We know that there’s a lot planning that goes into preparing your home for Christmas, and with the holiday season quickly approaching, the mad dash to trim your tree can be overwhelming. Fear not! To help turn your winter woes around, we’ve called in an expert. Official tree decorator for the Toronto Christmas Market, Beth Edney, put together seven fail-proof tips to turn your Christmas tree into a holiday masterpiece.
When it comes to lights, the more the merrier
There’s no denying that lights are the focal point of any Christmas tree. To maximize the magic of the season, the general rule of thumb is to decorate your tree with 100 lights (or more) per foot. Not only does this ensure that there will be enough lights to be evenly distributed throughout the tree—it also means that your tree will emit a cozy glow that can liven up any room.
Bonus: Try positioning your Christmas tree near a front window, allowing it to double as both an interior and exterior decoration.
Sustainability is always chic
When purchasing your lights, consider opting for an LED option. Not only will they last longer, but they will take less of a toll on the environment.
Build off of a neutral base
To create a whimsical, modern look that will stand the test of time, it’s best to opt for warm, white lights. Not only will they compliment all types of decor, but they will also act as a neutral base to build upon. In fact, should you feel inclined to give your tree a pop of colour (and you should!), adding a string of coloured lights to this base is the perfect way to inject a bit of flare without going too far.
Bonus: by only investing in a few strings of coloured lights, you don’t run the risk of investing in colours that you might outgrow next year.
A finished tree is a full tree
To create a unified look start by hanging all like coloured ornaments throughout your tree. It is also easier to put the larger ornaments on first to fill up the voids in your tree as well as finding a spot for them to hang nicely. Once you’ve run out of your largest ornaments, continue down your roster until you’ve filled every branch with varying sizes of decor—saving the smallest for last. By following this format, you’ll be able to ensure every gap is filled and your tree is perfectly primped.
Bonus: to really make your tree pop, save your favourite ornaments for the outer branches.
Depth is decor’s best friend
A truly magnificent tree will require depth of field. To create that depth, you’ll need to go beyond the outer limits of your tree. How? When decorating your tree, try placing half of your lights and ornaments deeper into the interior of your tree, and half of them on the outer branches, as you usually would. By decorating the interior and exterior, your eye will be drawn to more of the tree.
Ribbon is the new garland
If you’re looking for a unique take on a traditional garland, consider using ribbon—not only is it an easy way to elevate your design (velvet can be ultra luxe), but it’s also an inexpensive way to carry decorations over from year to year. Be mindful of using too much ribbon, as you don’t want your tree to look like a mummy.
Bonus: for an effortless look, start looping the ribbon from the top of the tree and let it naturally follow the tree’s shape. To make it hold, gently tuck the ribbon into the branches instead of tightly wrapping it.
Raise your tree with rustic charm
Raising your Christmas tree off the floor is just another opportunity for you to flex your design skills. Instead of using a traditional metal riser, try using a milk crate, wooden box—or even a tree stump. By designing your tree from top to bottom, you’ll no longer have to hide the base when company comes over.
Beth Edney is an award winning Certified Landscape Designer and Floral Designer. With more than 30 years experience in design, her work has been published in many publications and featured on HGTV, the Wnetwork,