How Tos & Expert Tips

Christmas Tree Decorations: The Ultimate Guide

You found your perfect tree, and now it’s time to decorate it. Christmas tree decorations come in various styles, so start with a theme to narrow down your options. This guide covers common kinds of holiday décor and what to consider before purchase.

Tree Toppers

From shining stars to graceful angels, these classic symbols help keep the holiday tradition alive.

Types of toppers

gold star tree topper

Ranging from the 5-pointed star to the 3-dimensional Moravian design with 26 points

Christmas angel tree topper

Including angels, Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and other classic holiday characters

Christmas bouquet tree topper

An arrangement of faux flowers, leaves, and berries

red ribbon bows

Lightweight tree toppers made of decorative ribbons

beaded Christmas tree topper

Sunbursts, snowflakes, finials, and more

What size of tree topper do I need?

Consider the factors below to ensure your topper suits your Christmas tree.

Height of the Tree

Check that you have enough clearance for a topper. Allot at least 6 inches of space between the ceiling and the top of the tree topper.

Shape of the Tree

Choose a topper that complements the shape of your tree. Wide toppers like stars or angels are perfect for a full tree, while elongated ones work well on narrow trees.

Weight of the Tree Topper

Try to balance the topper in the palm of your hand. If it falls within 3 seconds, it might need additional support.

Watch this video for more tips on choosing a tree topper:

How do I attach my tree topper?

Tree toppers usually have a conical, spring, or spiral base. Insert the top branch of your tree into the base, and secure with green floral tape if needed.

Balsam Hill™ trees have a reinforced top branch tip to secure toppers and keep them upright.  For extra support, use our tree topper stabilization kit.

Related Article:
Christmas Tree Toppers: How to Choose, Prep, and Adorn Your Tree 


Invest in basic globe ornaments and pair them with themed collections for easy decorating. We offer many Christmas tree ornament sets to choose from, whether you’re looking for the classic red, green, and gold look, a modern take on holiday décor, or something in between.

Kinds of ornaments

glass globe ornaments in earthy hues
Globe ornaments
glass icicle ornaments
large lighted finials
figurine Christmas tree ornaments
antiqued snowflake ornaments
red, gold, and silver decorated ornaments

How many ornaments do I need?

There’s no hard rule when it comes to number of ornaments. You might prefer a minimalist look, while others love to mix and match assorted pieces. Here’s a rough guide based on tree size to give you an idea.

Tree HeightLight CoverageHeavy CoverageOrnament Size
6.5 feet70 pieces105 pieces4 – 8.75 inches
7.5 feet105 pieces140 pieces4 – 8.75 inches
9 – 10 feet175 pieces210 pieces4 – 8.75 inches

Pairing ornaments with a tree

If you prefer heavier coverage, you’ll need more ornaments on full trees compared to narrow ones. Sparse trees with widely spaced branches are great for showcasing ornaments, while fuller trees provide more room for layering multiple sets.

Ribbons & Garlands

Christmas tree ribbons and garlands are an easy way to add texture to your display. Go for embroidered ribbons for a luxurious touch, beaded garlands for extra sparkle, or layered ribbons for a unique look.

How much ribbon or garland do I need?

The amount of ribbon depends on the tree’s width and your technique. Start with 3 yards of ribbon per foot of tree. This means you need around 22.5 yards of ribbon for a standard 7.5-foot Christmas tree. Adjust the length based on how you drape or cascade the ribbon.

Tree HeightRibbon Length
6.5 feet19.5 yards
7.5 feet22.5 yards
9 – 10 feet27 – 30 yards

What should I consider when choosing ribbon?

metallic Christmas ribbons on tree

Using wide ribbons adds a fuller look to narrow or slim Christmas trees, especially when hung in billows as shown in the photo. For easier styling, opt for wired ribbons that hold their shape.

Watch this video for more tips on decorating with ribbon:

Related Article:
Brad Schmidt’s Ribbon Decorating Ideas for Christmas Trees

Picks & Sprays

Tree picks and sprays are offered in designs like florals, berries, leaves, and more. These versatile accents add color to your tree, and can also be used for decorating wreaths and garlands.

How do I use picks and sprays?

Christmas tree decorations in red, green, and gold

Use these to fill gaps in the tree and complement your ornaments. Simply tuck the stem into a branch and adjust the placement. Try layering floral picks with leaves or berries, or turn them into a DIY bouquet tree topper.

Use these to fill gaps in the tree and complement your ornaments. Simply tuck the stem into a branch and adjust the placement. Try layering floral picks with leaves or berries, or turn them into a DIY bouquet tree topper.

How many should I use?

Add as many as you need to get the desired look. Floral or leaf picks tend to be bigger than berry picks, providing more coverage. To make them stand out, spread out a few picks throughout the tree.

Tree Skirts, Collars, & Stands

To complete your theme, choose from a variety of tree skirts and collars that cover the base of your tree. We also offer tree stands if you want to replace the one that came with your tree.

Tree Skirts

Tree skirts began as a way to protect the floor from falling needles and wax drippings of traditional candlelit Christmas trees. Now, it hides the wires of your tree lights and creates a beautiful backdrop for presents.

What size of tree skirt should I get?

Go for one that’s at least 6 inches bigger than the full width of your tree. Make sure that it covers the entire tree base. For more details, see the table below.

Tree WidthTree Skirt Size
30 – 42 inches36 – 48 inches
42 – 54 inches54 – 60 inches
54 – 64 inches70 – 72 inches
64 – 76 inches84 inches

Tree Collars

Tree collars are conical cylinders that latch around the base of your tree. These offer more coverage than tree skirts, and are commonly made of metal, wood, or natural fibers.

What size of tree collar should I get?

When buying a tree collar, check if it’s compatible with the height and pole diameter of your tree. Our small collars suit trees below 7 feet, while the large collars accommodate 7- to 11-feet tall Christmas trees.

Tree Stands

snow tree stand

Unlike skirts and collars that cover your tree base, a decorative tree stand replaces it completely. This supports the weight of your tree and completes your theme.

What size of tree stand should I get?

Choose one that accommodates the diameter of your tree pole, as well as any special features of the base. Note that tree stands add height to your tree.

Looking for inspiration to help you get started on your picture-perfect tree? Browse our Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas Center for beautiful looks only from Balsam Hill.


  1. Paula Daniels Reply

    Oh what fun it was to learn the tie ribbons and bows. The hints on bed skirts was great too.

  2. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the challenges.It was definitely informative. Your website is useful.Thank you for sharing!

  3. Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article.Thanks for providing this info.

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