If you’ve been reading IBC for a while, you’ll know I’m crazy about Christmas. Inspired by some of my previous holiday decorating adventures, I thought I’d highlight some beautiful Christmas tree decorations today!
This post is filled with years worth of Christmas tree decorating ideas. Some of my all-time favorite memories are showcased below!
I hope you find this post helpful if you’re looking to update your tree decor or are planning a completely new look. After blogging for almost nine years, I have plenty of Christmas tree decorations to share.
Would you believe I’ve decorated almost 20 different trees since I started my blog? (I said I was Christmas crazy!) Although I can’t show you every tree, the following Christmas tree decorations are among my favorites.
Looking for more Christmas inspiration? Be sure to check out the list below.
The ultimate Christmas idea and recipe resource list
- How I Plan My Christmas Decor
- 115+ Creative Christmas Ideas – my favorite resource!
- The Best Christmas Cocktail Recipes
- My Favorite Christmas Cookies
- Christmas Q&A – answering YOUR Christmas questions
- Christmas Appetizer Recipes
- The Ultimate Christmas Music Playlist
- 2018 Christmas at Bayberry House – latest holiday HOME tour
- 2018 Evening at Bayberry House
- How to Add Ribbon to Your Christmas Tree – highly popular post!
(Also, you can click on any image or link in green for more information about all of these trees.)
Must-have Christmas tree decorations
As you’ll see below, I’m a big fan of changing my decor yearly, and that includes my Christmas trees. However, there are certainly some staples I recommend for every tree:
- Lights – whether you opt for a fux tree or a real one, lights are my number-one must have on a tree. I prefer a warm white strand, but choose whatever speaks to you.
- Ornaments – this is the fun part! There are so many colors, shapes, and varieties out there. I tend to do a mix of vintage and new ornaments and usually choose a theme to stick to. You’ll see some great examples below!
- Garland – this is one decorating tool I feel is seriously underrated. There are so many fun garlands out there! It’s an inexpensive way to make your tree pop.
- Ribbon – I’m a huge fan of ribbon on a Christmas tree. So much so that I wrote an entire tutorial on how to add ribbon to your Christmas tree.
- Tree skirt – don’t skip this step! Skirts add texture and coziness to your space.
- Presents – yes, gifts totally count as Christmas tree decorations! They can create quite the visual impact, and it’s good motivation to get your holiday shopping done early. 😉 I have an entire post filled with creative ideas for Christmas wrapping to get you started.
Finally, I do believe in taking time to plan out your Christmas decor for your home (including your tree). If you want a great step-by-step tutorial with lots of ideas and practicals, check out this post on how I plan my Christmas decor.
FAQs about Christmas tree decorating ideas
Now that you know some of my favorite Christmas tree decorating ideas, here are some questions people often ask about decorating their own trees. If you have another question that isn’t answered here, please leave it in the comments, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
How do you decorate a simple Christmas tree?
The best way to keep a Christmas tree simple is just to use some ribbon and a few ornaments of the same color. You can even keep it really minimal by only adding ribbon to the tree and letting the dark green colors stand out, like in the image below.
I always recommend you either purchase a pre-lit tree or add lights to your tree, however. The best part of a Christmas tree is seeing it glow at night!
How do you add ribbon to a Christmas tree?
As you can see from basically every tree above, I love adding ribbon to my Christmas trees. I get asked about how to do this every year, so I put together a blog post and video sharing how to add a ribbon to a Christmas tree.
How do you decorate a modern Christmas tree?
The idea behind modern decor themes is simplicity. Use neutral colors to decorate a modern Christmas tree. Stick with cream, silver, and soft red.
Should your Christmas tree match your room?
Your Christmas tree does not have to match the colors in your room, but it really enhances your space’s coziness if everything is tied together with a similar theme.
When I decorate my Christmas tree, I either pull from colors in the room, or I use colors from the tree around my room to create a cohesive look. Here’s an entire post on how to plan your Christmas decor for your home.
Where should you not put a Christmas tree?
Do not place a Christmas tree near heat sources – like fireplaces or a space heater, as that creates a fire hazard. You should also avoid placing the tree in a place that obstructs the view of guests from each other.
The best places for a Christmas tree are in a corner or in front of a large picture window. However, you can always get creative and try out new spaces!
Beautiful Christmas tree decorating ideas
Let’s jump into my favorite Christmas tree ideas. I know the common saying tells us that “less is more”, but in the case of Christmas trees, I happen to lean the other way. 😉
Each of these trees is filled with plenty of character. You’ll also notice that every tree has a theme—this helps me narrow down my Christmas tree decorations and keeps everything looking nice and pretty rather than chaotic and cluttered.
This was the 2019 tree in my family room. I was after a cozy lodge-inspired look, and I feel I was able to achieve it in this classically-hued tree.
A few things that inspired this tree were the red knit sweater-themed ribbon, the mini ski ornaments, and some amusing hot cocoa mug ornaments.
