When making preparations for the festive season, selecting and decorating the Christmas tree often features high up on our list of priorities. Decorating the Christmas tree is usually a family activity undertaken during the exciting build up to Christmas. If you encourage your family to follow some simple design guidelines instead of a frantic free for all you should end up with a beautiful tree to be proud of.
If following traditional methods your Christmas tree decoration will comprise of lights, garland, trim and ornaments which will be arranged in that order. The Christmas tree would then be adorned with a tree skirt and traditionally topped with a topper such as an angel or star to complete the tree.
Lights are probably the most important feature of the Christmas tree and it is worth spending a while choosing them as there are so many varieties available. Make sure you purchase enough lights for the size of tree you have to create a tree that is decorated in a well balanced manner. For trees that are 2-3 feet tall you will need 35 – 80 lights, for trees that are 4 feet high or taller use 100 lights per foot. When dressing your Christmas tree with lights thread them from the base of the tree to the very tip at the top. Exercise caution if stringing lights together as you can easily overload fuses and damage circuits, throw away any lights that are not functioning properly and always turn them off when you leave the house and when you go to bed.
Once you have finished your lights it is time to think about garlands which can be made of either tinsel, beads or various types and widths of ribbon. Many people wishing to achieve a traditional look produce their own garlands by threading popcorn, cranberries or by making paper chains. How you decide to drape your garland is a matter of personal preference if you display your garlands in loops this creates a dramatic effect, although bear in mind that large loops would look ridiculous on a small tree. You can also display your garland by attaching it to the top of your tree and looping it round, you may need a few practises to find which method you prefer, it may be necessary to secure your garland by using ribbons or ties to prevent the garland slipping. You should roughly estimate 10 feet of garland per foot of tree, if there is any excess garland this can be used to decorate wreaths and mantelpieces, it is fine to mix the types of garland that you use as long as you ensure that they coordinate with each other.
The next step is dressing the tree with ornaments; you do not need the most expensive Christmas tree decorations to produce a fabulous Christmas tree as long as you know how to display them correctly. You will be pleased to hear that you really can’t have too many decorations hung on your Christmas tree, the secret is achieving the correct spacing. Start by hanging decorations on the inside branches, this will create interest and depth; use the worst of your decorations for this and save your better decorations for the outside branches. Aim to display around 10 Christmas tree decorations per 2 feet of tree, hang similar decorations together to create maximum effect. If you have a real assortment of decorations using a beautiful ribbon to hang them can give them a more unified beautiful look.
Trim refers to bows, tinsel and anything else that you wish to decorate your tree with; you may not want any which is a better alternative than making the common mistake of drowning the tree in trim which just spoils all of you hard work. The Christmas tree skirt should be big enough to cover the stand which is its purpose but not bigger than the average size of its branches. All that remains to finish your beautiful tree is to add some wrapped presents and topper. The most common toppers are stars and angel although you can choose anything you wish as long as its tasteful, a bow made from the same ribbon as used in the garland can create a very simple yet striking tree topper.