40 Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas to Try This Season

During the holiday season, the Christmas tree is the shining centerpiece of your home. Trim your tree with these inspirational decorating ideas.

By: Chelsea Faulkner and Chelsey Bowen

Photo By: Photography by David A. Land; styling by Matthew Gleason

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Classic Meets Mod

Mix trendy with traditional. Classic silver and gold ornaments and beaded garland complement a trendy monogram topper on this chic, simple tree. See more of this home from HGTV Magazine.

Match Your Decor

Whether your home is traditional, contemporary or shabby chic, choose a tree color and theme that fit your design. This beautiful purple and pink flocked tree is a perfect accompaniment to the cool, purple decor in this eclectic living room.

Simple on Top, Bold on Bottom

Let your tree skirt do all the talking. Balance a bold tree skirt, like this beautiful Nordic-inspired design, with minimal tree decor, such as white lights and simple mesh garland. No ornaments necessary. Make this Scandinavian-inspired, no-sew tree skirt.

Go Glam on a Budget

Glam up your holiday decor with a flashy and fun celebrity-inspired tree. Trimmed with mini gold sunburst mirrors and pretty pops of pink and red ornaments, this bright white tree is fit for a superstar. To get this expensive look on a budget, make miniature versions of these DIY sunburst mirrors and reuse them as year-round home decor once the holidays are over.

DIY Ornaments

Handcrafted ornaments aren't just for kids. This tree features pretty yet simple ornaments fashioned from twigs, hot glue and white spray paint. For a polished look, pinecones and pretty metallic baubles complement and soften the rustic quality of the handmade decorations. Check out more handmade ornaments.

Blooming Design

Visit your local craft store for an array of similarly-hued silk flowers, like these rich red garden roses, peonies, hydrangea and gerber daisies. Mold the flowers into a lush garland, or scatter throughout the branches with an assortment of well-placed ornaments. Top the tree with a richly textured ribbon for a high-end designer look.

Shiny Baubles

Glass ornaments add a designer touch to any tree whether you want a classic or contemporary look. For a traditional theme, look for solid ornaments in red, white, silver and gold. For a more modern look, choose ornaments with graphic designs in a more updated scheme, like lime green and fuchsia or violet and bronze.

Bring Out the Color

Even if you don't embrace color in your everyday decorating, Christmas is the one time of year you can go overboard. Look for ornaments in bold blues, bright greens, pinks and purples and pair them with metallics, like silver and gold for a festive tree that is sure to draw attention.

Make an Individual Statement

Put your passion on display in style. Love Steampunk? Transform vintage and industrial knickknacks into cool ornaments, and finish your tree with a Victorian-style top hat. See more of this Steampunk-inspired tree.

Remember When...

Transform your family's special memories into beautiful ornaments. Snap photos on vacations, during major life events and when you or your children participate in hobbies or sports, then print the pictures in sepia or black and white for a vintage look. Place the photos in miniature gilded frames and hang from your tree. Each Christmas you'll be reminded of your family's adventures and favorite memories.

Spray-Paint Your Tree

To mimic the bright blue-green hue of peacock feathers, designer Meg Caswell spray-painted the tips of this tree's branches a rich teal hue. Add a touch of whimsy to your own tree with fun painted designs, like white branch tips, top-to-bottom color or an ombre effect. Tip: Choose a non-toxic paint and always apply in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside. Allow paint to dry thoroughly before decorating. 

Truly Patriotic

Deck out your tree in America's hues: red, white and blue. In 2013, this beautiful evergreen sat in the White House's East landing and featured ornaments representing all five military branches. Take an exclusive tour of the White House at Christmas.

Kids' Tree

A mini tree is a great way to get the kiddos involved this Christmas. After you've finished decorating your tree, help them design a pint-sized version with leftover ornaments and garland. Or get hands-on with DIY decorations, like these button tree ornaments and straw tree topper. Recreate this playful kids’ tree.