Lately, I’ve really been into red for Christmas, which I suppose may sound a little predictable or boring. However, it really gives me the best holiday feeling, so I’ve been running with it in my family room. There’s a reason this shade is a classic!
When I’m thinking about new Christmas tree decorating ideas, inspiration can come from anywhere. Back in 2015, the return of Adele prompted the colors I chose for the Christmas tree in my dining room.
I fell in love with a green and gold dress she wore in one of her performances, and that dress inspired the tree.
Of course, those colors took on a direction of their own as I layered the flocked white tree with Christmas decorations like ornaments and gold glittering snowflakes, but I must give credit to Adele and her beautiful dress.
Shopping local thrift stores has always been one of my favorite ways to find unique Christmas tree decorations. Not only are the values great, but you get to capture a piece of holidays gone by.
In fact, one year, I was able to snag a collection of vintage pin and sequin ornaments from eBay that inspired an entire tree.
Last year, I used those same ornaments on a more traditional green tree I set up at my grandma’s house. She hadn’t decorated a tree in years, so I was able to do something special for her.
I love the look. I even include actual gingerbread cookie ornaments! To me, there is something so classic and cozy about the look of gingerbread. Plus, it adds a nice aroma too!
It was such a fun tree to design and decorate. The tree itself was a bit more sparse than my typical one, but all the extra room between branches allowed for plenty of space for my Christmas tree decor, which is always a plus.
If you’ve never tried a flocked Christmas tree, I can’t recommend it enough. While I love a traditional green tree, there’s something that feels a bit more magical and winter-like about a flocked one.
Take a look at the two flocked trees I decorated last year – the one pictured above was in my living room.
I love how all the ornaments and Christmas tree decor pop against that snowy white background.
This flocked tree was in the office of my old home. I was inspired by the colors in a beautiful plaid ribbon I found at HomeGoods. Like I said…inspiration is everywhere!
I even decorated this one twice. The second version made the cover of Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas Magazine!
How’s that for proof of the beauty of flocked trees?
For this Christmas tree, I took inspiration from Christmases past. Glass vintage Santa ornaments sparked this tree wrapped in red.
I loaded up this tree with my favorite Christmas-themed decor including ornaments, candy canes, stockings, beaded string, and (faux) candles. It was magical!
You can read more about how I put it together and see more pictures here.
Not feeling the classic red and green combo this year? Why not give your Christmas tree decor a slightly modern twist! Inspired by shades of blue, green, teal, and white, this decorated Christmas tree is one of my all-time favorite trees.
I decorated this one in 2020—a year when we could all use a bit of extra cheer! I layered it with ornaments in shades of blue and green. See more of this tree (and my living room) in this post.
I also filled this tree with all my glass pinecone ornaments to tie in with some of the large pinecones on my mantel. I completed the look with a white felt ball garland.
I lived in an apartment for a year as I transitioned from my previous home to my current home. This was one of the two trees I set up in that space. There is still so much about this tree that I love. It feels classic and fresh all at the same time. I love the combination of blue, red, and gold.
This was also my first time using a Balsam Hill tree, and I haven’t purchased any other brand since then.
While putting this post together, I realized I never wrote a dedicated post for my main apartment Christmas tree. (I need to do that.) However, it was included as part of my Apartment Holiday Home Tour.
I’m not sure I had a specific theme in mind for this tree. With blues, aquas, grays, and greens in my apartment living room, I designed the tree to fit within that color scheme.
The result was a cozy and icy look. And, it was simple to put together! I just started with a flocked tree and added ornaments that fit the theme and color scheme.
Colorful Christmas tree decorating ideas:
Speaking of color…if you are a fellow fan of colors, you’ll love these Christmas tree decor ideas.
This just shows you don’t always have to have a theme for your Christmas tree decor. You can simply be inspired by colors you love like in the trees below.
This was inspired by a pair of green velvet chairs I purchased for my living room. For this Christmas tree decorating idea, I decided to go all green with touches of silver and gold.
The ribbon I found on Amazon really brought it all together. In recent years, this has been one of my favorite trees. It’s fresh and clean without feeling sterile.
It also sparked the attention of Better Homes & Gardens and consequently appeared in their 2019 December Issue as well as their 2019 Christmas Ideas Magazine.
This tree is an excellent example of how you don’t need to start from scratch every year. With a few subtle changes, I was able to take my Emerald City-inspired tree and turn it into this navy and green beauty.
As you can see, I swapped out the ribbon and added in a bunch of navy and blue ornaments. It’s incredible how just a few little changes can really change the look of a tree without much effort or expense.
In recent years, I’ve added a new tool to my Christmas tree decor arsenal: ornament garlands. As you can probably guess, it’s a garland made of ornaments.
While you can use these nifty garnishes on your mantle or around your front door, I opted to use it instead on my Christmas tree and loved the results.
