Easy Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

Create your designer-looking tree step-by-step on a budget, how to make DIY Christmas bows, Christmas tree themes, and more

Throughout the holiday season the Christmas Tree is the centerpiece of the home. Here are easy, inexpensive tips and techniques to make yours special.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro: Easy Decorating Tips

I’ll tell you the honest truth. For many years all I did was open up ornament boxes, load up the Christmas tree, stand back, and wonder, is this it? I hadn’t studied the art of decorating a tree. I had no plan, no color scheme, just boxes of stuff. And you know what? It was fine. We had fun. The kids put their homemade ornaments front and center with pride, and we were happy. But if you are wanting a fancy tree or just want to add more sophistication and style to your Christmas tree, I’m here to say, it’s easy and fun. And the best part is it doesn’t have to cost a lot. It just takes a little planning and a few strategies.

Actually, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to turn tree decor into an art. There are so many styles of tree decorating. The options are endless. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. So, I am going to break it down and show you how to create an artistic, swoon-worthy tree with some easy Christmas tree decorating tips.

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Inexpensive easy DIY bows add the perfect wow factor to your Christmas Tree

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Choose a Theme or Color Scheme for Your Christmas Tree

First things first, you need to choose a theme. You can choose one theme for your entire Christmas decor so everything works together. Or, you can go room by room. Some people put up several trees and each tree has it’s own theme. If you have a variety of themes throughout your home just be sure that the surrounding area goes together.

Examples of Christmas Tree Themes:

  • Country or Rustic Christmas
  • Traditional Christmas
  • Silver Christmas, Gold Christmas, or a mix of metallic
  • White Christmas
  • Natural Christmas (green and brown)
  • Blue Christmas
  • Modern or Glam (color combinations can vary)

Flocked traditional Christmas tree that's inexpensive and easy to create with these step by step tips

Brainstorming your Christmas Tree Theme

Your theme can be simply the colors you’ve chosen, or you can define the mood or style and then choose the colors which you will use to express that style. For example, this year before any buying or decorating began I started to brainstorm. Since my decorating style has been increasingly farmhouse oriented I chose to continue with my holiday decor and create a “Country, Rustic Farmhouse Christmas.”

Decorating isn’t a science. It’s an art. So, like any art, you make it up. It comes from your creativity. Remember that and you’ll have fun and not worry about any rules. Every suggestion that follows is just that, a suggestion. In the end, you can do whatever you want.

So next I thought about what would that mean for Christmas. I imagined tartan, a lot of tartan. I imagined plaid, red, old-fashioned details, antiques, rustic, natural elements, pine cones, farmhouse details.

My advice is to look at all you own first, and then shop. I don’t always take my own advice, but I try. Also, it’ best to begin with a plan. I know some of you are planners and some of you have to create organically (as it comes to you). The more you can brainstorm and gather supplies in advance the better the process will be.

Ribbon Bows are an inexpensive and easy idea to turn your Christmas tree into a masterpiece

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With these supplies and my easy instructions you will be a master bow maker in no time.

Let’s Build Your Christmas Tree

So after the lights are on it’s time for bows. Bows are relatively inexpensive and easy to create. You can use two, three, four different ribbons to create your bows. You’ll want to incorporate all your colors in your bow choices. I suggest using different widths, one wide and billowy, two mid-range (approx. 2″), and one thinner (1/2′-1″).

You can find my ribbon choices for my “Country Rustic Farmhouse” theme below.

We have included these affiliate links to help you with shopping convenience. These purchases also help support our blog. We know you have choices about where to shop. We appreciate your support if you choose to shop with us.

Christmas Tree Bow Shopping List (with links)



a red plaid ribbon to add to the Christmas tree.

A smaller burlap ribbon for the Christmas tree.

I recommend buying ribbon with wire. They often cost a bit more, but in my opinion they are worth it. You can shape these ribbons beautifully, and they look great year after year when you bring them out of storage.

