Winter & Christmas Decorating

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree the Easy Way

Overwhelmed by the thought of decorating your Christmas tree? No worries. Here’s how to decorate a Christmas tree the easy way! 

When hubby and I first got married, I honestly had no clue how to go about decorating a Christmas tree. I’m quite certain that our first few trees were rather sparse and somewhat ugly. But over the years (it may or may not be about twenty years and twenty Christmases – but I’m not telling!), I think I’ve figured out a thing or two about creating a pretty tree. Including how to decorate a Christmas tree the easy way!

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree the Easy Way


Yes, there is an easy way to decorate a tree so that it’s full and beautiful.

Step 1

Whether you’re using a real tree or a faux tree, set up your tree in its stand and fluff the branches. Spread faux branches out to fill in any gaps. If your tree has seen better days and has large gaps, try winding a garland or two down the trunk of the tree or between the branches to create a nice full tree. You can also add sprigs or stems of greenery to fill in any gaps too. Or add some visual interest and add twigs or berry sprays – keeping them parallel to the existing branches so they look like they’re part of the tree. 

Step 2

If your tree is pre-lit you can skip this step. If it’s not pre-lit, now is the time to string up the lights. Weave them in and out of branches for depth. Add as little or as many as you like. Personally for a 6-7 foot tree I like an absolute minimum of 300 mini lights and as many as 700. About 100 mini lights per foot-tall of tree is a good general rule. Plug them in so you can see how the tree will really look when you’re placing your ornaments.

AKA Design Christmas Tree

Step 3

Add any ribbons you’re using. Decide whether you’d like to wrap the ribbons around the tree or have them cascade down the tree. Wrapped around the tree is sort of like wearing horizontal stripes, and makes the tree look wider. Letting the ribbons cascade down the tree gives the appearance of a teller tree. It’s your choice. You can tuck ribbons into the branches, curl them, let them hang, etc. If you’re using multiple styles and colors of ribbon add the largest or boldest or largest first. Then move on to the next size/color. It’s so much easier to place ornaments after ribbons than to do it the other way around. #trustme

TIP: To get the curled ribbon I have below, buy wired ribbon, wrap it around your hand and then gently pull the end that is closest to your hand to make a sort of corkscrew curl. The wire will help the ribbon to stay curled.

Step 4

Add any really large or bold ornaments or decorations next, spreading them out visually on the tree. 

Step 5

Add any multiples or sets of ornaments, one set at a time, by style or color. Space them out all over the tree for visual balance.

DIY silhouette ornaments

Step 6

Once all your ornaments and ribbons are on the tree, give the area beneath the tree a sweeping or vacuum to pick up any stray bits. Then, lay out the tree skirt and add the tree topper as the finishing touches.

And now you have a fully decorated tree!


How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Do you have a pretty tree? Or a family tree? Or both?

shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

I'd love to chat with you in the comments!