52 Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas to Try This Season

Trim your tree with our unique DIY projects and design tips.

By: Chelsea Faulkner and Chelsey Bowen

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

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

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn, FlynnsideOut

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

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Rustic Luxe

Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines adorned this lush tree with white and silver ornaments, sparkling white lights and a thick off-white ribbon garland for a look that's simple, yet stunning.

See More Photos: Fixer Upper: Renovation and Holiday Decor at Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast

Match Your Decor

Whether your home is traditional, contemporary or shabby chic, choose a tree color and theme that fits your design. This stunning lavender flocked tree complements this living room's cool purple and navy decor.

See More Photos: Modern Holiday Color Palette: Lavender, Grey + Violet

Festive Fairy Lights

This year, ditch the strenuous strands of standard twinkle lights and opt instead for softer, dainty LED fairy lights draped from the top of the tree.

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.

Scandinavian-Inspired No-Sew Felt Tree Skirt

Farmhouse Flocked

This year's hottest tree trend? Gorgeous green branches coated in snowy white flocking. Decorate with a few white and burlap ornaments for an updated, farmhouse-style take on the classic Christmas tree.

See More Photos: Modern Farmhouse Holiday Home Tour

Go Glam on a Budget

Glam up your holiday decor with a flashy and fun Hollywood-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.

Create a Sunburst Mirror

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 DIY decorations.

See More Photos: 10 Easy-to-Make Holiday Tree Ornaments

Blooming Design

Visit your local craft store for a variety of 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.

Black + White Baubles

For a contemporary home full of solid colors, clean lines and bright light, a Christmas tree decorated in a modern black and white aesthetic will fit in perfectly. Simply purchase all solid black and all solid white ornaments and add personality with a paint pen and some fun ribbon. Pro tip: skip the tree topper and cluster a handful of your favorite round ornaments on top for a playful look, instead.

Pet Friendly

Pets LOVE to play with (read: 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 six feet tall and anchor it securely to the wall or floor to avoid toppling. Use flat matte ornaments that are larger in size — they're 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. Don't use 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.

See More Photos: Host a Holiday Party for Your Pet (+ Their Pals)

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 Photos: Quick Holiday Decorating

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.

See More Photos: A One-of-a-Kind Christmas in Upstate New York

Make an Individual Statement

Put your passions 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 Photos: Steampunk Christmas Decorating Ideas

Beaded + Beautiful

Swap traditional ribbon garland for stylish strands of skinny gold and silver beaded garland for a look that's traditional yet elegant.

Spray Paint It

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.

Quaint + Quilted

Some old quilts are too fragile or tattered to use as bedding, but they're too precious to throw away. Repurpose one into a charming, cottage-style Christmas tree skirt by using the largest intact portion of the quilt.

Turn an Old Quilt Into a Christmas Tree Skirt

Pram + Proper

A galvanized wash tub and old baby buggy make up the mobile base for this adorable entryway tree. Take a look around your own home for creative pieces you can incorporate into your tree's decor.

How to Make a Mobile Christmas Tree

Out of the Woods

The natural textures, wood tones and overall color scheme of this modern tree make it look straight out of a fairy tale. In addition to flocked branches and a show-stopping topper, this tree features sleek, mismatched ornaments spaced evenly for a balanced look.

See More Photos: 13 Essentials for a Modern + Sophisticated Holiday Look

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.

See More Photos: White House Christmas Tour 2015

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.

See More Photos: Kids' Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas They'll Love

Cookie Cutter Christmas

This darling tiny tree fits perfectly on a tabletop display. Cookie cutters in dove, angel and bell shapes adorn the tree, while a small wood star is positioned at the top. A wood basket conceals the base of the tree and provides a sturdy base for easy decorating.

Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth...and after the holidays. A playful garland and large, graphic banner are all you need to create a statement tree that requires minimal clean up come January 1st.

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.

See More Photos: 10 Tips for Creating an Elegant, 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.

See More Photos: 1 Christmas Tree, 6 Different Ways

Go Mobile

Who says your Christmas tree has to stay put? A galvanized bucket on casters makes a stylish tree container and will allow you to transport your tree to any room in the house.

See More Photos: 15 Room-by-Room Decorating Ideas for Mobile Christmas Trees

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.

No-Sew Sunburst Christmas Tree Skirt

Brilliant Bulbs

Tired of untangling yards and yards of string lights? Toss the twinkle lights and up the drama with a few simple strands of oversized bulbs.

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.”

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.

Outdoor Holiday Decorating Idea: Mini Christmas Tree

Halloween Tree

Bring out your inner Morticia Addams with a spooky yet stylish tree you can decorate for Halloween and leave up until January.

See More Photos: 9 Ways to Decorate a Halloween Tree

Galvanized Tree Collar

Give your tree a pretty, rustic look by upcycling an old galvanaized bucket into a chic DIY skirt!

Get the How-To: Galvanized Christmas Tree Collar Hack

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.

Keep It Simple

Make Christmas cleanup a breeze by keeping decor to a minimum like Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines did with this classic red and green tree. Simple ornaments and minimal lighting make a big statement without the fuss.

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 baubles, trinkets and winter berries in complementary hues.

Watch the Video: Make Your Own Poinsettias

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."

See More Photos: 16 Ways to Trim Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro

Advent Calendar Garland

Start a new family tradition by turning your tree into 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.

How to Make a Vintage Garland Advent Calendar

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."

Beachy Beauty

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.

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.

Put Holiday Cards to Good Use

Repurpose last year's Christmas cards into a festive and meaningful tree garland.

Repurpose Holiday Cards Into a Colorful Garland

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 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.

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.

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.

See More Photos: Scandinavian-Style Christmas Decorations

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 a 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.

Vintage-Style Christmas Tree With Burlap Garland

Donna Williams of Funky Junk Interiors decorated her tree with household items for a vintage look. The garland is made from strips of white bed sheets and burlap and accessorized with vintage license plates and rustic, wooden ornaments.

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.

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, hanging antique silverware on the tree is a chic, easy way to match your holiday place settings.

Saturated Hues

Go all out with your favorite color this holiday season. Choose ornaments in a variety of sizes and textures in shades of the same hue and arrange on a white tree. Complete the look with holiday home decor and gift wrap in the same shades.

See More Photos: Retro-Inspired Purple and White Christmas Decorations

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