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With less than a month to go until the big day it’s time to tackle the big Christmas feature: your Christmas tree! Most people in the UK buy their Christmas tree during the second week of December, especially if they’re buying a real one to prevent needles dropping too soon. However, if you want to avoid the tricky business of finding a good real tree and avoid the mess, it’s possible to invest in a quality artificial one.

How to dress your Christmas Tree for stunning effect - by Marcus of the Christmas Decorators

The best part of buying an artificial tree is that there are so many varieties: pre-lit, coloured, different widths and heights.  In our video with the Christmas Decorators we’ve gone for a large, traditional tree that has lights already incorporated.  The great thing about this is that you can change the light settings so it twinkles however you wish!  And if you’re reluctant to give up the scent of a real tree, you don’t have to miss out: you can add to the festive feel of your room by adding naturally fragrant seasonal decorations (like orange peel, cinnamon sticks and pine cones).


Before you get started, you will need the following essential items, including an artificial tree, which you can get hold of from garden centres, department stores or online.

  • Floristry wire
  • Assorted decorations
  • A long length of wired ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Organza
  • Present boxes
  • Artificial floristry stems
  • Lights (if not using a pre-lit tree) 
  1. Firstly, work with the tree branches to give it more shape so it looks more natural.  If you’re not using a pre-lit tree, add the lights first by starting at the top of the tree and winding them downwards through the branches so that they are evenly spaced.  Drape the wire out of the back of the tree. 
  1. Next, add the ribbon to the tree.  It’s more traditional and sophisticated than tinsel and gives the tree a luxurious feel.  We’ve used two types of ribbon placed one on top of the other and cut the ribbon into three separate lengths, but how many ribbon drops you use will depend on the size of your tree. 
  • Start at the top of the tree pinching the ends of the ribbon together and winding it round a branch to secure it in place. 
  • Decide which direction you’re taking the ribbon, stretch it about six inches, find another branch and wind it around. Then continue to work your way in a zig-zag motion around the tree. 
  • Keep going until it winds its way all the way around the tree to the bottom and then hide the end at the bottom under a branch.  Repeat this twice more with other lengths of ribbon if necessary. 
  1. Once the ribbon is in place add your decorations.  You can choose whatever theme you like but we are going for a natural, traditional theme that will add lovely Christmas scents to the room without a real tree!  This includes cinnamon sticks, pine cones and dried oranges.  Whenever you add your decorations add them in groups of three or singles for the best effect. 
  • To attach pine cones, very tightly wrap some floristry wire horizontally into the branches of a cone and then twist the ends together.  Do this to three cones and then wind the ends of the wire together.  Use the ends of the wire to attach to the tree branches. 
  • To add your our own bundles of cinnamon sticks, hold three together and wrap some floristry wire tightly around the centre, then twist the ends together.  To cover up the wire, wrap raffia around the centre and tie it in a bow. Then secure the bundle onto the tree with the ends of the wire.
  • To add dried oranges, push some floristry wire through the bottom of three pieces, wrapping the ends together to attach to the branches.  You can also use this technique for lotus flowers but just using one at a time.
  • We’ve used sprigs of artificial berries and gold foliage throughout the tree by snipping off pieces from a larger piece and wrapping floristry wire around the bottom of the stems.
  • We’ve also added some larger individual items such as rustic wooden Christmas trees, glitter butterflies, wooden hearts, gold stars, artificial poinsettias and lotus flowers.  To attach the lotus flowers you can use the same technique above.
  • To add baubles, group them together in threes and secure using floristry wire through the loops.  If you have a really fabulous individual bauble, add it on its own in a larger space on the tree. 
  1. Now your tree is nearly complete!  To create a beautiful display at the bottom, roll out a length of organza that matches your colour scheme, wrapping, pooling it and looping it around the bottom and base of your tree.  Then place some present boxes at the base to complete the effect.  You can move these once you have real presents to put underneath later in December. 
  1. Finally we need to add something at the top of your tree.  We have stayed away from the traditional star or angle but obviously it’s up to you what you put in pride of place.  To make a visually striking ‘explosion’ like as in the video: 
  • Get hold of some long artificial floristry stems, such as pine branches, bracken, berry branches.  We’ve chosen a mixture of pieces that are green, red and gold.
  • Place them together in a bouquet so you have the shorter pieces on the outside and the longer pieces in the middle.  Trim if necessary.
  • Wrap some floristry wire around the stems to secure.
  • Place the bouquet at the top of the tree using floristry wire as before. 

So that’s how to dress a Christmas tree for stunning effect – thanks for reading.  Watch the video for more tips and look out for the rest of the series over the coming weeks to learn how to make a garland and dress your table for stunning effect. 

Countryside has dressed their show homes for Christmas so for inspiration come and visit them and view the new home you could be enjoying in the New Year! 

You can also check out our other blogs and videos in this series on how to decorate your mantlepiece with a garland, create a fabulous wreath for your front door and dress your table for Christmas. 

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The Christmas Decorators


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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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