A Christmas tree is the centerpiece of every holiday home. To help you make sure your tree looks its best each year, here are decorating tips from style experts Dagmar Obert and Brad Schmidt.

In this video, Dagmar shares her process to help you decorate your Christmas tree like a pro:

Video transcript

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.

Tip #1. Build on classic ornaments

When choosing Christmas decorations, opt for pieces in a classic color scheme, like red and white. These mix and match with other ornaments to create a different theme each season.

Dagmar shares tips on how to decorate your Christmas tree like a pro with
Dagmar decorated her Colorado Mountain Spruce artificial Christmas tree with a classic color combo of red and white ornaments

Tip #2. Divide your tree into sections

Think of your Christmas tree in segments such as top, middle, and bottom. Decorate one section at a time starting from the top and working your way down. To help you check for a cohesive and balanced look, further divide your tree into quadrants. This allows you to make sure no two similar items are too close together. Here, Dagmar divided her tree with floral picks, combining two different styles for more drama.

Use these snowy branch picks to decorate your Christmas tree
Use Snowy Branch Picks as accents to your tree decor

Tip #3. Hang larger ornaments first

Begin with larger pieces as these take up more room and tend to hang lower on branches. Aside from hanging ornaments at the tips of the branches, try placing some toward the inner branches to add depth.

Red and white ornaments by Balsam Hill
Hang larger ornaments first and fill in spaces with smaller ones

Tip #4. Add interesting details

Place smaller ornaments and heirloom pieces next. For a unique tree topper, take a cue from Dagmar and tie picks together in an elegant bouquet.

Delicate accents add texture and visual interest
Delicate accents add texture and visual interest

Brad shares his Christmas tree decorating techniques in this video:

Video transcript

Brad Schmidt: Hi, I’m Brad Schmidt. I’ve worked with Balsam Hill to create some signature decorated trees for the 2015 catalog. For the red, white, and sparkle tree, I used a whimsical influence in decorating it. This needed to be like a Santa Claus winter wonderland, yet with a sophisticated, classy look.

For the top of the tree, I wired clusters of ornaments together using floral wire. That way, we can get a bold statement from the beginning down all the way to the end of the tree. I double layered most of my bows and I wired in my four loops and then I inserted five to six clusters in the tree first, then I added my silver and red separately using some of the bowtie effects that I’ve used in other trees in the past.

I used the white jeweled ribbon over the red ribbon to make it different, look like a double-layered look. The white sparkle ribbon had so many jewel-like items on it, everything came together with a modern and traditional yet whimsical feel. The white flock branches elevated the tree and gave it that snowy winter land feeling yet we have a sophistication of the chrome and bright red, shining ornaments. That made the tree more unique. For other tips on how to use this ribbon, take a look at this other video.

Tip #5. Cluster decorations together

Combine different sized ornaments to make a bold statement. Here, Brad mixed metallic accents to give the classic red and white theme a modern twist.

Creating clusters of ornaments adds flair
Creating clusters of ornaments adds flair

Tip #6. Use ribbons as accents

Ribbons are versatile enough to be used as ornaments themselves. To make double-layered bows, use two contrasting ribbons, shape them into cascading loops, and tie them together. Using floral wire to tie the loops will help the ribbon retain its shape longer.

The contrast between color and texture creates more impact
The contrast between color and texture creates more impact

Get more ribbon decorating ideas here.

Tip #7. Fill in spaces

If you’re going for a full look, fill in spaces that look sparse. Floral picks are a good way to add texture to your tree.

Floral picks are good fillers for sparse areas
Floral picks are good fillers for sparse areas
Decorate your tree like a pro with a twist to the classic red and white theme
Brad decorated this Silverado Slim artificial Christmas tree by layering ribbons, creating ornament clusters, and using floral picks as accents

Red and white is just one of the many holiday looks to try out. Explore more decorated Christmas tree ideas here, or check out our step-by-step guide on how to decorate a Christmas tree.

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