A Christmas tree is the centerpiece of every holiday home. Want to learn how to decorate a Christmas tree like a professional? Decorating experts Dagmar Obert and Brad Schmidt share tips on how to make your tree look spectacular.

In this video, Dagmar shares her process on how to decorate a Balsam Hill Christmas tree.

Show Transcription

Dagmar Obert:You’ve set up your tree and now you’re ready to decorate, but not quite sure where to start. Today, I’m going to walk you through how to decorate this tree. From choosing the theme to placing the floral picks and finally, putting on the topper. Before you start decorating your tree, you’ll want to decide on a theme. A theme can be as simple as a color scheme, or a special collection, or even one of your own interests. For this tree, I’ve used Balsam Hills red, white, and sparkle collection. I love the look of this theme. It’s traditional colors of red and white with a modern twist of simple clean line ornaments and the addition of sparkle and chain of silver.

Now, when I decorate the tree, I think of the tree in sections. Sometimes top, middle, and bottom. Sometimes in quarters, vertically quarters, or even thirds. This time I’ve paired the snowy branch with the velvet plum blossoms to set off the red flowers against the darker green foliage. This gives you a bit more of an impact than if you were to place the flower picks alone. The glitter jingle bell picks are displayed in a more traditional way. The bells and spheres dangle down like silver ornaments as I place the pick toward the back of the tree.

After finishing with the picks, I hang larger ornaments as background. I hung the longer red ornaments first because we knew we needed more space for them. Then we started to add texture and detail with ribbon and the rest of the ornaments. I used the jewel white ribbon as ornament by tying it into a traditional bow. This ribbon with silver jewels looks great no matter how you tie it.

Decorating a tree is always a process. Step back from time to time to see if the tree might be missing something. In this case, I realized that everything looked a bit heavy and I needed something airy and delicate. I took the silver stretch net ribbon and paired it with the ice glitter twig picks. For the topper, I wanted to show off the velvet plum blossoms in a dense way bringing out the red in the rest of the tree. Since I used the wire net in the tree, I added it to the top as a collar with loops of red velvet ribbon.

That’s how I went about decorating with the red, white, and sparkle collection. At balsamhill.com, you can find various decorating themes with ornaments, picks, and ribbon all sorted into collections. Putting together a look is easier than ever.

We break down how to decorate a Christmas tree like a professional in 12 simple steps.

1. Build a theme

Firstly, you need to choose a theme. For a Christmas tree to look professionally decorated, it needs an element that ties everything together. As Dagmar mentioned, base it on a particular color scheme, an ornament collection, or one of your interests. Get inspiration from Christmas decorating blogs, home décor sites, or Pinterest. After that, create a mood board to set the direction on how to style the tree. Also, this helps you determine what decorations you need.

2. Start with classic ornaments

When decorating for Christmas, choose ornaments in a classic color scheme like red, white, silver, and gold. These mix and match well with other tree accents to create a different theme every year.

3. Shape your tree

Fluffing and shaping may take long, but they’re essential aspects of the decorating process. They help you achieve a lush and lifelike look for your centerpiece. Why not choose from Balsam Hill’s selection of exclusive Pre-fluffed® Artificial Christmas Trees? They feature convenient memory wire branches that fan out and fall into place upon unboxing. In addition, the branches retain much of their shape after the first setup, making it easier the next time around.

Watch the video below for a detailed step-by-step on how to fluff and shape an artificial Christmas tree.

Furthermore, Dagmar highlights the following tips to make the process easier:

  • Ask family or friends to help shape your tree.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Refer to the product photo of the tree to easily recreate the look of the branches.
  • When fluffing each branch, start from the inner branches and work your way outward.
  • Shape the tree by section, starting from the bottom. For taller trees, fluff the top section before attaching it to the tree to avoid having to use a ladder.

4. String the lights

Undecorated Balsam Hill pre-lit Christmas tree in living room

Before stringing lights on a tree, check that they’re in working order. Then, start from the bottom of the tree and circle your way upwards, weaving in and out of the branches. Balsam Hill offers pre-lit Christmas trees to make decorating easier and quicker. Some of these come equipped with our exclusive Easy Plug® technology, which features pre-made light connections inside the trunk. Simply stack the tree sections and plug it into a wall socket to light it up.

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5. Divide the tree into sections

To decorate like a professional, view your Christmas tree in sections: top, middle, and bottom. Then, style them one at a time starting from the top and work your way down. For a more balanced look, further segment your tree into quadrants. This ensures no two similar items are too close together. To illustrate, Dagmar used two different styles of tree picks to mark the divisions while achieving a dramatic effect.

6. Hang ornaments strategically

There are no hard and fast rules to hanging ornaments. However, experts tend to begin with larger ornaments and tuck them deeper within the foliage to add depth. As a result, you achieve a beautiful, layered look. On the other hand, hanging smaller ornaments on the tips of the branches achieves a drape effect. 

7. Cluster decorations

Balsam Hill Christmas tree decorated with red and gold glass and capiz ornaments
Brad Schmidt recommends to cluster ornaments together for interest.
Featured: Balsam Hill BH Fraser Fir® Flip Tree®, Capiz Star Ornament Set, Gilded Gold Glass Ornament Set, and BH Essentials Mercury Glass Ornament Set

Add flair to your display with ornament clusters. For instance, group ornaments of the same design together for a seamless look. Otherwise, use different styles to add texture and depth. Also, Brad suggests combining different sizes for a bold statement.

8. Style with ribbons

You can decorate a Christmas tree like a professional by using Christmas tree ribbons as ornaments. Brad recommends using wired ones because they’re easier to shape and style. Layer two styles of ribbon and add flair by finishing it with a creative twist to the ends.

9. Fill in gaps with picks

Christmas tree picks and sprays add texture to your tree. Furthermore, they’re a creative way to fill in sparse areas. Picks like berries, flowers, or pinecones bring a more natural feel to your tree. On the other hand, fancier ones embellished with crystals or pearls create a more sophisticated effect.

10. Add interesting details

Intricate accents are one way to elevate the look of your tree. Many heirloom ornaments are prized because of their gorgeous details and vintage designs. Now is the time to use them. For vivid pops of color, take your cue from Brad and group several floral picks to create points of interest.

11. Add a tree topper

Polish off your design with a tree topper to complement your theme. Decorate your Christmas tree like a professional by improvising. For instance, Dagmar likes to tie picks together in an elegant bouquet. Similarly, Brad ties ornaments together using floral wire, then add picks for drama. In short, custom toppers add personality to your tree, setting it apart from the rest.

12. Dress the tree up with a skirt or collar

Finally, set the perfect backdrop for presents with an elegant Christmas tree skirt that suits your theme. However, if you want something unique, a decorative tree collar is a stylish alternative. These easily wrap around the tree base. Also, they’re available in various materials like galvanized metal, wicker, or capiz shells.


Expert techniques and creative touches help you pull off a professionally decorated look for your Christmas tree, indeed. For easier styling, check out more Balsam Hill tree decorating ideas and themes inspired by our holiday décor collections.


For more Christmas tree decorating ideas, check out the articles below.

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