, which I believe I bought from Michaels. They are a bit bigger than your typical ball ornament. They are simple, but I think it’s nice to mix in something so plain along with the more complex ornaments.
I also have some pretty green glass blown ornaments, which I found at Abide A While in Mount Pleasant this year. They are a striking grassy green color. Which is a good point to make… the items I showed in this post are all just a few examples of the ornaments, the picks, and so forth that i use. I don’t have pictures of everything, but this gives you the main idea!
The best for last. All of the special ornaments. We have some the kids have made, some that represent milestones, and others that will be lifetime keepsakes. I like to save these for the end so that I can make sure no other ornaments get in the way of them.
That’s it! At the end, I definitely go through and zhush it up after giving the tree a good once over. Sometimes I need to adjust my ribbon or move some of the ornaments if they are too focused in one area. I will say… don’t forget the top of the tree! It’s so easy to leave that feeling empty since it’s hard to reach. But load it up!
I hope this was helpful to you! Please let me know on Instagram if I left off something important or if any of my instructions made zero sense at all!
and remember, you can always shop all of my holiday decor favorites right here! + don’t forget to check out my new “holiday” tab where I’m compiling everything related to Christmas, from gift guides to baking to decor!
merry merry xo