This site contains affiliate links, view the disclosure for more information.

Not sure how to decorate a Christmas tree? No worries! This is the best and easiest guide on how to decorate a Christmas tree that is guaranteed to impress.

how to decorate a christmas tree

Ah, it’s that time of the year again… time to drink hot chocolate, sit by a cozy fireplace, and of course, decorate! Can you tell I’m in the Christmas spirit? ?❄️??

Until last year, I had never had a place to myself other than my college apartment which I never really went to crazy decorating for Christmas. I honestly just didn’t have the time or money to put up a tree or really decorate with more than maybe a wreath and fairy lights here and there. But, ever since I move into my apartment I have been able to go crazy with decorating for Christmas.

Because this past year was the first time I had a place of my own to decorate for Christmas I basically had to start from scratch which meant buying my very first Christmas tree. Being the perfectionist I am I was determined to decorate a Christmas tree everyone would be fawning over and I think I did pretty dang good if I do say so myself.

Although I would say I was pretty successful in the end, with last year being the first time I had a tree to decorate on my own I honestly had no idea where to start. But now that I designed my very own tree and spent (many) hours searching for the perfect tree, ornaments, lights, and planning out the overall design, I am here to give you the rundown on how to decorate a Christmas tree of your very own! Here are the exact steps to easily decorate a Christmas tree you will be insanely proud of.

This post shows you exactly how to decorate a Christmas tree like a pro.


First things first! In order to decorate a Christmas tree, you are going to need a tree… duh! There is honestly a huge selection of Christmas trees in all different colors and styles so the one you pick is completely based on the Christmas “feel” you’re going for. I’m a huge fan of flocked Christmas trees because 1. They incorporate a touch of greenery while still sticking to my usual bright, white, and neutral theme, and 2. They imitate a snow-covered tree which really gives your home that “white Christmas” look. 

Home Depot, Amazon, Target, and Wayfair all have a ton of stunning Christmas tree options so I would recommend starting to look in these places if you’re in search of a tree! Whether you’re looking for a bright white and neutral Christmas tree, a traditional green tree, or even a unique Christmas tree color like black or pink, the one you choose is totally up to you!

Now the next biggest tip I have on how to decorate a Christmas tree to look professionally designed is to separate your branches! I spent a good amount of time doing this but let me tell you, it makes a world of a difference in the look of your tree. Not only will doing this make your tree look fuller, separating your branches and filling in the holes will give you a lot more space to hang ornaments too! I promise you, this step will take your Christmas tree from a 3 to a 10. You can thank me later. ?

1. Pre-Lit Hinged Douglas Full Fir Artificial Christmas Tree

This green Christmas tree is perfect for those who are sticking to a more traditional Christmas theme.

It’s the perfect color green and looks so real!

how to decorate a christmas tree professionally with ribbon

"Absolutely beautiful tree! Came on time and was super easy to set up. I love it!"

2. Flocked Long Needle Green Pine Tree Artificial Christmas Tree

While this tree is on the pricier side it is definitely one that will impress. This is the exact tree I bought for my apartment and I have 0 regrets. 10/10 and looks absolutely beautiful.

how to decorate a white christmas tree

"This tree is STUNNING!!! I was nervous about an artificial tree but I have zero regrets on this one! It truly is BEAUTIFUL!"

3. Snow Flocked Hinged Artificial Pine Christmas Tree

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the all-white trees- you know, the ones that are made from that plastic material?

But, this tree is one that looks pretty close to all-white and is one I can get behind. This tree is super heavily flocked and will give you that snowy Christmas feel.

"Wow! This tree is absolutely amazing for the price, super easy to set up, beautiful to look at, and my family loves it."


The next step, hang your lights! If your tree comes pre-lit then you can obviously skip this step. But if not, you will definitely want to pick out and string lights to give your Christmas tree some sparkle!

This can be a somewhat tedious step so I recommend having your lights plugged in while you string them so you can easily see what gaps still need to be filled.

