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Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

You know, before becoming a blogger, I had serious standards about when certain holidays were allowed to enter my home.  Especially all of the fall/winter holidays.  Summer must be absolutely enjoyed to the end before even considering pulling out the fall decor.  Halloween decor was only given a week or two, right at the end of October.  Thanksgiving needed its full 3 weeks of November exposure before taking things down and getting them ready for jingle bells and manger scenes.  However, as a blogger, if I really want to share ideas and fun projects that you guys can actually make for the upcoming season, I have to do things a little ahead of time.  (I’m not gonna lie though…’s actually kind of nice to have some things done ahead of time.)


Enter, this year’s Christmas Tree:




I shared with you my Merry and Bright Tree a couple weeks ago, that I put together for the Michael’s Dream Tree challenge.  And I love that tree.  However, I took it out of the front room and hid it in another room……until I can fully enjoy Thanksgiving.  And then BRING ON THE TINSEL!!


But, I get it.  It’s a little helpful for anyone reading here for ideas, to share things a little ahead of time. So Michael’s asked if I would share a few tree decorating tips for those putting up their own trees…..and for those of you who may need a few extra pointers while decorating your own little ol’ tree this year!




Here’s what I do:


1. Start with something as your inspiration

Maybe you do this too?  You start shopping for supplies for your tree and you’re drawn to a particular ornament.  Or garland.  Or tree topper.  Whatever it is……start there and build around that one item.  For me, it was the lettering of “MERRY AND BRIGHT” that I wanted to use!  Once I decided to spray silver glitter all over the letters and hang them from jute string…..the other ideas just started flowing.  And then as I was gathering other supplies for the tree, I would think, “hmmmm, will this go with the letters?”  “Should I by regular pinecones…..or snow frosted ones?”  Snow frosted ones for sure!



2. Build around the inspiration

Once I decided to use the “MERRY AND BRIGHT” lettering across the front of the tree, I couldn’t get the idea of covering the entire trees with huge stars.  I really love placing a star at the top of my tree each year because of its religious meaning… I thought, why not cover the tree in that favorite symbol?  And that’s when I found some metal stars that were actually all different colors…….but the nice good chunky size that I wanted.  So I spray painted them silver and then another coat of sparkly glitter. 



3. Add colors that will stand out against the tree

If you want your decorations to really pop, use colors that will stand out against the green of the branches.  White, cream, and silver tend to show up really well on a tree….and I think that’s why I’m always drawn to it.  It’s harder to see greens, blues, and softer purples but if you really want to use those colors, that’s great!  Just see if you can somehow accent those items somehow with a lighter color, like white.  For example, if you really want to use blue beads as your garland, add a strand of white with it….so that your eye is drawn to the white and will then see the blue.  Or if you’re filling glass bulbs with blue confetti, add some white in there too.  The white will just help bring out the color that’s in there with it.



4. Fill in gaps with space fillers

Not all trees are perfectly full of branches and needles.  Even fake trees.  So, a really good way to offset the bare spots is to fill those naked areas with something.  You can buy leafy garland to wrap around the tree, all the way to the tippy top.  Or even chunky beaded garland, frosted foliage, tinsel garland, etc.  Or, if you’d rather pass on the garland…..fill with large ornaments.  But something that I added to my tree this year was pinecone picks.  Each decorative pick had a cluster of 3 pine cones (frosted, of course!) on the end….and once I started sticking those all over the tree, it really filled it out and helped disguise some of those holes.  Tricky, tricky! ;)

I also added these sparkly frosted branches in and around the entire tree.  Each branch I bought was cut down to about 3 different sprigs and placed in between branches, really helping to fill in the spaces.  Plus, the overall appearance looks a little bigger, because all of these pieces stick out further then the actual branches.



5. Make it sparkle

This is totally a preference thing but I really feel like holidays are your one chance to channel your inner child and to add all the glitz and glamor that you little heart wants.  Stringing lights adds its own little sparkle and glass ornaments only add more to the sparkle.  But add something you may not normally add……and hang strings of jewels or beads.  It’s easier to appreciate in person, but oh how I love the added sparkle!



6. Top the tree

Some people don’t like putting anything at the top of their tree…..but I think it looks naked.  Kinda like a present without a ribbon or bow on top.  It’s totally fine and works for some, but I feel more settled when I see a tree with a topper of some kind.  And like I mentioned up above, I prefer using a star at the top of my tree….but since they are all over my tree, I went with a nice and puffy burlap bow.  And oh how I love how it turned out! :)




***If you want more info on my particular tree, visit my Merry and Bright Tree post from a couple weeks ago.


  • If you haven’t already, visit The Glue String, to see all of the other amazing Dream Trees from this year.  Seriously, wowza!!
  • Michaels has a variety of ‘Make It Merry’ projects that will surely inspire you as well!
  • Does Christmas make you happy? Spread some holiday cheer by sharing a photo of my dream tree or any tree that inspires you this year on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tag your friend, use the hashtag #TagATree and encourage them to do the same!


Now tell me……when is your tree going up this year??



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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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