Besides ribbon you also need:

craft wire

  • sharp scissors


Easy to make DIY bows add the perfect professional look to your Christmas Tree

These bows are simple to make and really add the “wow” factor to your tree.

5 Easy Steps to Making Your Christmas Tree Bows

1. Cut

  • To begin, cut approximately 30 inch pieces.
  • I recommend using different width ribbons for added interest.

Easy to follow instructions help you create magical Christmas Bows for Christmas tree decor and more

2. Fold

  • Next, fold  your pieces in half
  • Grab them all together holding each in a loop position.

Create gorgeous Bow Decor with this DIY tutorial

3. Wrap

  • Next, wrap a piece of craft wire around the ribbon loop to secure.
  • Leave enough wire to attach ribbon to tree.

Step by Step Tutorial guides you to create masterful bows for decor

4. Gather

  • Gather your ribbons and secure them tightly with craft wire.

Create gorgeous bows for your tree and decor

5. Spread

  • Then spread out your ribbons so they create side by side loops.
  • Spread out the tails so it looks like a flower.

Add Beautiful ribbons and bows to your Holiday Decor

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  • Remember to trim the tails on the diagonal (if you haven’t already).
  • Finally, attach in a diamond shape all around the Christmas tree.

Create a stunning, professional looking holiday tree with this tutorial.

Surprising Christmas Tree Elements

In order to create an artful Christmas tree you need to think outside the box. Besides having a Christmas tree that looks amazing, often these elements can be way less expensive than regular ornaments. For example, I thought about what items I already owned that expressed farmhouse, rustic, country decor.

I came up with two items that I had plenty of already: pine cones and cotton stems. Using wire cutters I cut up my cotton stems into small pieces to add to the tree. I recommend heading to the floral aisle instead of the Christmas aisle to find festive floral stems that add your colors and mood to the tree.

3 Easy Tips to Decorating Your Christmas Tree

No matter what you decide to use to create your Christmas tree, here are the key points to remember:

  1. Firstly, cut up your floral stems so you don’t have big clumps.
  2. Next, cluster your elements, don’t scatter or sprinkle.
  3. Finally, arrange in diamond patterns around your Christmas tree.

Step by Step professional decorating tips to create a magical holiday Tree

How to Arrange Christmas Ornaments

Here are some rules of thumb to artfully arrange Christmas ornaments on your Christmas tree.

  1. Don’t let ornaments dangle from long strings. Instead attach a hook at the base and attach from there to the tree. The key is to make the ornament look like it is growing right from the branch. It makes such an improvement.
  2. Repeat ornaments to give your tree a cohesive look.
  3. Bunch ornaments by attaching three together with your craft wire and attach your trio to the Christmas tree.
  4. Have your color scheme fully represented in your trio bunch.

Use surprising elements to create unique holiday look

Have fun adding unique elements to your tree. To create a rustic farmhouse feel, I added pine cones and cotton stems throughout the tree.

Final Christmas Tree Touches

Lastly, I recommend using some element to drape around the tree in sweeping motions. This adds cohesion, drama, fullness, and another layer of dimension. Most often this is created by ribbon. Large mesh ribbon (6-12″ wide) is a great choice.

The other most common option is garland. Your choice of garland will depend entirely on your theme. The choices are endless, from the traditional popcorn and cranberries, to modern beads, and on and on. Since my theme is rustic, I decided to use long twig-like “floral” pieces. These really added the final “je ne sais quoi” to my Christmas tree turning it from flat and predictable into a three dimensional sculpture.

Christmas Tree and Holiday Decor to Inspire

Jodie and I have many more Christmas tree decorating and holiday inspiration posts. Here are some of our favorite Christmas home tours:

Crazy for Buffalo Check Christmas Home Tour

Most Merry & Bright Christmas Decorating Ideas

Farmhouse Christmas Tour

Welcome to My Rich & Colorful Holiday Home Tour

Create a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree with these easy tips

Why Do We Decorate Christmas Trees?

