Christmas Tree Decorating Hints and Tips

Christmas Tree Decorating Hints and Tips

So it’s time to set up the ol’ Christmas tree again! The most enjoyable time of the season for many is setting up this bit of decoration. However, if you are looking for some help in doing so this year, read on and I can guide you through the basics of making a beautiful tree.

If you haven’t selected a tree yet, we have a fine and wide choice available, so let’s call that step one. Odds are a lot of you already have step one either done or planned out, so we can continue on.

The first actual step, of course, is to set the tree up. It is very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided, as there are differences between different types of trees. Be sure to shape the branches and needles so that they cover more area, fluffing them out from the normally folded tight starting position.

For best results, the first decoration to add is the Christmas lights, stringing up any sets that don’t come with the tree. It is advisable to test any light strands before attaching them to the tree. If you do not, you may find yourself having to disassemble your entire tree setup to get at a deeply buried, burned out string. Start from the top down, as the shape of the branches will make it easier to work that way. There is some range to the proper number of lights you can use. As a rule of thumb, if your tree is at least 4 feet high, you are going to want a minimum of 100 bulbs per foot of the tree, ranging up to 200 per on average. So for a 6 foot tree, that would equal around 600-1200 lights. Basic style lights should be placed first to form the foundation. Lights that are novelty shaped or special function should be placed after, since their role is to make an impression, and should not be used to fill empty spaces. It may seem common sense to string lights around the tree, going around the diameter, but that actually may turn out poorly. Not only will half of the lights be on a side that faces the wall, barring the tree being in the exact center of a room, as you work the lights will be steadily pulled inward, behind the branches and losing their brightness to obstruction. Another option, instead, is to string the lights vertically, going roughly from top to bottom and back in a zigzag or parallel pattern. This maximizes coverage and makes sure to waste as few of the lights as possible to obstruction. At this point, due to often sharing cord space with the lights, it may be wise to add the tree topper. As it is an item separate from the other decorations, and has its own space on the tree, this can be added at any time, really. Be sure that you have considered the tree’s ceiling clearance with the selection and placement of the topper. If there is a space shortage, consider folding down the top branch of the tree, which usually sticks straight up, to gain a few more inches.

Next to be placed are garlands, tinsel, and other long strings of decorations. Some trees don’t use this, of course, but if you do, you’ll want several feet per foot of tree, as it will need to wrap around multiple times. The basic decoration is to start at the top and spiral downwards with the strands, perhaps adding some twists and bends to break up any visual monotony.

Now comes the part that most consider the most fun: the ornaments! Even the simplest and newest ornaments can have meaning, and older or family treasured ones carry a wealth of emotional meaning.The first thing to note is that you want to use the ornaments to fill any holes in the decorations so far. To accomplish this, it may be best to have ornaments that can be considered as background. You will want at least 20 ornaments of this type per two feet of tree. Another 10 or so per the same space can be dedicated to ornaments that you want to display most prominently.

At this point your tree is all done. Sit back and relax, secure in the knowledge that you have created something to be treasured for the whole season.

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