How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: Full Guide

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How do you decorate a Christmas tree so it’s bursting with festive spirit? Find out in our complete guide showing how to decorate a Christmas tree.

We’ll take you through each step, helping you transform your tree into a true festive masterpiece!

We’ll consider the ever-prickly question of choosing a real or artificial Christmas tree, before getting down to business with the fairy lights, tinsel, and ornaments.

And here at MYPICTURE we believe custom decor features can take your home interior to a whole new level. So we’ll be introducing our personalised Christmas ornaments, which come printed with your own photos!

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree. Four Christmas trees with progressively more adornment.

Real or Artificial Christmas Tree: Which is Better?

First things first – before you can decorate your Christmas tree, you need to get one!

And your tree will be the centrepiece of your festive decor, so you want to get it right. The biggest decision to make here is between a real or artificial tree. Each choice has its own advantages and drawbacks. We list them below:

Real Christmas Trees



How to Decorate a Christmas Tree. Man and boy at Christmas tree farm.

Artificial Christmas Trees



Ultimately, the choice between a real and artificial Christmas tree depends on your personal preferences, traditions, and lifestyle. Some prefer the authentic charm of a real tree, while others appreciate the convenience and longevity of an artificial one.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree. Artificial Christmas trees in room.

Buying Real Christmas Trees: A Few Tips

Start by measuring the space where you want to display your tree, and doing a little research on which species will work best.

Before you buy, check the tree for freshness by inspecting the needles (they should be vibrant green and firmly attached) and the trunk (it should stand straight upright).

Trim the base when you get home, and keep it well-hydrated by placing it in a water-filled stand.

Our Guide to Tree Decorations

Christmas tree baubles come in a delightful array of shapes and materials, letting you match your holiday decor to your unique style. We recommend a mixture of different types to give your tree depth and interest.

Most people prefer to hang mainly traditional baubles to get a unified look, and then add a few more quirky pieces for character.

We list the main options for material and shape below:


How to Decorate a Christmas Tree. Row of suspended Christmas baubles.


And thanks to the advent of affordable custom printing, there’s another option you can choose. Print providers like MYPICTURE now sell personalised Christmas decorations featuring your very own photos! Read more about our custom ornaments below...

Personalized Tree Decorations from MYPICTURE

Want to create unique tree decorations with your photos? Just upload your pictures to our site and we’ll deliver your personalised ornaments straight to your door within days.

All our custom decorations are crafted using carefully sourced materials and printed in exceptional MYPICTURE quality. And these unique personalised items cost little more than their mass-produced counterparts on the high street!

We offer 3 different versions, all featuring a photo print on both sides:

Decorate your tree with cherished photo memories and start a whole new yuletide tradition!

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree. Decorated Christmas tree in room.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree: Step by Step

Step 1: Select the Perfect Spot

The location of your tree matters. It should be in a prominent position where guests will see it – and ideally close to a window so passers-by can enjoy the Christmassy magic!

Ensure there's enough space around your tree to provide easy access for decorating – and enough room underneath to accommodate those all-important presents!

Tip: Consider placing a tree skirt around the base. This will conceal the stand and also provide a polished finishing touch.

Step 2: String Fairy Lights

Start stringing your lights from the base and work your way up. Consider using LED lights as they’re energy-efficient and don't get hot.

Choose between warm white or multicoloured lights, depending on the mood you want to create. Warm white lights give a classic, cozy feel, while multicoloured lights create a playful and vibrant atmosphere.

Step 3: Add Tinsel and Garlands

Tinsel should be draped in a casual way rather than wrapped tightly. You want the sparkling effect to work in balance with the dark green of the tree, rather than overwhelm it – so “less is more” is the watchword here.

Garlands are an excellent way to add depth and texture to your tree. You can layer different types such as bead strands or ribbon. With their different surface textures, they’ll catch the light in contrasting ways from the tinsel.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree. Decorated Christmas tree in room.

Step 4: Hang Ornaments

We recommend starting with a “base layer” of classic traditional baubles, aiming for an even distribution through the tree.

Then add the more quirky and individual ornaments to create distinct points of interest.

You’ll want to stop before the level of bauble saturation gets overwhelming, but it’s best to keep on the generous side. This is Christmas after all!

Step 5: Put Tree Topper in Place

The tree topper serves as the crowning feature of your Christmas tree. You can choose a classic star, angel, or something more unique. Once it’s installed, secure your topper with a sturdy holder to prevent your topper from toppling!

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree. Wooden Christmas decoration with photo print.

Last Word

Decorating the Christmas tree is a special activity that brings family and friends together, evokes cherished memories and creates brand-new ones.

We hope our guide helps you approach it with new confidence – and that helps make the results truly magical.

And remember: if you’re looking for an extra-special personal touch, our custom decorations are just what you need. Printed with shared photo memories from your family history, they’ll turn your tree into a unique work of art!

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