Besides the obvious reasons, ever wonder why we decorate a Christmas tree? Tradition of course. But what started this long-held tradition? Knowing the origins of our traditions adds even more meaning to them. If you are fascinated like we are read the brief History of Christmas Trees. Your new understanding may even lead to a fun family discussion this holiday.

I hope we have given your some inspiration and motivation to create your own masterpiece. You are truly only limited by your own imagination. Get creative and enjoy the process. You don’t need fancy or expensive ornaments to create a magical Christmas tree that will add joy and beauty to your holiday celebrations. If you think outside the box it is easy and inexpensive to create a Christmas tree you’re proud of and that your family will love.

Happy Holidays and Happy Decorating!

jodie & julie

easy designer tips Christmas tree decorating

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Easy Christmas Tree Decorating Tips
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Easy Christmas Tree Decorating Tips
Want your Christmas tree to look professional? Follow these easy strategies to create a stunning masterpiece without spending a lot! Step by step easy-to-follow bow making tips.
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The Design Twins
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  1. Racheal says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to get away from our normal hodgepodge tree this year and your tips will definitely help me do that.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi Racheal, I am SO very glad to hear that it helped. All my efforts are already worth it to me hearing that you are excited to implement some of my ideas. I hope you will let me know how it turns out! Thank you for reading and especially for your kind reply. You just made my night. Blessings to you and your family, Julie

    • Sally Muratori says:

      Your tree is absolutely gorgeous. Love your style. Just starting following you , can’t wait for mores inspiration . Thank you Merry Christmas!!?

      • jjdesigntwins says:

        Sally, Thank you SO much for your kind reply! Your words are like a gift. I am very happy that you are inspired by my ideas. I hope you come back often and that this is just the beginning of a fun friendship. Never hesitate to reach out, ask questions, and share. We just love feeling connected to our readers. Many blessings and Merry Christmas to you too. With love, Julie & Jodie

  2. Kelsey G says:

    I love that you talked about your Christmas tree with random and handmade ornaments and how you loved it for a long time. That is what we had for many years,and I love it, and the kids love it but the last few years I’ve wanted to soruce it up a bit. This year I’m going to try these bows!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Kelsey, Welcome to our blog, and thank you so much for your reply. I’m glad you like my honesty about the happy years with a “regular” tree! Jodie and I are here to be real and honest always. We are teachers, raised by teachers, so we hope we come across in the most sincere and humble manner. I’m excited that you are going to try the bows. I know you are going to love them…so easy and inexpensive! How can you beat that? Happy Holidays, and we hope to see you again soon on the blog! Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  3. Jess says:

    Thank you for the tips! We have too many littles (currently our own 4.5 & 2.5 year old boys, and 10 months & 3 weeks old foster sons!) for a tree this year, but I will be coming back to this list in years to come! THANKS!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Oh my goodness, Jess! You certainly have your hands full! God bless you for taking in those young babes! You truly must have a heart of gold to take on so many of God’s children. We hope you will come back and visit our blog as often as you can for the sheer fun of it! We are wishing you a wonderful holiday season and many blessings. With love, Julie & Jodie

  4. kim says:

    gorgeous! great suggestions! kim xx

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi Kim, Welcome New Friend! Jodie and I are so happy you joined us on the blog! Perhaps you were prompted by our IG giveaway, and that’s great! We hope that you will enjoy our blog now and in the future. We love to get to know our followers and love interacting as well. Let us know how your tree turns out. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our other posts and have the Happiest of Holidays! With gratitude, Julie & Jodie

  5. Tara Peterson says:

    So many great tips!! I’m learning more and more about home decor since we bought our first home. It’s hard with two small children who like to get into everything! lol, we have to make it simple and safe at least until they get older and learn to not pull off ornaments or table decor. But ideas like this, themes and color schemes are right up the alley that I want to do !