Pro tip: String your lights in a zig-zag pattern instead of wrapping them full around if you are decorating a tree that is only seen from one side! This will save you money since you won’t have to buy as many lights as well as the time it would take to string lights on the back of the tree that won’t be seen anyways! Stringing your lights in this zig-zag pattern will make your tree look brighter and even fuller!

1. Pack Of 300 Incandescent Mini Christmas Lights

Incandescent lights like these are probably the most popular option when it comes to Christmas tree decorating. Definitely a go-to way to easily brighten up your tree.

This pack from Amazon comes with a good amount of lights that should easily be able to cover a standard-sized tree.

"I absolutely love these lights. They are very easy to work with, bright and look so festive! The quality is awesome."

2. LED Warm White Twinkle Fairy String Lights

Fairy lights are another beautiful and easy way to string lights on your Christmas tree. These will give your tree a more minimalistic look that looks stunning.

Plus, they are battery-operated which eliminates unsightly cords and the hassle of plugging and unplugging your tree. 

"These are great little lights! Would definitely recommend especially for people that have limited outlets"

3. Clear Globe Christmas Light Set

Globe lights are a fun way to really add some light to your Christmas tree! These are especially good to use on trees that are going to be seen from a distance!

how to decorate a real christmas tree

"A great price and give off just the look I was going for! Overall just a beautiful set of lights."


Hanging garland is the step that is really going to take your Christmas tree to the next level. Doing this fills in gaps in your tree to make it look 10x fuller! You can either do this with ribbon or garland- the choice is totally up to you!

Pro tip: If you choose to use ribbon, try and find the kind that is lined with wire! This will make the ribbon much easier to manipulate and guarantee the ribbon doesn’t fall or droop. I also recommend cutting your ribbon into strips instead of wrapping it! This will allow you to pick and choose which spots need coverage the most and adjust the ribbon accordingly!

1. White Satin & Gold Metallic Wired Edge Ribbon

This is the perfect ribbon to use when decorating a Christmas tree!

Not only is the white and gold combo gorgeous, but the ribbon is also lined with wire which makes hanging it a whole lot easier.

"I used this ribbon to decorate my tree and it came out just GORGEOUS. Really great value for the price and just looks so pretty and elegant."

2. Faux Silk Gold Christmas Tree Ribbon 

Here is another super pretty ribbon option if you plan on incorporating gold accents into your tree!

The thickness of this ribbon is what will add that “expensive” look to your tree that will leave everyone thinking you had it professionally decorated.

how to decorate a designer christmas tree

"Amazing! The bow is just how we wanted it. Looks amazing on our tree and makes it look perfect!"

3. Silver Tinsel Christmas Garland

Not a fan of gold? Silver tinsel is an inexpensive and festive way to add a touch of silver sparkle to your tree.

You can find tinsel garland in a bunch of different colors so whatever color scheme you choose you are almost guaranteed to find tinsel to match.

how to decorate a christmas tree on a budget

"Loved this! Even better in person, and on the tree! It has a gold, silver, & white color scheme so you can pick any or all!"

4. Christmas Glittery Mesh Wired Edge Ribbon 

One more stunning gold ribbon option for ya! The glitter on this ribbon is guaranteed to give your tree allll the sparkle.

"This ribbon is the perfect way to accent absolutely anything. I use it year-round but especially love using it on my Christmas tree and gifts."

5. Wood Snowflakes Beaded Garland

I am currently a HUGE fan of wooden beads and think they look so cute on Christmas trees.

Anyone going for that neutral look with their Christmas decorations should definitely consider this!

how to decorate a christmas tree youtube

"This garland was such a fun and festive way to dress up our Christmas tree. Neutral but still has the holiday spirit!"


christmas tree decorating

Your choice of ornaments is where your tree will really shine. I recommend a collection of 3-4 different kinds of ornaments in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to add dimension and variety to your tree!

Start off with your biggest ornaments, filling in the biggest holes first, and work down to your smallest ornaments to fill any remaining gaps. Make sure to spread out your ornaments evenly so you don’t end up with a cluster of the same kind all in one place!

