Whilst decorating the Christmas tree is great family time building lasting memories, have you ever wondered how to achieve that professionally finished look?
How do they get the Christmas lights spaced evenly, the tree topper in place and the decorations to look perfect? We have put together a guide to assist you with achieving the perfectly decorated Christmas tree year after year.
Once the Christmas tree is assembled (see our Blog on setting up your Christmas tree) you will begin with the lights.
Begin by connecting your set of LED string lights to a power board and switch the LED string on and check that they are all working.
Follow these simple rules as you attach the LED string lights.
Divide the Christmas tree into imaginary pizza-shaped wedges, top to bottom. The wider the Christmas tree, the more wedges, and the more sets of LED string lights required.
1. Start each set of LED string lights at a place close to the point of the imaginary pizza.
2. Begin with the first LED string light at the opposite end from the plug and on the second highest tip, leaving space for your tree topper.
3. Secure the end of the LED string with a tie tag or tinsel wire onto the branch tip to hold the lights in place.
4. Work down the tree back and forth, in a ZIG ZAG formation keeping within the imaginary wedge of the pizza.
5. Point the LED up and slightly outwards. If the branches are above eye level, hide the cord on top of the branch. If they are below eye level hide the cord below the branch.
6. Keep to a pattern, if you start working clockwise, always work clockwise (left to right) keeping within the boundary of the imaginary pizza.
7. Keep cord taught as you secure to the tips and branches and never jump to a new branch on the outside of the tree.
Don’t crush tree needles with cord and always go back to centre pole of tree before moving to next branch. Step back to see where the dark spots are and then correct the position of the LED string lights.
LED string lights can be purchased through our online store and are available in a number of different quantities, colours and lengths. 100’s - 160’s - 200’s - 280’s – 300’s and 500’s. Colours include - White, Soft Yellow (warm white) Multi colours, Red, Blue, Green and Pink and Strings (cord colour) are available in some sets in green, white and translucent.
It is important to make sure your selected colour is supplied with a cord that will suit the colour of your tree green cord for a green tree, white or translucent cord for white trees.
If only part of the Christmas tree will be visible (tree stands in corner or against the wall) then it may not be necessary to light or decorate that unseen part.
We can still apply the ZIG ZAG method however, in this case start your ZIG ZAG formation on the visible side and then work your way across keeping a similar pattern to a single pizza wedge.
PLACE YOUR TREE TOPPER ON TOP AND SECURE
It may seem out of order but it is best to put the tree topper in place prior to loading the tree with ornaments. This will prevent crushing the freshly decorated tree from leaning into it to place the topper and stops the risk of tipping the Christmas tree. Being able to get closer to the tree will also assist in the tree topper being placed straight rather than stretching and ending up with a lop-sided tree topper.
The top tip of the Christmas tree may have to be folded over to support a heavier tree top ornament
If you have ever seen a commercially decorated Christmas tree with that beautiful lush swirl down the tree beautifully spaced, you will be looking at a decorated length of garland woven around the Christmas tree. This is a simple way of adding bulk to a Christmas tree and creating a simple yet elegant look.
There are other kinds of Garlands – paper, ribbons and foil. These can be spaced into the branches increasing the amount of garland as you progress down the tree. Beaded garlands are best hung from branch to branch.
How and where you place your decorations is entirely a personal preference and may end up being the kids decision rather than a democratic vote.
You may decide to have a colour theme or some other theme that is meaningful to you e.g. angels, elves, nutcrackers or snowmen. If trying for a truly elegant tree it is best to stick to one or two complementary colours, e.g. red and green, blue and silver, pink and copper.
Place the decorations you wish to showcase on the tree first in prime positions. Work with your remaining decorations or baubles from largest to smallest. Place the largest decorations evenly around the tree and fill the spaces with the smaller ones. By placing decorations further into the tree you will create depth.
Decorations can be adequately secured with the strings attached or specially made decoration hooks can be purchased. Alternatively florist wire is a great option or even plastic bag twist ties if you are not that fussy about the look.
Depending on the style of Christmas tree you have chosen you may require a tree skirt placed around the base of the tree. A tree skirt is generally a round piece of festive cloth that will cover any excess pole showing at the base and the stand of the Christmas tree. They are available in many materials and colours to suit almost any theme.
OTHER DISPLAY PIECES
Now is the time to place any other display piece around the tree. Many people like the idea of a train at the base of the tree but depending on the style of tree this may, or may not, be an option. In a commercial setting you will often see nutcrackers or reindeers next to a tree and there is no reason why you cannot incorporate the same theming into your home display, albeit on a smaller scale.
So let’s run through the steps of creating the perfect Christmas tree once again:
STEPS TO BUILDING AND DECORATING THE CHRISTMAS TREE
A. Assemble Christmas tree
B. Attach lights
C. Place tree topper (star, angel, bow)
D. Attach garland (Optional)
E. Attach decorations
F. Tree Skirt
G. Other Display ornaments (nutcrackers etc.)
There are innumerable ways in which a Christmas tree can be decorated. This is just one of them. But of all the ways the one that always works the best is the one in which the family has put in the effort in all stages from planning to execution to delight.