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi Tara, and Welcome! Gosh, I do remember those years! Our youngest is 13, so it’s been a while. I know everyone says, savor, enjoy, time flies, but gosh it sure does. One minute your’re in the thick of things, and the next your’e looking back. I’m so glad you found our blog and that we can accompany you on your journey of homemaking and decorating. Because Jodie and I are here to help! We hope you’ll become a regular here, interact with us, ask us questions, and enjoy! We wish you many blessings. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie

  6. Pam Ballard says:

    So glad to have found your blog! I am an identical twin! She is my best friend! Isn’t it grand! I look forward to your blog!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Welcome Pam! We are so glad you found us too! Haha, yes, being a twin is GRAND! And of course we are slightly partial to the identical type…it’s just that much more fun, wink wink. Now you need to tell your sis to come join us to and we have have a party on the blog. We hope you will come back often, leave us messages so we know you are here and let us know more about you (it’s only fair)! Thanks again for your message. Blessings to your and your sis, XO ~ Julie & Jodie

  7. Tracy says:

    Love your blog!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Yay Tracy! Welcome to our blog! We are super excited you joined us here, and can’t wait for more opportunities to interact with you. We so appreciate your kind support. Happy Holidays and God Bless, Julie & jodie

  8. lisa says:

    Thank you Julie for all of the lovely tips for decorating. Thank you both for sharing yourselves and your heart for decorating.

    God bless and happy holiday!


    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Aw Lisa, You are SO sweet! We thank YOU!…for following along, reading, and also your kind reply. It really does make it all worthwhile to hear that others enjoy our words and efforts. We hope our sincerity comes across in all we do. We look forward to continuing this wonderful journey of inspiration and friendship. Many blessings to you and your family, Julie & Jodie

  9. Rhonda says:

    I am so glad I have found your blog and IG account…two talented ladies!! Your tips and inspiration are amazing! Thank you for sharing your talents. I do have a question……
    Do you buy the twig you used on this beautiful tree or is it from your yard? I would love to use this idea on my tree!

    Thank you so much!
    Many blessings!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Rhonda, OH my word! Your kindness means SO much to us! We are grateful you have found us, and we really appreciate the generous feedback. As to your question, the “twigs” were purchased. I tried researching online to find them and had no luck. The store where I got them is the boutique where I used to work and they don’t ship…But they were about 6 pieces of those twine-like branches connected together, and I just pulled them apart. What makes them better than the yard is a) no potential for bugs and b) these were easily bendable and manipulated in curving ways.
      Thank you again for you sweet comment. We appreciate you!
      Blessings, Julie & Jodie

  10. Mel says:

    Loving the burlap and plaid! Thank you!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Welcome Mel! We are so glad you made it over here to our blog! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to write a kind reply! I don’t know what the deal is with me and plaid, tartan, and burlap…but I basically cannot get enough!! I think it’s my growing fascination with farmhouse style, which goes vintage, traditional, old world, rustic, country, cottage…and all of that means Christmas must have plenty of plaid and burlap!
      Thanks again and God Bless!
      Julie & Jodie

  11. Brooke says:

    This was beyond helpful. My plan is to do a red and gold tree in my formal living room and leave the kids to decorate the family room tree as they please. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Welcome to our blog, Brooke! Thank you for reading and your kind reply. It really means a lot to Jodie and me. And hearing that this post helped give you ideas just makes my night! I’m sure it will be a smashing success. Come back and let us know it goes. We hope we can inspire you many more times in the future. Happy Holidays!
      With Gratitude,
      Julie & Jodie

  12. May Lynn Mahler says:

    I appreciate this so much, thank you! I just want my tree to look good and I think I can apply these tips but my, I still don’t think it will look as amazing as yours does! A girl can dream!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Welcome to our blog, May! How it warms our hearts to hear that you liked the blog post and benefited from our ideas! Yay! It really does make it all worthwhile. We are sure your tree with be fabulous. Because we promise…it is not hard. You got this, Girlfriend! Cheers and Happy Happy Holidays to you and your family.
      XO ~ Julie & Jodie

