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Christmas Tree Decorating

Tips for decorating a Christmas tree (Toryce Edition)

I love decor and Christmas! Growing up, my mom was very particular about her tree (as one should be!) and always hired a friend to help her decorate it. Probably a good choice… as we all have very different tastes! I was always a bit jealous of my friends though, as they got to put any color they wanted on their tree! Fast forward to now.. and I finally understand why!

A tree is a huge statement decor piece, so of course my mom wanted it to go with the house and look elegant. The saying that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is quite correct on this point… I am definitely like my mother!! 

This was the first year I no longer live at home so any home decor gets me really excited.My husband and I’s condo has vaulted ceilings in the living area so I knew we [I] wanted a big tree. We ended up getting a 12 foot tree off of marketplace… and after my amazing husband brought it up 4 flights of stairs (quite the comedy when watching from afar)  it was now my turn to decorate. 

One of my best friends (Sierra) mom,  decorates trees as a part time job so I knew after years of watching her mom decorate them she had learned a thing or two. 

I am by no means a professional, but I love crafts and decor and these are my personal tips for decorating a beautiful Christmas tree.

Firstly:  Plan around a certain colour code or theme!

Pick lots of neutrals and only one or two vibrant colours

Some examples that look great together are:

Gold, silver, red

Blue, silver, white

Pink, white, gold

My house is super neutral so I used silver, gold and white. I helped my sister out who has a lot more girly of a house and her colours were pink, white, gold and silver. 

Products you need: (All amounts based on an 7 foot tree)

  • Sinamay (Type of Ribbon) (I like to double up on this when applying. 4 rolls)
  • Picks (around 20). You can do a few different styles or colours. 5 completely different picks to emphasize star too.
  • Flowers (10) (not on my sisters tree but on mine.)

  • Star or something you want to top your tree with. You can pretty much use anything for a tree topper as long as its significant and not anywhere else on your tree (this is important!!)

I unfortunately didn’t film the parts of me putting on ornaments and such on my tree so below are some videos of me helping my sister decorate her tree to show you guys what I mean. 

Step 1: Fluffing of the branches

After putting up the tree fluff the branches of the tree.

Start by fluffing the bottom branches of the tree and working your way up towards the outside and then all the way up the tree.

Reference the tree to the photo on the box – but all you are essentially trying to do is make your tree look nice and full, not look like it has come straight out of a box

Step 2: Lights

String lights on it if it isn’t already pre-lit. LED lights are the best as you will have them for years and probably have less problems, so the splurge is worth it. I find it easiest to string the lights when they are plugged in so you can see how much light you are getting in areas to try and make the tree look as even as possible.

Here is a quick video of how to put lights on a Christmas tree:

Step 3: Sinamay (Ribbon)

Like I said earlier, I like to double up on this. I personally like to use two different tones or colours as it adds a lot of depth to the tree. This ribbon is super thick and is a big statement on the tree so I would suggest to either use your favourite colour if you want that colour to be a statement or to go with something more neutral like a cream and white. 

I doubled up a cream and a white together. 

I have posted a video down below of how I personally like to apply the ribbon, but there is not right or wrong way – I just found this to be the easiest. 

You want to start in vertical sections on the tree. Two sections works great for most trees.

Start at the top of the tree – you want to hold the two ribbons together and start by shoving in the ribbon to the stem of the tree. Next you want to create a tuff. You can make them as big or as small as you would like. I do mine usually about 18-20 inches each.

The top of the tree will most likely only have one or two tuffs. The ribbon should be tight into the tree so it looks like it is part of the tree and not coming out of the tree.

Start from left to right, angling the tuffs downward slightly. When you get to the end of the tree width you want to cut the two ribbons on a vertical angle and shove it into the branches. This should just look like another tuff in the tree, so it doesn’t look like the ribbon is actually ending.

Do this the entire way around the tree until you get to the bottom. It will essentially look like zig zag patterns.

Step 4. Tree topper

A huge tip I learned from Sierras mom was that what you put on top of the tree should NOT be anywhere else on the tree. This is because you want the top to be the focal point. For our tree, we decided to put three stars on the top to try and portray a 3D effect. The picks that were used around the stars were white sparkle picks that are simply shoved into the branches to try and emphasize the stars. If your tree branches aren’t super thick, try and wrap a tree branch around the picks almost like a twist tie. That way the picks will be secure to the tree. 

Step 5: Picks

Apply picks sporadically into the tree. Most picks have long ends on them which makes it easy to place inside the tree. If they don’t, then try to bend the branches around them. Trees are strong so don’t worry about being too gentle.

Step 6: Flowers

Big Flowers are a huge statement piece and really vamp up a tree. The ones I buy have little silver clips on the back which make it super easy to clip onto the tree branches. You can use as little or as many of these as you like. I have two different colours of flowers on my tree, but both are neutral. I put these sporadically around the tree similar to how I placed my picks. 

At this point your tree should start to look super full, almost as if you don’t need ornaments. Keep going though, as the ornaments on the tree will really fill up all the gaps and take your tree to the next level.

Step 7. Ornaments 

This was a huge lesson I learned as I always thought you just hung the ornaments on and left them. Apparently in the tree decorating world this is a huge no no!!

You want to wrap the ornaments as tight as you can around the branch so it looks like they are attached to the tree, not just hanging on the branches. Try your best to hold the top of the ornament so the top doesn’t slide off as you are twisting the ornament around the tree branch. 

Step 8: Admire

Step back and admire your tree from all angles to see if any areas of the tree need more decor or if there are any holes that need to be filled with an ornament. 

If you’re all good then the tree decorating is complete!! Hope you learned a new thing or two!

Best Tips:

Treat the tree branches like a twist tie

Twist the ornaments on the tree so they are nice and tight and don’t just look like they’re hanging

Pick a colour scheme that goes with the rest of your house

Ribbon makes all the difference on a tree

Here’s a pic of my finished Christmas tree!

And here’s a pic of my sisters Christmas tree before I helped her and after a few tips!

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