Decorating a Magazine-worthy Christmas Tree

Now, don’t get us wrong. Family Christmas trees full of sentimental and homemade ornaments are what this season is all about. But if you’re wanting to up your style this year, or you’ve got a second tree for showing off, these tips will help you decorate a showstopper tree to rival any West Elm or CB2 winter catalog.

Collect your Tools

Before you start, make sure you’ve got all the tools you need to assist decorating. This includes a ladder or step stool, gloves to protect your hands while fluffing branches, scissors, extra ornament hooks, and a mug of hot cocoa. That last one is optional.

Splurge on a Good Tree

Ever heard the phrase ‘putting lipstick on a pig’? Well, it applies here. The best decorating skills in the world can only do so much for a low-quality artificial tree. A good tree is certainly a bit of an investment, but if you purchase one made of high-quality materials, it will last for many years. 

Stick with a traditional style, and not something super trendy. Otherwise you run the risk of it going out of style too soon. Pre-lit Christmas trees are especially popular as they make the job of decorating easier, but if you like to mix up your lights each year, this may not be the best route for you. When choosing a tree, also look at how easy they are to set up and store, as these can contribute to the wear and tear over the years. 

But you don’t have to go artificial. Get a real tree if that’s what you want! Just be sure to pick one out with good volume and no major gaps in the branches.


Yes, it’s tedious. But fluffing and shaping the branches just can’t be skipped. Separate out each branch to take up as much space as possible. Once they’ve all been shaped, scan your tree for any holes and adjust the branches to cover best you can. Ornaments can cover some gaps, but they can’t completely make up for an unfulfilled tree. 

Pick a Theme

This is what sets apart the typical family tree from a magazine-worthy Christmas tree. Picking a theme helps create a cohesive look across the decorations, and set the vibe for your tree. Your theme could be a certain color scheme, a favorite destination, a classic holiday movie, or even a more abstract concept. 

The Lights

If you don’t have a pre-lit tree, you’ll obviously have to string some lights yourself. A good benchmark to follow for how many lights is 100 bulbs per 2ft of tree. To string, start by wrapping the plug end around your tree trunk and work your way up the tree, stringing the lights on the inner branches. Once you reach the top, wind your way back down, stringing the lights on the outer branches. 

And don’t forget to weave. The strand should alternate hanging above and then below each branch as you go.

Choosing Decorations

Make sure to stick with your theme when selecting decorations, and go for a variety of sizes, shapes and textures. Mix it up with garlands, ribbons, baubles, floral picks and more. You’ll also want to find a showstopping tree topper to catch the eye and enhance the style. And don’t forget a tree skirt to compliment your theme and give the bottom of the tree a finished look. 

Already got your tree decorated with your Woven Nook tree skirt? We’d love to see! Tag us on Instagram so we can enjoy it too.

December 21, 2020 — Jordan Towner

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