Tons of Tinsel

Tinsel is a great way to incorporate sparkle and interest into any tree design. To recreate the subtle charm of this modern, white designer tree, add generous amounts of soft silver and light gold tinsel to branch tips after ornaments and garland are in place. Get 10 tips for creating an all-white Christmas tree.

Perfectly Natural

Celebrate the winter season with a nature-inspired Christmas tree. Dried fruit, spices and other natural materials make beautiful, rustic alternatives to traditional ornaments that, when combined, create a delicious holiday fragrance that can be enjoyed all season long. Recreate this aromatic tree.

Go Mobile

Who says your Christmas tree has to stay put? A galvanized bucket with casters makes a stylish tree container and will allow you to transport your tree to any room in the house. Get room-by-room decorating ideas for mobile Christmas trees.

Put Holiday Cards to Good Use

Repurpose last year's Christmas cards into a festive and meaningful tree garland. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Sweet Tooth

Add a sweet touch to your tree with holiday candy. To get this whimsical look, use packaged candy with a long shelf life, such as candy canes or lollipops. If you have pets or small children, artificial candy ornaments are a great alternative and will give you a wider range of decorative options. Polish off your sweet design with this DIY candy-inspired tree skirt.

Use Up Your Yarn

Put all of this year's leftover yarn to good use with easy-to-make yarn ball ornaments and bunny tail yarn garland. Paired together on a mini tree, these simple decorations are a chic and pretty addition to your front porch holiday decor. Get the easy step-by-step instructions.

Character Tree

For a simple and quick Christmas decorating solution, transform your tree into a fun holiday character, like this adorable snowman. “First create a snowman head and face from a large, foam floral sphere and place it at the top of the tree,” says designer Brian Patrick Flynn. “Next, add two scarves just below the head. To create the look of coat buttons, line up three to seven black ornaments in the center of the tree. Lastly, give the snowman arms with branches placed roughly two-thirds of the way up on each side.”

Pet Friendly

Due to their natural curiosity, pets LOVE to play with (destroy) Christmas trees. Thankfully, there are some tips you can follow to help keep your pets safe and your tree intact. Choose an artificial tree that is under 6 feet tall, and anchor it securely to the wall or floor to avoid toppling. Use flat matte ornaments that are larger in size; they are less attractive to pets than shiny ornaments, and are harder to chew on or swallow. Attach ornaments securely with twist ties and avoid hanging too many on the bottom quarter of the tree. Avoid using tinsel or garland, as pets can easily entangle themselves or choke on swallowed pieces. Lastly, tape down or cover any electrical wires, and always turn the tree off when you aren't in the room. Host a pet-friendly holiday party.

Sounds of the Season

If you prefer simple Christmas decor, dress your tree with a mix of medium and large jingle bells, silver ornaments and red winterberries. This vintage theme never goes out of style and looks great in neutral, rustic or modern-style homes. 

Complementary Colors

Show off the vibrancy of a bold-colored artificial tree with simple ornaments in toned-down, complementary hues. This bright, bubblegum-pink tree is simple and fun when adorned with a light scattering of red, fuschia and pink baubles in soft, matte finishes.

Match the Theme of the Room

When deciding on the perfect decor for your Christmas tree, glean inspiration from the room in which it will live. In a dining room, festive gold and silver flatware ornaments are a chic, easy way to match your holiday place settings.

Put a Bow on It

Match your tree to your gift wrap or vice versa. Designer Laurie March created a bright, unified look by using the same festive blue bows on both the Christmas tree and the gift wrap in this disco-inspired holiday space. 

Statement Ornament

Amp up your tree's flair and personality by adding a handful of oversized ornaments, like these DIY felt poinsettias. Create graphic focal points by hanging the large-scale ornaments first, then decorate the rest of the tree with small-scale baubles, trinkets and winter berries in complementary hues.

Cluster Small Ornaments Together

"A designer trick for adding depth to your Christmas tree decor is to cluster similar ornaments together then hang them inside the tree and along the tips of branches," says designer Brian Patrick Flynn. "From a distance the clusters will read much more graphically than tucked and partially-hidden single ornaments, plus they will help fill voids throughout the tree." Get more professional tree-trimming tips.

