Decorations are key to creating a beautiful Christmas in your home. Whether you’re a traditionalist with a gorgeous Nordmann Fir or a contemporist with a starkly ethereal alternative tree, it’s the finishing touches that make all the difference. We’ve collected together all our favorite decorating top tips in one place. So if your lights need a bit of a lift or your tree needs some sprucing, here’s a great place to start…
Many of us plump for artificial trees to decorate our homes. They make a beautiful, realistic and cost-effective alternative to a real tree. When putting up your artificial tree we recommend getting all the components out of the box and laying them in corresponding piles (trunk, bottom branches etc). Before assembling, give the branches a good ‘fluff’ – straighten if bent and run your hand down each length to animate the needles and get a nice full shape. You may like to wear gloves when doing this.
Choosing your fairy lights
Long gone are the days when you had only colored and clear lights to choose from. Now, festive decorators can pick from LED sets, solar powered sparklers, battery-operated twinkle lights, long sets, short sets…and much much more.
As a rule of thumb, use 50 lights per 30cm (1 ft) of tree. Another useful tip is to use two sets of lights, one shorter than the other. See our next tip below for why!
If you’ve got your eye on your energy consumption, consider using LEDs. Normal light bulbs emit up to 90% more heat than light than LEDs and therefore can waste a lot of energy. LEDs have a much longer life cycle and use only about 10% of the energy of a normal light bulb.
Using your fairy lights
Top light tip. Try they work before winding them around your tree, Nothing is more annoying than an artistically applied set of lights that don’t work!
We find buying a long length and a shorter set of lights work really well. When decorating your Christmas tree, the short set can be wound around the trunk from top to bottom; finish with the plug at the back of the tree and near to the power socket. The longer set should start at the top and wind around the tree positioning some at the tips of the branches and some nestling further inside.
In the grand scheme of decorating a tree, put your lights on first. After the lights, put on any ‘draping’ decorations such as tinsel and strings of beads. Then hang the baubles and other decorations, before finishing with the star or angel on the top.
Let there be light (outside)
Don’t forget your great outdoors this Christmas. Spread the festive cheer to your garden with a string of fairy lights or a cluster of cute Christmas animals.
To create a welcoming feel to any home, we love wrapping battery operated lights around our door wreaths. The small battery packs can easily be tucked out of sight. If you have two sets of battery (or solar) lights, they also look beautiful adorning bay trees either side of a door.
Unless you are going for the ‘Victorian’ heavily dressed effect, a two-color option looks impressive. Decide on the dominant color, this will be used at the tips of branches; the secondary color is used deeper into the tree to add depth. Repetition will enhance the overall look of your tree and similar colors used throughout the rest of the house decorations will tie the whole theme together.
Don’t worry about decorating parts of the tree that won’t be seen. Use any spare baubles to decorate your mantelpiece or stair banister.
Tinsel helps to disperse light, making your tree even more ‘twinkly’. Think of the tree in layers and start from towards the back, working the tinsel in a zigzag fashion from tip to trunk and back out again. Make sure that the end of your tinsel is hidden from view.
Beads are a great alternative or addition to tinsel and are an excellent way to tie themes together but are less effective at reflecting light. Weave under and over the tips of alternate branches.