How to decorate a Christmas tree in 7 easy steps
Offering a 7 step "treetorial" on how to deck out your Christmas tree.
If you've yet to select the tree itself, the best real Christmas trees come from Secret Valley Christmas Trees!
Step 1 - Pick a good location
You need to consider where to place the tree, especially if space is at a premium in your home. Ideally it will be near a plug socket, avoiding the need for wires across the living room floor, and you can re-arrange furniture if necessary to avoid clumsy kids and wagging tails from getting in the way of your festive creation. Pick a location that's as cool as possible ( far away from radiators and fires ). This will prevent it from drying out too much ahead of the big day.
Step 2 - Measure up
Having picked the best place for your tree, measure the width, depth and ceiling height and don't forget to factor-in the height of your tree stand and the topper too. Give your tree enough room so its branches hang freely and you can decorate all around.
Tip: If you've got a tree that's too tall, always trim it from the bottom so it maintains its triangular shape.
Step 3 - Get your lighting right
Spend a good half an hour or so getting your Christmas lights positioned just right. Start from the top and work your way down, weaving them around every major branch and leaving about six inches between the loops.
Tip: Save yourself from frustration and make sure the lights are working before you put them on.
Step 4 - Choose a colour scheme
Choosing colours that go well together and keeping to a theme can be a key part of your tree-building skill. If in doubt, stick to a simple scheme.
Reds, greens and golds fit a traditional-style for Christmas. Yellow and white lights as LEDs can give a more blue hue. For a winter look, pick silver, blues and purples or for a more minimalist tree look to white, silver and traditional wooden decorations.
Tip: Variety is key - don't go too matchy, matchy with your theme and decorations throughout your tree and your home.
Step 5 - Garland
Either beads, ribbon or foil, garlands add texture to your tree. Again, start from the top and work your way round. You'll need two strands of garland for every vertical foot of tree.
Tip:It's best to do this before the baubles and other decorations, so you don't knock them off.
Step 6 - Baubles
Now here's the fun bit. When hanging baubles, start from the inside of your tree and work out. Start with plain-coloured baubles as a base, (a cheaper, multi-pack is ideal) adding in more decorative, expensive baubles later.
Hang the larger baubles closer to the centre of the tree to give it more depth, and use smaller ones balls towards the ends of the branches. Spread them evenly and use a variety of shapes and sizes.
Tip: Move expensive, glass baubles to the top - you know what will happen to them otherwise.
Step 7- Topper
Now for the crowning touch to your festive masterpiece - an eye-catching Christmas tree topper.
Traditional topper options have their roots in religion - the star representing the Star of Bethlehem which guided the Three Kings to baby Jesus, while the angel symbolises the angels who announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.
If you're not keen on either of these, there's lots of other options on the market to suit all tastes, including personalised toppers, snowflakes and birds. (Apparently peacocks and flamingos are on trend this year).
Tip: Beware of toppers that are heavy - they will have to sit on the flimsiest part of your tree for several weeks so make sure your topper isn't in danger of toppling.