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How to dress a Christmas tree

No home is ready for Christmas without a tree. Whether you choose a traditional theme or go bold with colour,
this decoration will bring joy to the whole family during the merry season.

Learning how to dress a Christmas tree is easier said than done. Follow our step-by-step guide, and you can’t go wrong.
In just seven steps, you’ll have a beautifully-decorated tree you’ll be proud to show off to friends and family.

When to decorate a Christmas tree

Fans of tradition usually decorate trees at the beginning of advent – the fourth Sunday before Christmas.
Some people decorate their Christmas tree on the 1st of December, while others wait until 12 days before Christmas.
If you’re a festive fanatic, you could go as early as the start of November – it’s your tree!


Step 1 - How to fluff up a Christmas tree

Artificial trees, new or old, are typically stored in boxes, so you’ll need to shape them to achieve that full silhouette. Start by fanning out the tips of each branch in different directions to avoid gaps. Once you’ve tackled the branches individually, step back and look at the tree as a whole. Then inspect each layer to ensure consistency.

Here are some top tips to bear in mind:

• It’s a good idea to protect your hands and wear gloves when bending the tree’s wire branches.
• Rope in the whole family to get the job done quicker.
• Look at the reference photo on the box to get an idea of the shape you’re aiming for.

Step 2 - Choose your Christmas tree theme

Before you start decorating, you need a clear vision of your theme. Not sure what look would suit your home?
Here are our top themes to get you inspired.

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Classic and traditional

If your home is filled with character and a quaint feel, a classic, timeless tree is the one for you. A traditional Christmas tree is all about embracing the typical festive colours whilst also incorporating nature-inspired decorations. Think red and green baubles with a pop of gold, Christmas tree bows and natural garlands.

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Bright and colourful

Love a splash of colour in the home? Opt for a rainbow of baubles, ornaments and tinsel. A white tree typically works best with this theme - a blank canvas that helps make the colours pop.

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Minimalist white

Minimalist, modern homes are perfect settings for an equally neutral tree. A white-themed tree harnesses the magic of festive snow and oozes class and style. Icy white and silver baubles look fantastic with snowy tinsel and garlands. An all-white or snow-dusted tree will beautifully complement this theme.

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Quirky retro

Christmas is all about nostalgia, so what better way to conjure lovely memories than by giving your tree a retro feel? Achieve this look by pairing quirky new ornaments alongside family favourites that have been passed down generations. These trees typically have an effortless, almost messy look, so feel free to let the children take charge!

Step 3 - Arrange your Christmas tree lights

You’ve picked your theme; now come the decorations! It’s best to start with the Christmas tree lights, as it’s easier
to plan the positioning without the distraction of baubles and ornaments. First, unwrap the lights on the floor and
switch them on to check they’re working. Then, add them to the tree, starting at the top
and winding down until you reach the bottom.

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Step 4 - Start adding Christmas tree ornaments

Now that the lights are glistening, fill in the gaps with your chosen ornaments and baubles. Support heavy ornaments by hanging them on the back of the branch closest to the trunk, and create balance by placing giant baubles at the bottom rather than the top.

How to prioritise your favourite Christmas baubles

You may have just bought a personalised bauble for this year or have an antique ornament that has sentimental value.
Your favourite baubles should always take pride of place on your tree, so make sure they’re hung
at the front and in a well-lit area.

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Step 5 - Dress branches with Christmas tree bows

Decorate the ends of branches with Christmas tree bows. They may be typical of traditional themes, but with so many colours available, it’s easy to find bows to match any style. Spread them evenly around the tree in between your baubles and ornaments.

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Step 6 - Fill empty spots with Christmas tree picks

Take a step back and look at your masterpiece. Do you still have some empty spaces? Don’t panic; just fill them with tree picks! Slide these at different angles to bring depth and dimension to your beautiful tree.

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Step 7 - Add your festive tree topper

Stars and angels are the classic choices for a tree topper. In recent years, more modern styles have made a bid for the top spot. The humble bow is now a popular choice; many of these come with attached ribbon garlands that add even more magic.

In seven easy steps, you now have a magical Christmas tree that’s a fitting centrepiece for the season. So what’s next?
Read our complete guide on festive decorations to tackle the rest of your home.

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