Step 1: Hang Your Christmas Tree Lights

The first step in how to decorate a Christmas tree is adding the lights. Tree lightstypically come on green or white wire strands, though you can also find black variations now, perfect if you happen to have a black Christmas tree. Choose the strand color that matches your tree so the wire will be hidden. Illuminating your Christmas tree from the inside out will give it the most dynamic look. Start at the base of the trunk and work your way up, wrapping lights around every major branch, moving from the trunk to the tip and back.

Here are four popular types of Christmas lights to choose from when decorating your tree.

  • Traditional incandescent lights: These Christmas tree lights, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, are the most popular type of tree lights. They warm up the branches of a real tree, which will release the scent of pine into the room.
     
  • LED lights: These Christmas tree lights are newer than the traditional incandescent lights and don’t produce heat. They’re typically more expensive, but they are flameproof, fireproof, and completely safe to decorate a Christmas tree with.
     
  • Globe lights: These Christmas tree lights are round and come in many sizes. They look like balls of color on the tree, and while they have a softer glow than mini lights, the light they produce covers a larger area on the tree.
     
  • Bubble lights: These retro lights stand straight up on the limbs of your Christmas tree. When the liquid tube on top of the light warms up, bubbles float up and down inside the tube, resembling lava lamps.

Experiment with different lighting schemes until you find one you like; it’s OK to mix and match lights. For example, a background of white or clear lights can be highlighted with strands of colored lights that wrap the outer areas of the tree.

See our complete guide to putting lights on your Christmas tree for even more info on how to design your perfect tree lighting scheme.

This modern geometric wood bead garland would look great on a pared-down Scandinavian-style Christmas tree.

Step 2: Add Christmas Tree Garland

There are no firm rules for decorating a Christmas tree when it comes to draping garland. To avoid branches bulging between tightly cinched garland strands, start at the top of the tree, and slowly increase the amount of garland between each wave as you work your way down the branches. Plan to use about two strands of garland for every vertical foot of tree.

To avoid a busy look on your tree, decorate your Christmas tree with a variety of garlands from plain to fancy. Thin, beaded garlands look best hung from branch to branch; thicker paper, ribbon, or foil garlands look best wrapped loosely around the entire tree.

If you’re still in need of a garland, consider making one this holiday season! If you love a traditional look, make a cranberry garland that blends cranberries with slices of fresh lime, this wrapping paper garland, or this boiled wool felt garland that’s a twist on the classic popcorn garland. If contemporary is more your thing, try the wood bead garland shown above, this sophisticated crepe paper garland, or this easy DIY pom-pom garland.

Ribbon is also a popular alternative to a garland. Loosely wrap wide, patterned ribbon around the entire tree in horizontal bands. To add interest, try making big bows from similar ribbon and using them to decorate the tree branches. To amp it up, use ribbon vertically on the tree, creating cascading streams of ribbon from the top of your tree to the base, tucking the ends under your tree topper and securing around the trunk at the base.

Step 3: Hang Christmas Tree Ornaments

The final step in decorating your tree is to hang your Christmas ornaments. Here’s our quick guide to arranging ornaments:

  • To showcase your favorite ornaments, place them in prime positions on the tree first.
     
  • Next, hang your larger ornaments, spacing them evenly around the tree. Fill in around those ornaments with medium- and small-size ornaments. Be sure to hang some ornaments closer to the trunk to create depth and interest.
     
  • Finish dressing the tree by adding specialty items, such as clip-on ornaments or icicles.

Original article can be found here: https://www.bhg.com/christmas/trees/how-to-decorate-a-christmas-tree/