1. Champagne Christmas Ornament Set

If I were buying a new set of ornaments this year this would 100% be the set I would go for.

Target has literally hundreds of ornaments to choose from ranging from gold and neutrals to bright and fun colors!

christmas tree decorations list

"I got this set and I literally gasped when I opened the box. I couldn’t be more pleased!!!"

2. Medium Winter Metallics Ball Christmas Ornaments

Another stunning metallic ornament set from Crate & Barrel. Absolutely obsessed with these! And they aren’t too bad of a price either!

christmas tree decorations ideas 2021

"The variety of texture and color in this set of ornaments is stunning! Just the right colors to go with my Christmas tree."

3. Glitter Pinecone Christmas Ornament Set

Pinecones are a great way to add Christmas elements to your tree!

You can either use regular pinecones and lay them in between branches or hang pinecone ornaments like these!

ideas how to decorate a christmas tree

"Just the right size to add simple but beautiful accents on our Christmas tree! Love these!"

4. Acrylic Diamond Christmas Ornament Set

These acrylic diamond ornaments are the perfect way to add that finishing touch to your tree!

how to decorate a christmas tree step by step

"Bought these in clear last year and couldn’t wait to get more this year! They look stunning on the tree and reflect twinkle lights beautifully!"

5. White Tinsel Ball Christmas Tree Ornament Set

Like I said, Target has such a huge selection of stunning Christmas ornaments and these are the perfect example. Love the texture on these!

steps on how to decorate a christmas tree

"These were exactly what I was looking for! They are shatterproof so you don’t have to worry about them breaking! No complaints. I’m so glad I was able to get them."


Now for the finishing touches… Obviously, this step is optional but a tree topper and skirt will really take your tree to the next level.

christmas tree decorating ideas

1. Gold Unlit Metal Bethlehem Star Tree Topper

If you haven’t noticed already, I am pretty much obsessed with Target’s line of Christmas decor this year. This tree topper is absolutely stunning and is the perfect way to get the modern/minimalist look.

how to decorate a christmas tree with lights

"Such a beautiful topper! This ended up being just the extra touch our tree needed.

2. Glitter Gold 3D Star Christmas Tree Topper

This tree topper is another fun and unique option to finish off your tree with!

how to decorate a christmas tree with mesh

"Even cuter in person than it is in the photos. Great shape and easy to put on the tree. Adds a lot of pizzazz and is nice to have something out of the ordinary on the tree."

3. Clear & Gold Light Capiz Star Tree Topper

Want to add even more light to your tree? This pre-lit star will add a stunning sparkle to the top of your Christmas tree!

how to decorate a christmas tree with ribbon vertically

"Just as pretty as the picture! Looks beautiful on top of our tree... elegant and classic."

4. Flake White Velvet Tree Skirt

A little pricey for a tree skirt? Maybe. Totally adorable and worth spending the money on? I would sure say so!

how to decorate a christmas tree steps

"This tree skirt was such a fun and modern alternative to our normal tree skirt this year! Such a simple skirt but made the biggest difference in the look of our tree."

5. Cozy Knit Ivory Tree Skirt

How cozy is this tree skirt?! You can guarantee all your gifts will be nice and cozy while laying on top of this chunky knit tree skirt. ?

how to decorate a christmas tree rustic

"I love this tree skirt! I also think I can use it for more than just a tree skirt. It’s so soft and, with the matching garland, my tree looked amazing this year."

6. Faux Fur Tree Skirt

I honestly wish this tree skirt came in the form of a blanket- how comfy does this look?! This is the perfect tree skirt to add a warm and cozy feel to your tree.

how to decorate a christmas tree to look full

"Absolutely love this tree skirt. Plush and beautifully made. Highly recommend to anyone looking for pure ZGallerie quality and magic!"

This post showed you exactly how to decorate a Christmas tree like a pro.

Other Posts You May Like:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Where To Next?