Here, you can see where I used a copper ball garland on this navy blue Christmas tree.
I have a couple of different ones and have made great use of them in my trees. If you see one at the store, I highly recommend you grab a few!
What’s great about these ball garlands is that you can use them almost anywhere for instant impact. Last year, I decided to weave the rainbow garland into a pine garland on my staircase banister.
The results speak for themselves.
Here’s another tree featuring an ornament garland. I added a rainbow garland to one of my flocked trees, an inexpensive flocked tree I purchased from Walmart. I dressed it up with my colorful Christmas ornament garland, then filled it with mushroom ornaments and red Christmas balls.
With a pretty patterned tree skirt underneath, I love how this cozy (and colorful!) tree turned out.
15. Candy confection
This pink and silver tree is one I styled for a brand, and it’s so fun. (Interesting fact, I set this up and styled it during the middle of summer!)
The theme for this tree came from a collection of ornaments that featured sweet treats like cakes and ice cream.
There’s a lot to love about this tree, but my favorite part might be the pom pom garland!
I had a unique opportunity in 2019 to add a tree to my entryway. As part of a kitchen remodel completed earlier in the year, I removed a closet in this area and wasn’t planning on replacing it until 2020. Since there was ample open space, I added a tree.
This tree is anything but traditional, including its inspiration: a pheasant! I opted for what I call a “woodland glam” tree.
I pulled colors from the pheasant ornament and added more animals to the tree, including deer, owls, and squirrels. Additionally, I incorporated lots of gold, silver, and sparkle for the glam element. It was the perfect thing to see when you walked in the door!
While I’m usually a fan of color for Christmas, I went with blacks and metallics for my Christmas tree one year, and I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out.
The look was super chic and felt quite upscale. However, I kept it interesting with quirky, unique touches such as an owl tree topper and gold sequin unicorn ornaments.
Sometimes a theme can be your best friend when looking for new Christmas tree decorating ideas. Take, for example, this woodland-inspired tree I decorated a few years back.
The woodland cabin theme made finding ornaments and other decorations for this tree much easier. I even added things like lanterns, faux squirrels, and snowy pinecones.
You don’t need to use just “ornaments” designed for a tree. Get creative with the things you include.
Unique Christmas tree decorating ideas:
In the mood to find a bit more of a unique vibe this holiday season? Here are some of my all-time favorite out-of-the-box Christmas tree decorating ideas.
Classic with a bit of quirkiness, this red, white, and mushroom tree quickly became my favorite tree.
I used white and red ornaments along with some of my favorite mushroom ornaments to create a fun and festive look! I like this because the mushrooms are subtle. At first, it looks just like a typical red and white tree, but the more you look at it, the more fun you find!
If you want to see more of this cheerful tree, you can check out this post HERE.
This next tree might look very familiar to the one above. This is the rest I designed the following year. I really loved the red and white tree so I wanted to do something similar, but still keep it different. This is what I came up with.
I call this my Red and Cozy Christmas Tree. This tree brings in more rustic and cozy elements. It’s a bit less modern. It’s amazing how a few simple changes can give a whole new look.
You can see more of this tree HERE.
21. Keep it quirky
When it comes to trimming my tree, I often shy away from anything formal or overly fancy. One year I set up a mini real tree in my entryway and covered it with ornaments of cats in Santa hats.
If you look closely at my trees, you’ll find things like unicorns, more cats, mushrooms, and lots of other quirky things.
I think it’s all about having fun and using ornaments that make you smile.
No list of Christmas tree decorations would be complete without a mention of my gradient rainbow Christmas tree.
This may go down in history as one of my most memorable trees. It is undoubtedly one of the most pinned images on Pinterest. It’s easy to see why.
To be honest, this tree was among the easiest to put together. Over 600 round glass ornaments in a rainbow pattern cover this tree. Some are new, and some are vintage. Together they look spectacular.
My Little Treasures Christmas Tree was a smaller tree set up ion my dining room. It’s decorated with handmade ornaments, dried blood orange slices, and finished off with velvet ribbon.
As you can see I even used vintage crates at the base of the tree instead of the traditional tree skirt. I love the combination of colors. It’s unexpected but still works beautifully!
Inspired by handmade ornaments, colorful lights, and hand-strung popcorn garland, my handmade holiday Christmas tree celebrates the holiday season with personality and fun!
With a focus on a handmade holiday for this tree I sharpened my scissors and heated up my glue gun to craft something meaningful and special for this tree (and my second tree AND…. the rest of my holiday decor too).
As you can see I also opted for those big vintage-inspired colored lights! So fun! Take a closer look the tree and it’s handmade details HERE.
That’s a wrap on my Christmas tree decorating ideas!
And there you have my list of beautiful Christmas tree decorating ideas. I hope a few of these ideas inspire you as you set out to decorate your own tree. I will be sure to update this list as I create and decorate new trees.