Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 20, 2015

Designer tree

Do It Yourself

April Sherrill

Although we are just now celebrating Thanksgiving, decorating for the winter holidays was in full swing this weekend at my humble abode. I have an irresistible love for decorating for the holidays; it makes me feel so warm and blissful inside.

I love to go to the stores during the holidays and see all the designer trees and decorations. They cause me to ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ at all the creativity, followed by a little bit of digging to see how they made this or that particular decoration.

Decorating for the holidays and watching your family and friends stunned reaction is not really all that hard to achieve nor is it expensive. The majority of the items I use to decorate were bought from the dollar aisle at Target, the Dollar Store, or for next-to-nothing at a garage sale.

Below you will find tips and tricks from a Christmas designer to help you achieve the fabulous finish that will leave everyone asking you to come decorate their tree!

Christmas Trees

Mix the size of the ornaments you will be using. Do not use all small or all large ornaments. In addition, every tree ought to have two to three oversized items to admire on the tree. 

When you hang the ornaments on the tree, place the larger ones closer to the middle and lower part of the tree. 

Refrain from using all the ornaments and lights at the end of the branches. Always hang some of the ornaments and run the lights toward the interior of the tree as well. Large orb type ornaments look great pushed toward the inside of the tree, which allows the tree to have depth and interest.

Use floral wire, pipe cleaners, or the branches to secure the oversized items to the tree.

Repeat elements used on the tree topper throughout the rest of the tree.

Use approximately 100 lights per foot of the tree. For example, my tree is 7.5 ft. tall, so I use eight strands of lights with 100 lights per strand.

Add greenery stems of different shapes and colors to the tree. You can use stems with flocked evergreen, evergreen with berries, or glittered branches. For a standard size tree of seven to eight feet, use a minimum of three different stems with five of each.

Add the family ornaments last.

Tree Toppers

If you will be using a specific item like an angel then do not place it on the top of the tree where it will most likely end up crooked and harder to see. Always attach it at the top, but in front of the branches and then use sticks or sprays behind it as fillers. 

If you would like to create a tree topper using sticks, sprigs and sprays then implement this formula:

– Start by coming down slightly from the very top of the tree and place an odd number of thin, decorative sticks into the tree using a minimum of three, although I prefer closer to nine.

– Using decorative sticks that are slightly fuller, place some in between and a little lower than the first sticks.

– Repeat this process, growing fuller with each layer.

– A finished topper should account for roughly one-fifth of the tree.

– Include elements of the unexpected to the topper to create more visual fun, including but not limited to: tassels, birds, feathers, etc.

These are just some of the main tips and tricks designers use to achieve full, lush, and elegant Christmas trees. The holidays are all about what you make them, and for our nest, those memories always start with decorating!

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.