How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: 20 Inspiring Ideas

Dress (your Christmas tree) to impress.

While plenty of holiday enthusiasts have displayed perfectly decorated Christmas trees for weeks now, I’d like to believe there are also plenty of well-meaning holiday lovers who fall into my camp — that is the camp of slight procrastination. If you’re with me, I have just the thing to get you started: inspiration. Scroll through 20 of our best Christmas tree decorating ideas, and you won’t be able to put it off any longer. (Really, though, I’m buying my tree tonight!)

COLOR PALETTES TO TRY:

Your tree’s color palette may be the most important decision you make, because it sets the tone for the design style and overall feel of the tree. Color combinations involving red, white, silver or gold typically feel more classic, while unexpected colors like teal or pink feel more contemporary. When selecting your color scheme, think about the decor that will surround the tree, and shoot for a cohesive look.

White + Silver

Christmas Tree With Ribbon Garland in Festive Living Room

Christmas Tree With Ribbon Garland in Festive Living Room

For the Christmas tree in the living room, Joanna Gaines opted for a monochromatic approach – with white and silver ornaments, simple white lights and a ribbon garland.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

Multicolor

Christmas Tree Trimmed With Colorful Pom-Poms

Christmas Tree Trimmed With Colorful Pom-Poms

A Christmas tree is decked out in brightly colored pom-poms to add a fun twist to the festive decor.

Photo by: Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design

Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design

Black + White

Modern Black + White Christmas Tree

Modern Black + White Christmas Tree

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. The contrasting colors look great as solid ornaments, patterned ornaments and patterned ribbons. Simply purchase all solid black and all solid white ornaments. Add your own personality with a paint pen and some fun ribbon.

Teal Ombre

Ombre Christmas Tree

Ombre Christmas Tree

This ombre tree is an updated look to a monochromatic style. To decorate your tree like this one, pick one hue (I chose teal). Hang ornaments on your tree going from light on the top to dark on the bottom, which creates the ombre effect. Finish off the look with a long, wired, ombre ribbon. Place crisply wrapped gifts in the same colors as your ornaments underneath the tree.

Black, White + Red

Holiday Black And White Presents

Holiday Black And White Presents

Black and White striped wrapping paper is used to wrap presents in this holiday decorating theme. Red flowers and bows are used to create a contrast with the black and white wrapping paper.

Pink, Red, Silver + Gold

White Christmas Tree with Pink and Gold Ornaments

White Christmas Tree with Pink and Gold Ornaments

A white tree is adorned with pink, red and gold ornaments and surrounded by gifts wrapped in complementary paper in this room designed for the holidays by Hannah Flora Villio for actress Kathy Najimy, as seen on HGTV's Celebrity Holiday Homes.

Photo by: Benjamin Lowy ©HGTV/Scripps Networks

Benjamin Lowy, HGTV/Scripps Networks

Earth Tones

Country Christmas Tree Against Brown Brick Wall

Country Christmas Tree Against Brown Brick Wall

This simple Country Christmas tree is ornamented with pine cones, brown glass balls, bronze disco balls, and letter and number stencils for a unique twist on traditional tree decorations. Brown paper packages tied with twine rest under the tree next to a wooden rocking horse. A yellow yarn wreath, light green polka dot stocking, and green stuffed toys add color against the dark drown painted brick wall.

Rich Browns, Crisp Whites + Warm Metallics

Beautiful Snowflake Ornament

Beautiful Snowflake Ornament

This snowflake ornament is made of clothes pins and is a beautiful accessory to any tree.

INTERESTING MATERIALS TO TRY:

Classic ball ornaments and standard tree skirts are lovely — but it’s also OK to think outside the box when dressing your tree. Fresh flowers create a feminine feel, and all-natural trimmings like orange slices will waft mouthwatering scents throughout your living space. Tinsel makes for major sparkle, and cutlery is adorable on a dining room tree. And why not secure your masterpiece in a vintage wagon so it can light up any room of your home on a moment’s notice?

Fresh Flowers

Floral Christmas Tree

Floral Christmas Tree

Start with a full, lush Christmas tree and cut the flower stems to be about 5 inches long. Stick the flower stem right into the tree towards the trunk and the heftiness of the branches will hold the flowers up. Complete the look with gifts wrapped in red, pink and floral patterned papers. Sprinkle some rose petals at the foot of the tree to bring a touch of romance to your floral tree look.

