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
Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design
Black + White
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.
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
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
Benjamin Lowy, HGTV/Scripps Networks
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
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?
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.
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
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
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
Picasa, ten22 studio | Rennai Hoefer
Jingle Bell Rope
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.
Flynnside Out Productions
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.
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.
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."
Photography by David A. Land; styling by Matthew Gleason
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.
Flynnside Out Productions