5 Easy Decorating Tips for a Beautiful Christmas Tree

November 20, 2023

Five tips for creating a beautiful Christmas tree. 

These decorating tips will make this year's Christmas tree the most gorgeous yet! Some make the tree decorating process a little easier and all will make it look amazing! 

After all these years of assembling and decorating many (many!) trees, I've learned a few tricks! I'm breaking them down so you can put them to use this holiday season.

1. FLUFF it. 

If you decorate a fake Christmas tree, you must take a little extra time to fluff the branches. This makes all the difference, it's so worth the time!

Our old basement tree basically snapped in half (more on that later), so we were looking for a new one this year. We lucked out when we found the "viral" Grand Duchess Christmas tree at Home Depot. Since we got it I think I've seen it 862 times on Instagram. ;) 

It is really, really beautiful. It has a remote with settings for the Christmas tree lights -- the twinkling lights are my favorite! 

I kept seeing everyone say that it doesn't need to be fluffed, and I will say I was impressed at how full it was right out of the box: 
tree in brass tree collar

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But you definitely still need to fluff. :) 

Look at the difference in that bottom section after just a few minutes: 
fluffing artificial tree
Our brass tree collar is available at Target again this year.

When I fluff, I spread the branches off to the sides and up and down as much as possible. 

I always wear gloves of some kind while fluffing the branches. Gardening or rubber gloves are usually my go-to. 

They prevent scratches during the process and keep my hands from drying out: 
fluffing branches with gloves

If you decorate a real Christmas tree, wait a few hours after putting it in the tree stand so the branches can settle and drop. 
Here's a look at this gorgeous tree after about 20 minutes of fluffing: 
Home Depot duchess tree

Every artificial Christmas tree will look better with a good fluffing! 

2. Hang garland with ornament hooks. 

I always add garland and/or ribbon to the tree first, but I found it difficult to get the garland to "drape" just right on the branches. A reader told me about this trick last year when I shared our living room Christmas tree. 

This tip is a game changer! Using an ornament hook allows you to hang the garland from the branches instead of balancing them on top: 
popcorn berry garland

You can find that adorable popcorn garland here! (I got mine from Hobby Lobby but they sell out quick.)

This method gives the wood beads or garland a more natural, drapey look. It was also much easier to adjust the strands as I went: 
popcorn garland on tree

Such a great tip! 

3. Pinch ribbon with tree branches.

I love the look of wide ribbon draped through a tree, but I used to struggle with getting it to look good. 

Typically I would just wrap it around like so: 
music note ribbon

And that looks fine! 

But I prefer the ribbon to have a bit more of an organic flow to it, so I started tucking the ribbon into the tree here and there, and that helped a bunch. 

Now I also use the wire branches to "pinch" the ribbon here and there. Just twist the end of the branch around the ribbon like so: 
pinching ribbon in Christmas tree
You can find my music note ribbon here

Make sure to add some give between each pinch so you can fluff up the ribbon a bit. Using wired ribbon allows you to shape it easily.

This trick gives it a more billowy look that I prefer. You don't even notice that the branch is wrapped around it, and can still use the branch to hang ornaments. 

I love how this looks! 

If you have a real tree, you can get the same look using hooks or floral wire. 

4. Fill in empty spaces with filler or ornaments.

I've never had a fake tree that didn't have some open spots we can see right through, no matter how much fluffing I do. 

It's not a big deal, but my goal is always to make the tree as full and beautiful as possible! For these empty parts of the tree, I like to add filler pieces or large ornaments deep in the tree. 

These berry sprays from Hobby Lobby add the perfect pop of color and fill in the tree beautifully: 
small red berry spray

You'll want to fluff these up too! They come with the branches all tight -- but spreading them out gives you more bang for your buck. 

I love adding berries to our trees! They go a long way to create a fuller look: 
red berry sprays in tree

I use larger ornaments deep in the tree too. They fill in those empty spots nicely!:
tucking ornaments deep in tree

5. Add something different! 

I like to finish off my trees with something unique! There's no rules really -- break up the baubles a bit with different textures or colors. 

Over the years I've used everything from large faux flowers like this poinsettia blooms: 
poinsettia blooms in tree

To holiday decor like pine cones, pieces of ribbon, bells, bows, or berry sprays like I shared above...you can use almost any festive decor as Christmas tree decorations. 

These clip on battery-operated tree candles are a favorite too: 
battery clip on candles in tree

They add a vintage touch that I just love! They operate with a remote and are so pretty, I sometimes turn just these on and leave the tree lights off: 
red and white Christmas tree decor

These extras add layers to your tree that will make it more lovely than ever!

Honorable mention:  You don't need a Christmas tree skirt!

There's no need to buy expensive tree skirts! If I'm using a skirt, I prefer to use plain fabric like a fluffy tulle or taffeta: 
fabric as tree skirt

Blankets work nicely as well. Those faux fur blankets you can find at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx are perfect! 

If you hoard throw blankets like me, you probably have one you can spare for under the tree. :) 

I also like using tree collars for a cleaner look (and if you have cats they kind of help prevent them from climbing the tree). The collars come in fabric, wicker and metal options. 

Here's a look at a couple of the trees in our home using the tips I shared here!:
moody metallic Christmas tree

Find out all about this amazing fake Christmas tree here! We LOVE it! I've been told so many times that it doesn't look like an artificial tree, even in person.

As you can see, I rarely add a tree topper to our trees anymore. On this one it's because it's too tall and I'm risking my life enough as it is, thank you very much. 

But over the years I find that anything at the top of the tree is either too wimpy or just takes away from the beauty of the tree. 

Remember...it's your tree. You get to do what you want! 😀

And here's our basement family room tree: 
Duchess twinkling Christmas tree

I like a more classic look down there. This one makes me smile so big! 

I hope these little tips give you some ideas as you decorate for this holiday season. If you have any tricks you use, please share! 

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  1. Beautiful trees and great tips, thanks!

  2. I have also used an inexpensive round vinyl table cloth as a tree skirt. I just cut one side to the middle. Then I was able to wrap it around the tree.

  3. Love the one in your family room. Beautiful

  4. I love both of your trees! I have a tip for the tree toppers…..If you put the toppers on before you put the last section up it makes it so much easier and safer!

  5. I always put my garland on last, funny, but I do!!!


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