Advent Calendar Garland

Start a new family tradition by turning your tree in a beautiful, vintage Advent calendar. This handmade garland version is made from printed linen pockets that hold candy or small gifts for each day of the Advent. Make your own with these step-by-step instructions.

Light It Up

Live in an apartment or loft with holiday-decorating restrictions? (Boo!) Bring the bling to your tree in a safe way with battery-operated or plug-in candles, like these gorgeous chandelier candelabras.

Travel the World

Can't get away this Christmas? Transform your home into a luxurious vacation spot with ornaments and decorations sourced from or inspired by your favorite locale. For actor Wayne Brady's Hawaiian-themed holiday home, designer Stacey Vuduris trimmed the tree with starfish, pineapple and tropical flower ornaments, and pretty puka shell garland. 

Update Natural Accessories

"Update pinecones with holiday flair by lightly misting with white spray paint along the entire body until they take on a snowy, frosted appearance," says designer Brian Patrick Flynn. "Once dry, layer whitened pinecones onto branches with rope as hangers or simply place loosely throughout the tree."

Forget the Tree Skirt

Mix it up this year by replacing your usual tree skirt with a repurposed container such as a vintage wine crate or galvanized wash tub. To get this antique look, choose a vessel that is proportional to your tree and large enough to create a sturdy base, then place heavy rocks in the bottom for added support. Drape a layer of coordinating fabric between the container and tree for a polished look.

Saturated Color

Go all out with your favorite color this holiday season. Choose ornaments in a variety of sizes, textures and shades of the same hue and arrange on a neutral-hued tree. Complete the look with holiday home decor and gift wrap in the same shades. See more of this home's purple and white Christmas decor.

Ribbons Galore

Create a fun, eclectic design by tying ribbon to your tree's branches. Place pieces close together in a single, bold shade or, for added flair, arrange in an ombre pattern by using light-colored ribbon at the top then graduating darker shades of the same hue as you move toward the base. Tip: To save money, buy ribbon scraps from your local craft store or save pieces from gifts or crafts throughout the year.

Bright Neutrals

Bright, cheery neutrals are a great fit in almost any interior design, making them ideal for holiday decorating. This crisp, white tree is anything but bland when trimmed with modern parchment-colored ornaments and minimalistic garland. Make a beautiful, modern statement in your home with this easily adaptable, less-is-more approach.

Dark Neutrals

If you aren't a huge fan of white Christmas trees, but still want to try a neutral approach, consider an earth-toned design. On a classic tree, pair copper and metallic ornaments in flat matte or glossy finishes with natural decorations, like pinecones and cinnamon sticks, for a warm, neutral look.

Rustic Scandinavian

When you think of classic Christmas decor, you are likely picturing the rustic simplicity of the Scandinavian style. To get this handmade look, use decorations made from natural materials such as salt dough, basket weave and embroidery in subdued colors. Get more Scandinavian Christmas design tips here.

DIY Statement Topper

Make a statement with your tree topper—literally. Use wood letters in bright seasonal colors to easily create your own word or phrase. Glue the letters together, then nestle the finished product into your tree's branches or attach with a pipe cleaner to the uppermost bough. Adorn with large snowflake ornaments or brightly-colored ting ting for a fun and unique topper that's sure to start conversation. 

Wrap Lights in Garland

Eliminate a step from your tree decorating routine by combining garland and lights. Simply choose several different fabrics in coordinating patterns and colors, cut them into thin strips, then tie the strips onto a string of Christmas lights until the chord is completely covered. Lace the lighted garland close to your tree's trunk for a subtle effect or attach to branch tips for a bright and bold look.

Decorate Together

Make special memories this Christmas by enlisting family and friends to help make ornaments and decorate the tree. It's a great excuse to for a party and a fun way to get everyone together before the holidays. Check out our tips and tricks for hosting an ornament-making party.

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