All-Natural Trimmings

Edible Christmas Tree

Edible Christmas Tree

All things natural make this tree a perfect choice for a family who loves cooking, the outdoors and living organically. Every decor element is a DIY project so gather the kids to make garlands and hanging orange slices that will make your tree beautiful and smell even better.

Tons of Tinsel

BPF_holiday-house_interior_all_white_christmas_tree_layered_tones_v

BPF_holiday-house_interior_all_white_christmas_tree_layered_tones_v

Relying on different tints and shades of the same hue rather than complementary or contrasting colors sets this tree apart.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

Cutlery

Ornamental Cutlery Christmas Tree

Ornamental Cutlery Christmas Tree

This cutlery tree is the perfect theme for a dining room. Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room created this look using old spoons and forks. She simply tied the silverware to the tree limbs with jute.

Vintage Wagon

Mobile Holiday Tree With Kitchen-Inspired Ornaments

Mobile Holiday Tree With Kitchen-Inspired Ornaments

An affordable and fun way to give your mobile tree culinary flair is to outfit it with everyday kitchen items repurposed as ornaments. This tree was is adorned with holiday-inspired cookie cutters and gold and red ribbon.

GARLANDS TO TRY:

A gift’s ribbons and bows are a Christmas tree’s garlands. Without them, the final product is a little less spectacular. Don’t worry, though — there are countless options for garland if you’re not a fan of classic ribbon. Think yarn, jingle bells, twigs or beads. If you’re feeling crafty, consider making the vintage garland advent calendar pictured below.

Vintage Garland Advent Calendar

Vintage-Style Advent Calendar Garland

Vintage-Style Advent Calendar Garland

This holiday advent calendar is full of traditional charm and vintage style, keeping the Christmas anticipation alive for both kids and adults. Marian Parsons of Mustard Seed Interiors printed 24 different vintage images onto fused linen and freezer paper and painted a number onto the bottom corner of each. Each linen image was then assembled to form a pocket to hold candy or small gifts for the little ones. After attaching ribbon, the pockets can be draped around a Christmas tree or along a banister.

Bunny Tail Yarn

original_Kim-Stoegbauer-christmas-mini-front-porch-tree-beauty-vert

original_Kim-Stoegbauer-christmas-mini-front-porch-tree-beauty-vert

Photo by: Picasa ©ten22 studio | Rennai Hoefer

Picasa, ten22 studio | Rennai Hoefer

Jingle Bell Rope

Rope + Bell Garland

Rope + Bell Garland

Put a fresh spin on traditional garland by creating a handmade sisal and bell garland. Slide bells onto sisal rope, spacing them about four inches apart, and secure in place with contrasting rope or twine.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Twigs

Holiday Decor With Rustic Twig Garland

Holiday Decor With Rustic Twig Garland

Give real or faux evergreen garland a rustic, woodsy touch by layering on a twig garland. Just gather small branches from your yard, use clippers to cut them into sections that are approximately the same length, then knot the twigs together with jute twine or yarn.

Beads

Christmas Tree With Red and White Felt Skirt

Christmas Tree With Red and White Felt Skirt

Add a sweet touch to your decorations by gluing or stitching up this playful felt Christmas tree skirt. Felt is perfect for this project because it's inexpensive and doesn't fray when cut. Learn how to easy it is to make one of your own with HGTV's step-by-step instructions.

TOPPERS TO TRY:

While most designers agree a tree topper isn’t a must, most homeowners like one anyway. Consider a monogram or a cluster of stars to switch things up this year.

Monogram

Living Room with Holiday Decorations

Living Room with Holiday Decorations

Marianne still goes all-out without sacrificing style. "The house is very warm and welcoming," she says. "I host an annual holiday party with a fire going in the living room, christmas music playing and hors d'oeuvres and desserts in the dining room."

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

Photography by David A. Land; styling by Matthew Gleason

Clustered Stars

Cluster Stars on Top

Cluster Stars on Top

Since Christmas tree lights aren't illuminated all day and all night, consider a tree topper that will sparkle during the day. Pick up brass or metallic oversized stars and place them on top of the tree as a cluster. During the day, the sunlight will play up the metallic finish. At night, the metallic will appear warm when lit by twinkle lights.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

40 Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas to Try This Season

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

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