Dress up Your Christmas Tree like a Pro! Grab These Festive Decorating Tips.

by John Walsh on January 06, 2022

Are you pressed for time this Christmas season or just don’t know where to start when it comes to doing up the Christmas tree? There’s no need to deck ALL the halls in your home right away! Start by focusing on your Christmas tree. It’s where all the action is on Christmas morning after all...

Up your festive game with our step-by-step Christmas tree decorating guide.

Gather the Family Elves for an Instagrammable Moment 

Save the date this weekend! Why not make it an enjoyable family moment and get everyone involved! Put on the hot chocolate, light the fire, and start the Christmas playlist. 

Use this moment to get the whole family together for some wholesome quality time and take some pics - you won’t regret it. What a great way to start the season!

And most importantly, don’t forget to let every member of the family have a say in the decorating, otherwise things could turn sour quickly...

Let’s do this!

Where to Place the Christmas Tree?

Well now… thing is, if you want your good work to be admired from afar and outside, placement is everything. It is also traditional in this part of the world to have it by the front room bay window if you have one.

Most of us tend to have it in a key focal point which tends to be the living room or family room near the fireplace (but not too close) or for some, the main hall is ideal in a bigger property.

What’s important is that you have a mains socket nearby to plug the lights into and sufficient height and space at the base.

Do make sure that it is not a fire hazard or obstruction to key exit points. This may mean moving occasional furniture out of the room to make way just for the season.

There’s even a blog that spells out  The Best Places to Put your Christmas Tree (especially if you have 2 trees going).


What to Put Under the Christmas Tree?

It’s important that your tree survives the season especially if it's a natural one. To keep it thriving, cut a little off the bottom and place the tree base into a dedicated Christmas Tree Base.

Look for a tub with adjustable fixings to hold the Christmas tree trunk in place. It will contain a waterproof well that helps you keep your Christmas Tree hydrated if you keep adding water to the centre of the stand.

With a natural tree, there will be falling pine needles over time so do invest in a simple Christmas Tree Blanket or a Festive Christmas Tree Skirt as some may call it. These are custom made circular floor overlays that protect your floor at the base of the tree from debris, and your presents from getting scuffed on the floor itself.


Ready to Decorate your Christmas Tree like a Pro?

Now you’re ready to get moving on the pretty stuff. Here is a handy sequence of steps to follow. We will be taking a layered approach.

Before you start hanging anything, here’s another tip. If it is a natural tree, and heavier in parts, step back and pull out the secateurs. Trim away any bits that jut out too far to even out the silhouette.

You can recycle these little bits into your wreath, use it on the mantel or as a trimming in your gift wrapping for hampers.

1.   Christmas Tree Lights Go on First

When it comes to picking your Christmas tree lights - make sure you pick strands that match the colour of the tree you’re using. Choose green for natural trees and of course if it’s an artificial tree with frosted leaves, go for something lighter in colour.

As the lights will have to be plugged into a socket, start from the base of the tree trunk and wind your lights round the tree upwards. Be sure to wrap the lights around every major branch.

If you have lots of length to work with - drape the strand of lights from the trunk to the tip of the branches and back, especially along larger branches at the base.

It is a good time to start spreading out, fluff out and unfurl sticky squished branches as you work your way around.

You can mix and match different coloured lights with plain warm yellow or white fairy lights.

When picking lights be sure to:

  • Check the length of the cables and the strand to ensure sufficient cover for the tree size. Use a tape measure around your tree if not sure. For example, a 6ft Tree may need 600 lights.

  • Consider the theme of your Christmas tree decorations. If your theme this year is Vintage or if you have a period theme in your home, go for warmer yellow or white lights.

  • Look for settings if you want a dynamic effect - whether it's static, flashing or alternating in effect.

There is a pretty good practical guide here on How to Put Lights on a Christmas Tree.


2.   Start with the Tree Topper

That’s right we START with the tree topper before anything breakable or ornamental goes on. This is because there’s always the danger of knocking off any fragile ornaments when you're reaching up to place the tree topper.

You could go with a Star Christmas Topper or a Vintage Heirloom Angel.

You could really top it with any statement piece you want! Add personality or a contemporary kitsch look to your Christmas theme with a novelty piece! 


3.   Swathe on Garlands, Beads and Tinsel

Now that you’ve wrapped your tree in lights and plugged them in, it will give you the definition, glow, and shape to guide the rest of your decorations.

Now you can wrap strands of the following types of decoration horizontally, before hanging on smaller ornaments. 


  • Garlanded Tinsel

  • Beaded string

  • Popcorn string

  • Wide Ornamental Ribbon


4.   Hanging Decorations Go Next

This step includes all the hanging Christmas tree decorations such as novelty decorations and traditional baubles.

Start with the larger, more extravagant looking pieces, core baubles and heavier items.

  • Place larger statement pieces first. The larger they are, the further apart they should be. Then move on to subsequent smaller pieces.


  • For larger natural trees, you should hang the heavier larger ornaments closer to the trunk as the branches may droop if they’re hung at the ends.

  • Hang the bauble sets where you have the most quantity first as a base, then the sets with smaller quantities as accents and finally, the unique or once off pieces in key locations

  • If you just have one or 2 statement bespoke pieces that bring you the most pleasure, or are the most visually arresting, then you should place these in a good vantage point. This ensures they are the first thing to catch your attention when approaching the tree.

  • Make sure you keep looking at your tree from every angle as you don’t want any bald spots. You’re excused of course if it’s totally covered by the back wall, and you’ve run out of baubles!

  • Maximise the sparkle and iridescence of your decorations by placing them strategically in front of the fairy lights.

  • Alternate larger versus smaller decorations and alternate different textured ornaments when moving horizontally around the tree.

  • Once most of the ornaments are done - this is a good time to frost the tree with little vertical strands of tinsel or finish off with the smallest pieces like the crystal drops or faux icicles.

For more advice checkout this article on How to decorate your Christmas tree from homesandgardens.com.


5.   Lay on the Presents

Now you're ready to place the presents. Make sure you have name tags on them all or things could get confusing very quickly.

Place them in order around the tree so that the presents you are likely to give out later in the season are at the back and the ones at the front are for guests you’ll see first.

Once done, be sure to take that Instagrammable shot, preferable with the fire blazing in the background!


How Long Should Your Tree Stay Up?

Traditionally, your Christmas decorations should stay up for the 12 days of Christmas right up to January 6th or Women’s Christmas as we call it here in Ireland.

Shopping List

If you’re heading into any of our stores here’s a handy go-to shopping guide for decorative accessories, ornaments, and artificial Christmas trees.

Catch it online on our Christmas page or head to any Homevalue.ie store to grab a brochure.

Have we missed any essential hacks or tips that you’ve known all along? Share them with us on Facebook and Instagram and share your finished tree pics too!