How to Decorate an Artificial Christmas Tree
How to Decorate an Artificial Christmas Tree
By Martha Vanderpol
Originally Published in the Glasshouse Home & Garden Magazine, Fall Edition 2012
A Christmas tree can be the most magical symbol of the festive, holiday season. Its warmth and comfort allow childhood memories to come flowing back of family gift giving and waiting for Santa to come with a large sack of presents. The Christmas tree brings heartwarming inspiration for home décor and can help to create lasting memories of the holiday season.
By being placed in the center of the living room window or tucked beside the fireplace for family gatherings, it usually is the focal point of your décor. The tree reminds us of our history and the stories of Christmases past through the collection or ornaments, ribbons, balls and twinkling lights and will continue the story for years to come.
The decoration of a permanent Christmas tree usually defines your décor style, and the type of style that you take the most delight in. The first step to creating a memorable Christmas tree is the purchase of the tree. If you are looking to save money and time, be sure to purchase a festive tree from your local garden centre that is a pre-lit tree. Select one that is well made, usually composed of PVC, plastic or a combination of both, because it will last for many years. If you like to keep your Christmas decorating simple, choose a tree that has some character, perhaps with additional pine cones, white flocking or berries, so that the tree can majestically stand on its own. A more natural tree, such as the Canterbury or Oregon Fir tree would be a preferred backdrop for a selection of Christmas balls, ribbons and ornaments.
By displaying your tree in an outdoor cast iron urn, or an ornate fiberglass container, you will achieve a more refined look. Also, take the time to “fluff” your permanent Christmas tree for a more natural look and to ensure that there is enough space between the branches to display the ornaments. Just before decorating, step back to view your tree to make sure that the lights are evenly spaced and the tree is aligned correctly.
Now, the magic begins as you start to decorate your Christmas tree. You may have a theme and colour scheme predetermined from previous years, such as traditional reds and greens, elegant whites and silvers or a classic Christmas red. Try something new and trendy by creating a gold and metallic combination, a vintage look with the use of gold, naturals and platinum shades, a fun and colourful look with multi-coloured baubles, or the latest trend of frosted greens, moss and whites. Whatever your preference, there are a few key decorating elements that will ensure that you have a showstopper tree.
When selecting your Christmas decorations, select two to three colours. If you are incorporating a new and trendy colour, use accent pillows or home décor items of the same shade in the room to tie it together. Use 2 ¾” ribbon or sinamay mesh to change the colour scheme at minimal cost and create a fuller looking tree. Always start from the top of the tree, working your way down and around to give a more balanced look. Set out your decorations before you begin hanging them up. Place the larger, less expensive decorations deeper in the tree which contributes to colour depth and allows the reflection of lights to create a warm glow. Sentimental ornaments should be hung at eye level so they can be the focal points of the display. The use of non-Christmas items will make the tree more personal or unique. For instance, a lantern with a Reallite candle inside or a candle placed on a tree arm allows for Christmas comfort and warmth, skateboards and hockey sticks for the sport themed tree, artificial flowers and poinsettias to add volume or feathers to use as a tree topper. Add the finishing touch to the base of the tree with a velvet tree skirt or fur-lined throw and presents that are festively wrapped.
Consider the presence of multiple Christmas trees in your home. Maybe have a more elegant sophisticated tree in your living room, a “kids themed” display in the family room and various other trees placed throughout your home for festivity and warmth.
Always remember, the holidays are about celebrations, and a Christmas tree is a twinkling, glittering reflection of everything that it represents – the memories of Christmases past, the gathering of friends and family today, and the wishes for Christmases to come.
We want to thank Martha Vandepol once again for her excellent article and hope that her tips help you create the tree of your dreams this Christmas season.