I know, I know, it’s not quite time to trim the tree just yet. But before you know it, it’ll be time to pull out those decorations! If you’re anything like me, you love the decorations once they’re up… but the actual decorating process is less than enjoyable. So to help you make it a little more bearable this year, I thought I’d put together a list of tips and tricks to help you decorate your tree like a pro! Or at least get it done without too much of a hassle. ;-) From lighting the tree to hanging the ornaments, I’ve got 19 great tips that will save you plenty of time and effort, so you can spend more time enjoying the fruits of your labor!
19 Genius Christmas Tree Hacks
1. How Many Lights?
When lighting your tree, here’s a good rule of thumb: use one 100-count string of lights per vertical foot of your tree. It’s maddening when I run short of lights before the job is done!!!
2. Use LED Lights
When shopping for lights for your Christmas tree, look for LED lights. They emit the same amount of light, but are more energy efficient. They also have a longer life, and they’re more fireproof than standard bulbs.
3. Better Hangers
Are you as sick of those flimsy ornament hangers as I am? They barely support the weight of some of my heavier ornaments, and they always seem to get hopelessly tangled. So this year I’m getting rid of them and using floral wire instead! It’s much sturdier, and blends right in with the tree branches.
4. Testing, Testing
Always test each strand of your lights before putting them on the tree. There’s nothing worse than plugging in your finished tree, only to see nothing happen! Ugh. Been there, done that!
5. Topper Tip
Tree topper can be heavy, so you need to give them a sturdy base to rest on. You can do this easily by folding over the top few inches of the top of your tree! I do this every year!
6. Don’t Mix Lights
When connecting multiple strands of lights on your tree, be sure to use strands with the same wattage and bulb type. Connecting strands with different bulbs or wattages could cause a short or premature burnout.
7. Fill It Out
If your tree has a few sad, sparse sections, you can make it look fuller by adding in sections of artificial pine garland. Once you get the tree lit and decorated, you won’t even be able to tell!
8. Replace Broken Bulbs
When you notice a bulb has burnt out, replace it as soon as you can. When one bulb burns out, the rest of the bulbs burn hotter to compensate, which could cause more bulbs to burn out faster.
9. Taller Tree
Wish your tree was just a bit taller? Make a base for it using a few paint cans! Place your tree on top, then add a tree skirt to hide the base and the paint cans.
10. Ornament Order
When hanging your ornaments, hang your least favorite ones near the center and base of your tree. Those will give your tree a fuller look, and you can save your favorite ornaments to hang in full view.
11. Card Ornaments
If you need a few extra ornaments to fill out your tree, take last year’s Christmas cards and punch out circles (or other shapes). Attach a short piece of floral wire to make a hanger, and then put them up on the tree.
12. Real Tree Care
Here are a few guidelines for caring for real trees:
- Get it in water as soon as you get it home.
- Measure the diameter of the base of your tree, then provide 1 quart of water per inch of that measurement.
- Keep your tree away from vents, fireplaces, and other sources of heat.
- Check the water level in your tree base daily, and make sure to keep the base submerged.
13. Wrap It
If you have an artificial tree, you can save yourself some serious time and effort next year by wrapping up the tree for storage—lights, ornaments, and all! (You’ll have to have enough space to store an assembled tree, though.)
14. Recruit Help
If you just hate decorating the tree, hire a friend or family member to do it for you! Many people love decorating at Christmastime, so you may as well recruit someone who will have a good time doing it. :-)
15. Snap A Pic
If you love the way your tree decorating turned out this year, take a few photos of it with your phone! Then reference those photos next year when you’re putting up the tree. The decorating process will go a lot faster if you have a visual guide to follow!
16. Glow Up!
If you use colored bulbs to light your tree, consider adding string of white lights near the center of your tree. The white lights will make it glow from within, and you can still enjoy the colored bulbs on the exterior of the tree!
17. Make It Fun
Make decorating the tree less of a chore by making it fun! Gather the family together, put on some Christmas music, and get decorating! The tree will be finished and looking festive in no time. (Michael Bublé’s “Christmas” album is one of my all-time favorites!)
18. Scents Of The Season
For those of us who prefer the convenience of an artificial tree, but miss the scent of real trees, here’s a bright idea. Put white fir essential oil in your diffuser, and place the diffuser near the tree. (Or you can make a cute felt and foam air freshener using the instructions in the post below, and hang it right on the tree as a decoration!)
19. One At A Time
If you have an artificial tree that is assembled in sections, light each section separately. When your finished, assemble the sections and voila, your tree will already be lit! It’s much easier than wresting lights around a whole tree!