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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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  1. Elizabeth says:

    My favorite tree tip is to buy the icicles lights with the green wire and use that to string up the tree. Place the main chain of lights close to the trunk, and spread each of the icicles chains out onto the branches. This lights up the whole tree giving it a much more 3d appearance at night. Also helps make the ornaments pop!

  2. EmmaLee says:

    My boyfriend and I decorate our tree on November 27, our anniversary! It’s a great way to spend the evening together and think about our year and prepare to celebrate another one!

    1. Ashley says:

      That’s a perfect day to decorate! I love that. :)

  3. jeri johnston says:

    Hey Ash…did you get the email I sent a couple of days ago? I couldnt remember which email works best for you.

    1. Ashley says:

      Yes, I just went and found it and read it! I will gather some pictures and will email you about the books. So sweet!!!

  4. Winter says:

    I think your tree is gorgeous!

    My favorite tip; clear a night on the calendar for the whole family, make cocoa or tea and popcorn, turn on Carols and have a family night. Include everyone in the decorating, even the littlest children. Everytime you look at the tree, you’ll think of the fun you had. It is the perfect way for our family to begin the holiday season.

    One year, I think Ella was 3 or 4, she put every ornament on two branches on the front of the tree. The tree started to lean and nearly toppled on her. I caught it just in time and we helped her redistribute some of the ornaments. Those two branches were still very full, she wanted her favorite ornaments where she could see them. That year, every time we looked at the tree, we chuckled. :D

    1. Ashley says:

      Absolutely…….it’s such a fun tradition! We are putting up another tree the day after Thanksgiving, which is when we generally put up our tree. And that one will have all of our family ornaments that we have gathered over the years!

      And that makes me laugh about the tree almost falling over. They try so hard to do things just how they want it……and weeeeell, sometimes it doesn’t work out so well! What fun memory though!

  5. Kate says:

    Love your glittery Merry and Bright garland – such a statement on your tree. I’ve been working on some glittery lettered garlands for my blog. Glitter and sparkle all the way for the festive season!

    1. Ashley says:

      I agree! There’s just something about the added sparkle!! :)

  6. Sherry Berrett says:

    I love the theme! Such pretty decorations.

    My mom has her tree professional decorated every year, and it’s gorgeous. Something her decorators taught me (since we decorate our own), is to cluster ornaments together by tying a wire around them at the top. It adds interest, but doesn’t call attention to itself. And the other thing is decorate in near the trunk. The light will catch the ornaments and ribbon and it makes the whole tree look fuller and shinier.

    1. Ashley says:

      That’s a really good tip! The clustering and being sure to add decorations near the trunk. Thanks!! :)

  7. TIFFANIE says:

    One more question, did you get your letters at Michaels?

    1. Ashley says:

      Yep, everything came from Michaels!

  8. TIFFANIE says:

    So are the letters you painted with glitter are they foam or wooden?

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Hi, I'm Ashley

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

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