  13. Wow… Amazing Tutorial to decorate the Christmas tree. The Decoration tips you have given are very easy to understand and we can also do it in our home. Thanks for sharing such a great post. Waiting for next good post. 🙂

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts. We really appreciate it!.
      Love and blessings, Julie & Jodie

  14. Joy Butler says:

    I absolutely love your ideas! Christmas is only a couple of months away and I cannot wait to decorate our house! Your bow concept is great. I’d like to decorate our tree with that instead of just wrapping it in garland. Thanks for the great tips!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi Joy,
      You are so right! Christmas is not far off! Hard to believe, but true. I’m so glad you like the bows. It was a lot of fun to create something new for the tree…and they are so easy and versatile no matter what your style. Have fun with your decorating and we hope you’ll come back often for more ideas and fun! XO ~ Julie & Jodie

  15. I just got my first home, and I am starting to think about how I will decorate it for Christmas. I liked that you pointed out that I don’t need to go crazy with expensive ornaments to get a good look. It seems like having a few expensive ornaments placed well can help give the tree a better look.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      We are so glad you got some ideas for decorating your home for the holidays! Jodie and I hope you continue to find inspiration on the blog in the future!
      XO ~ Jodie & Julie

  16. Christmas tree decorating is very hard work. Most of the people don’t understand how to decorating Christmas tree. Your blog is very helpful for decorating Christmas tree. Thanks you share the useful tips.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      We are glad these tips for decorating a Christmas tree were helpful to you! Thank you for the kind comments and we hope to see you on our blog in the future!
      XO ~ Jodie & Julie

  17. Derek Dewitt says:

    I am getting ready to decorate my Christmas tree soon, so thanks for these tips! I like your point about not letting ornaments dangle from long strings. I’ll try putting the hook at the base of the branch so it looks like an extension of the branch.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Derek, Thanks so much for visiting our blog. Christmas tree decorating is an art, not a science, but even still there are ideas and tips that can help us imagine new ways of decorating our trees that get us thinking outside the box. Every tree should be an expression of one’s own aesthetic. Glad you enjoyed our ideas. All the best, Julie & Jodie

  18. Milly Egan says:

    Absolutely wonderful tree decorating tips Julie & Jodie! We also love the rustic country theme. Placing the hand tied bows throughout the tree is such a brilliant method for pulling the whole look together.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Milly, You are so sweet! We sure are glad you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned. Every year we try to make it fresh with new ideas and themes 🙂 ~ Julie & Jodie

  19. BRIAN says:

    Such an informative post… totally new to all of this. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Darlene says:

    How do I download your free cheat sheets and guides?

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Darlene, We are so sorry about that. We fixed the code so the links to our free guides now work. Thanks so much for alerting us to the fact that it wasn’t working. Hope you enjoy. All the best, Julie & Jodie

  21. […] so you don’t have big clumps. · Next, cluster your elements, don’t scatter or … Easy Christmas Tree Decorating Tips – The Design Twins 24 Ağu 2021 — Rollins says she loves to use real pine cones to decorate the tree and dips the […]

  22. […] so you don’t have big clumps. · Next, cluster your elements, don’t scatter or … Easy Christmas Tree Decorating Tips – The Design Twins 4 Eki 2021 — From rustic Christmas trees to farmhouse Christmas trees, there are christmas tree […]

  23. Julie Buckley says:

    I really love this article- although I’m a few years late lol. From one Julie to another Julie, thank you for some great ideas and a few great suggestions for tree trimming!!! I’m excited to start exploring your site!! Wishing you and your sister a beautiful & magical holiday season!!!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Julie, We love hearing from you. And we’re so excited that you found some inspiring ideas here. It makes what we do feel so worthwhile when we receive kind messages like yours. We wish you a blessed and beautiful holiday as well. Love, Julie (and Jodie)

  24. […] Lastly, we’re recommending a highly informative article that teaches us how to make everything we’ll need to decorate the Christmas tree. Prepare to get your hands dirty as we learn how to decorate a Christmas tree like a professional. Click here! […]

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