The Ultimate Guide To Christmas Tree Decorating


 The Hidden Garden - A Floral Guide Series


The Hidden Garden's Insider Guide to Christmas Tree Decorating. Your Step-by-Step Design for a Simple, Stunning, and Stress-Free Holiday.


Are your holiday decorations lacking that certain something? You can decorate that Christmas tree like a pro in no time. Sip cocoa, dream of snow, and enjoy this exclusive preview to The Ultimate Guide To Christmas Tree Decorating from the Hidden Garden's CEO, Amy Marella.


1. Start by Shaping


You had a blast picking out the perfect tree with friends and family. Your next step is to shape it! Some trees come a bit on the wild side, and while this step is potentially messy, it helps establish a strong and lush-looking tree. While deciding your theme, shaping your tree will also help sturdy out the thinner branches (especially at the bottom).

For those who have "forever trees" (aka fake trees), you have more flexibility when maneuvering your take advantage of that!


2. Create a Theme


To create a professionally decorated tree, you need to choose a theme. Whatever it may be, it creates a unified look and ties the entire tree together. Here are a few ideas to base it off of:

  • Color scheme

  • "Winter Wonderland"

  • "The Great Outdoors"

  • Personal ornament collection

  • Travel/ favorite hobbies.

Some themes are more ceremonious and precise; others can be whimsical and natural. For the former, find inspiration through wired ribbons and dazzling ornaments. For the latter, forage through your local park to help bring the outdoors in. Need more inspo? Check out our Pinterest for more ideas for Christmas trees, wedding florals, and Bar/t Mitzvahs ideas!


3. Lights (Camera), Action!


We're going to save you the frustration now: check that your lights work first! 

You're welcome. 

Now that we've covered that, here are our top two light tricks:

  • Dependant on the tree, start your lights at the bottom of the tree and circle your way upwards


  • Start at the bottom and work your way up and down, weaving in and out of the branches.

We like option #1 for thinner and taller trees while we save #2 for when we have a tree with more depth- so we don't lose our lights within the tree.

Also, depending on the theme for your tree (or just personal preference), you can choose from warmer, cooler, or colored lights! We like to match our warmer lights with gold and red themes; cooler lights with our "wintery" looks (we skip colored lights, but you choose what brings you the most joy).


4. Ornaments


No matter how perfectly curated, ornaments can look messy if you don't approach them correctly. Here are a few suggestions to help them look their best:

  • Decorate in Sections

To decorate like a professional, take your Christmas tree into sections: top, middle, and bottom. Then, style them one at a time, starting from the top and working your way down. 

  • Cluster Ornaments

Add flair to your display with ornament clusters —for example, group ornaments of the same design together for a classic look. Otherwise, use different styles to add texture and depth. Amy also suggests combining different sizes for a bolder statement.

  • Strategically Placed Ornaments

At the end of the day, there are no actual rules for hanging ornaments. However, we tend to begin with more oversized ornaments and tuck them deeper within the foliage to add depth. When you try this method, you can achieve a beautiful, layered look. On the other hand, hanging smaller ornaments on the tips of the branches achieves a draping effect (it all comes back to your theme).


5. Mind the Gap...


As a floral shop, our favorite way to fill in any gaps in our Christmas trees is to fill them with seasonal or dried flowers. Choose berries, flowers, or pinecones to bring a more natural feel to your tree (bonus points if it's from your yard). For dried flowers, try Baby's Breath, bunches of Bunny Tail, or Craspedia flowers (aka billy balls) for a pop of color. If you chose a more formal theme, fill your gaps with preserved oak leaves and magnolia leaves or skip altogether and do the ribbon! If you choose the ribbon, decorate with it first to create a layered look, avoiding overlapping with other decorations.


6. Tree Topper


Top off your design with a tree topper to compliment your theme. If you have a tradition of having your family's picture on top of the tree, then use this as an opportunity to make a new tie to your past. For example, if your grandparents are from Germany, add some fun German decor like a Nutcracker or Christmas tree light-up garland. Custom toppers (i.e., bows, ribbons, a baby Yoda) add fun personality to your tree, but familial toppers are always our favorite to see!


7. Tree Skirt


To finalize this yuletide caroling, set the perfect backdrop for presents (and an easy clean-up method) with a tree skirt. These come in many materials, so choose one that...does what?? Yes, suits your theme! You've got it- we're so proud of you! If you're looking for a more rustic look, try a burlap tree skirt. For something more elegant and festive, opt for velvet or satin. And if you're feeling artsy and have the time and skills, consider making your own with fabric remnants.





Thought we'd leave you hanging? NO WAY! 

Here are HG's 5 favorite ways to keep your tree fresh for longer


  1. Trim the trunk before putting it in freshwater (all that sap inside will try to rescue the cut at the bottom, which will prohibit the water from being soaked up). Please be cautious with your saws, friends. 


  2. Put the tree in water as soon as possible —we teach this in our weekly Bucket of Blooms videos that everything needs a fresh cut to get as much water as possible.


  3. Fresh water daily or every other day (you knew this one, of course).


  4. Be cautious of heat sources (aka, don't place your tree next to a heater).


  5. Turn off the lights when leaving the room (similar to #4, we need to remember with all the extra electricity to be safe with how close our trees are to our ceiling lights). 


Take these top Hidden Garden techniques to help you create a professional Christmas tree worthy of a compliment from St. Nicholas himself. Cheers and happy holidays to our entire floral community!


Always Keep Blooming,





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