Designer Tips for a Fab Christmas Tree!

Here is more of my Christmas decor reveal!!! This is the PINK Christmas tree in my guest bedroom! I hope you love it as much as I do!!! At the end of the post there is a slew of tips on how to get a designer look on  your Christmas trees in your home!

I love my pink Christmas tree--I've used it now for several years--previously in my living room, but I wanted more traditional French feel this year, so I put all of my pastel Christmas goodies in the Pink & Green bedroom.

To keep the pink tree, complete with pink lights from being, well, too pink. I used a garland of burlap ribbon, I then added some tissue paper flowers edged in glitter my friend Brenda made from old dress patterns. She wired them to alligator clips so they stay in place nicely.


I wanted a fairly monochromatic look on the tree, so I added lots and lots of vintage silver Shiny Brites, and further toned it down by adding some newer shatterproof ornaments I had left over from a display in my shop I closed this past February. 

Some of the newer ornaments were matte silver, bronze, opalescent white, and glittery brown. 

The tree still needed more pizazz, so out came the silver glittered Eiffel Towers and Merry ornaments I picked up at an estate sale a few years ago and never used!

I also added these precious birds.

For even more sparkle I added these wonderful rhinestone snowflakes and some vintage chandelier prisms. 

Then I remembered I had these dangly ball ornament things, and added those!

I kept the look glamours but kept it from being too precious and overbearing by keeping the colors neutral, and toning things down with a little touch of brown.

Tips for a Designer Look Christmas Tree:

1. Color Scheme: Think out your color scheme before you start! Just because Picasso was a great artist--we don't want it to look like he decorated our Christmas tree!
  • Try not to use more than 3 or 4 colors on your tree.
  • I chose Pink, Silver, White, and Brown for this tree. 
  • Another great color scheme for a Pink tree would be Pink, Aqua, Chartreuse, and Silver. 
  • Try to always work in gold or silver somehow in your tree design to keep it looking festive. 
  • If you have a more traditional green tree try a color scheme of Chartreuse, Gold, and Brown. Or Aqua, Lime Green, and Gold with peacock feathers for good measure. The possibilities are limitless. Draw inspiration from a favorite rug, pillow, dress, etc. It most certainly does not have to be Red and Green!
2. Ornaments: Space your very similar and identical ornaments evenly throughout the tree.
  • Start with a foundation color--this is where a metallic works best--use these to fill in voids between branches close to the trunk. It gives the tree a much fuller and elegant look once the rest of the ornaments go up.
  • Start hanging your other ornaments one kind at a time starting from the ones you have the most of, and ending with the ones you only have a few of--this helps you keep everything evenly spaced--you don't want two or more of the same thing right next to each other.
  • Add larger and dangly ornaments first so they have room to breath--and to keep from having to take things off the tree you've already hung to fit a larger ornament in.
  • If you plan to use chandelier prisms or some other type of small or clear decorations--add these LAST. That way you will be able to see them. I tend to hang them on the very tips of all the branches.
  • If you only have a few of a certain ornament--be sure to space them as far apart as possible--it will give the illusion that there are more of that kind than there really are.
  • If you love Christopher Radko or other top dollar designer ornaments and can't afford a whole tree of them, fill in the tree with inexpensive knock-offs, and space out the real-deal ones evenly at, and slightly above and below eye level to give the illusion the entire tree is covered in them!
  • If you have a lot of larger ornaments--especially on very large trees, you may want to remove or bend down some branches to make room for them.
3. Garlands: If you plan on using a garland you may need to hang it first or last depending on the type of garland.
  • If you use ribbon, or a thick garland of some kind, hang this BEFORE you start adding ornaments so you'll be able to fluff it and primp it much easier than if you've already added ornaments.
  • Use remnants of dupioni silk for a garland to help fill in an inexpensive artificial tree and anchor your color scheme--twist it so the unfinished edge is hidden in the twist.
  • If you are using a beaded garland or even a popcorn garland--add these once you've decorated the tree--otherwise they tend to get lost under everything.
  • If you are a vintage-style tinsel person--I suggest cutting it up into roughly foot long sections and weaving those in and out to fill in holes once you've finished adding all your ornaments.
4. Lighting....Pre-Lit or not Pre-Lit that is the question....
  • With seemingly unlimited selections of lighting options for your Christmas tree, I don't recommend a pre-lit tree, unless you want to buy a new tree every year. Don't bother trying to cut the lights off a pre-lit tree. Been there, done that, and almost needed stitches. 
  • Buy the highest quality lights you can afford--the commercial ones will last you years if properly maintained.
  • I recommend you buy clear lights--the twinkling kind are my favorite. Don't get the ones that only blink on and off. If you must have colored lights, stick with a single color. The Multi-colored lights always look tacky to me! If you have a white or light colored tree--get lights on a white wire. I was lucky enough to find pink lights on a pink wire for my pink tree! (Thank you Michaels)
  • Estimate you'll need 100 lights per foot of tree--more or less depending on how wide your tree is--skinny trees need less lights than fat trees! You will need less lights, about 50 per foot, if you use the C9 sized lights, and about 200 per foot if you use the new super mini LED lights.
  • When adding lights to your tree start by running an extension cord to the base of the tree--if you have an artificial tree--put the bottom part down in the tree stand and the lights BEFORE adding the next section of the tree. 
  • To light your tree and hide cords in the process, start at the bottom and wrap the lights tightly around the base of a branch looping around the tip of the branch and following back down the same branch, going around the tree doing each branch in a similar fashion until that section of the tree is done--it is important to do it in sections, that way you won't have to take the lights off when you store it away. Add the next section of the tree, and continue the same way until the tree is together and lit. For larger trees of 9 feet or more, you will want to run additional extension cords up the trunk mid way to prevent overloading the fuses of the lights.
  • I highly recommend hooking your lights to a timer, foot switch, or a remote controlled lighting gizmo for added ease--who wants to crawl on their belly under the tree to plug it in? Not me!!!
5. Christmas Tree Don'ts: Loose the Cheese Factor ornaments.
  • Keep in mind, too, that a small Coca-Cola themed tree would be great for a kitschy kitchen counter, likewise would an Elvis tree in a in a game room, or an [insert your team here] tree for the man cave. But please don't make your main feature tree a tacky theme!
  • Leave the crafty and kid's art project ornaments for a small tree in your child's room. I don't want to be mean or hateful about it--but don't put these types of ornaments on your main tree.
  • Skip over the Hallmark Keepsakes--I cringe when I see them. They may be one of the worst things you can hang on a Christmas tree, in my opinion! The only thing worse than a Hallmark ornament is quite possibly the Avon ornaments from late 80's and early 90's.
A few final tips:
  • If you have an older artificial tree still in good shape and long for one of the newer and very realistic artificial trees you can revive the one you have by purchasing some realistic artificial Evergreen branches at a crafts store--even a garland works--simply cut them apart and wire them into your tree. 
  • Flocking is really in--and if done right can be very pretty--if you decide to flock, make sure you know what your doing! I'd hate for you to end up with a tree that looks like it got attacked by a Stucco monster!
  • Yes--you can spray-paint your older artificial tree with good results! 
If I've left anything out or you have some great ideas, please add them to the comments section! I'd love to hear from you!

More tips and decorating ideas coming soon!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

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