Decorating your Christmas tree can be one of the most enjoyable activities of the festive season. In this blog, Hour Hands Home & Lifestyle Consultant, Gemma Lovett, shares her top 10 tips to help you create a beautiful centrepiece for your living room. Put some carols on, pour the mulled wine, and set to work!
We’ve opened our little black book to share our favourite local Christmas tree suppliers. And don’t forget, if you’re short of time then we can even put up your tree and decorate it for you while you’re out at work or Christmas shopping! Get in touch for more details.
1 Prime position
Take some time to consider where best to place your Christmas tree, especially if space is at a premium in your home.
Ideally it will be near a plug socket, to avoid wires becoming a trip hazard. Don’t be afraid to re-arrange furniture if necessary, to keep it safe from pets and children.
If you’ve opted for a real tree, pick a location that’s as cool as possible, away from radiators and fires. This will prevent it from drying out too much and keep it looking good for longer.
2 Size matters
Once you’ve picked the spot for your tree, you’ll need to measure the space for width, depth and ceiling height. Don’t forget to factor-in the height of your tree stand and the topper too, you don’t want a squashed angel! If you do need to trim your tree down to size, always trim it from the bottom so it maintains its triangular shape.
3 Drink up
If you have a real tree, now’s the time to give it a good drink before you start decorating it – this will help it to stay fresher for longer. Don’t forget to top the water up regularly, especially during the first seven to ten days, which is when they take up the most water.
4 All about the base
Before you start decorating, cover the stand of your tree with either a skirt, basket or pot. This will hide the ugly plastic tree holder and extension leads from view.
If you have an artificial tree, chances are it will have been squashed in a box for the past year. To really show off your tree to its full potential, spend at least 45 minutes fluffing and fanning the branches. This will help your tree look more realistic.
6 Light it up
It’s worth spending time getting your Christmas lights positioned just right, but save yourself from frustration by making sure the lights are working before you put them on! Start from the top and work your way down, weaving them around every major branch and leaving about 15cm between the loops.
How many lights do you need? At Hour Hands, we say you can never have too many! A good rule of thumb is 100 lights for every foot-and-a-half of tree. However, if you love lights, you may want to double or even triple that amount. Use the chart below for the recommended number of lights for fresh-cut trees:
|Tree Height||Number of Lights|
|6 to 7 Feet||400 to 700|
|7.5 to 8.5 Feet||700 to 1,000|
|9 to 10 Feet||1,000 to 1,300|
7 Grand designs
Are you looking for a traditional, modern, vintage, natural or Scandi look? The best-looking trees have a key look that ties all the decorations together. Use sites like Pinterest to gather inspiration.
Garlands add texture to your tree and there is plenty of choice out there, including beads, tinsel, foliage and string. As with the lights, start from the top and work your way round. You’ll usually need two strands of garland for every vertical foot of tree.
Start from the inside of your tree and work outwards; starting with baubles near the trunk will give your tree a sense of depth. Nobody wants a droopy tree, so hang the largest and heaviest decorations from the strongest branches! Leave your smaller decorations until last and use them to fill in any gaps. It’s also a good idea to keep your tree lights on at this point, to give you an idea of the overall look as you work.
10 The finishing touch
Whether you opt for a traditional star or angel, give your final touch the wow factor. If you fancy a change from the traditional route, there are lots of alternative options to choose from, including birds and snowflakes. We’ve even spotted a cat and a llama on our travels! (see below)
Images clockwise, from top left:
Our Little Black Book
Where to find the best artificial trees
Images clockwise, from top left:
The best places to buy real trees locally
- Dane End Christmas Tree Farm, Nr Ware, Herts
- Badger Hill Christmas Tree Farm, Maulden, Beds
- Pines and Needles, home delivery and across the south of England
- Littlefield Farm, Harpenden, Herts
- Hatfield Christmas Trees, Hatfield, Herts
We hope you find our tips helpful at this busy time of year, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you could do with an extra pair of hands!