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What’s Behind Your Christmas Tree?

This may sound like a silly question, however, I’ll ask it anyway. What’s behind your Christmas tree? Having a well decorated Christmas tree can be spoilt by a poor background. Professionals, when photographing decorated Christmas trees, often use black curtains as a backdrop. The Christmas tree really stands out and photographs really well. If you go to shows where decorated Christmas trees are on show, you’ll notice the same.  You could hang a black curtain behind your Christmas tree, however, you don’t need to go to that extreme. Just stand back and look at the space either side and behind, then consider what you could add to finish the effect. Here are a few suggestions:

  • A Christmas wreath – this is the simplest addition. Hang a Christmas wreath at a height and distance that adds to the overall effect of your Christmas tree. This is particularly useful if you have a wide light coloured wall behind your tree. It also looks good hanging from a curtain rail in a window.
  • Potted colour – while winter may be approaching, you can still find garden shops with flowering pot plants. Place these on a stand to one side of your Christmas tree. Find flowers who’s colour complement your Christmas tree. If you have a wide wall behind your tree, you could try placing potted colour either side of your Christmas tree.
  • Baubles – hang two or three large baubles, or a single ball made from large baubles, to one side and just below the height of your Christmas tree. If you are using several large baubles, vary their height. To make a single ball using baubles, using a hot glue gun to attach baubles around a central bauble.
  • Garlands – garlands made from anything that catches your imagination can add to interest to your Christmas tree. Hang several garlands below each other in a wave shape rather than using straight lines.
  • Christmas lights – hang net lights behind your Christmas tree. This doesn’t add a lot to your tree during the day unless you have a dark background. However, it can add a touch of magic at night.

Of course, you could mix and match those ideas, however, our suggestion is simple – less is more. Your Christmas tree is the star of the show, anything else is designed to complement it and to help it stand out. It’s always a lot of fun putting it altogether however.

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Using Christmas Decorations To Brighten Up Your Home

While we traditionally decorate a Christmas tree with a wide range of decorations, you don’t have to stop there. Christmas decorations can be used anywhere in the home, it just takes a little imagination and the desire to do something different. One area of the home that always looks great when decorated is a staircase. Consider some of these ideas, and if you don’t have a staircase, take the ideas on board and use them to affect elsewhere.

Baubles are normally tied to a Christmas tree, yet they can look good anywhere. Tie a Christmassy ribbon to baubles and hang them from a staircase railing. Mix the colours around, or use contrasting decorations with just the one colour bauble. You can add red and white Santas, white stars, or white angels for contrast. Don’t fall into the trap of hanging everything the same length. Vary your length including allowing some to hang below the staircase to the supporting wall. Use your imagination and be sure to stand back constantly to review your handiwork. Don’t have a staircase – use the same principle to hang baubles of varying lengths in your window – that looks great too, especially at night from the outside with the interior lights highlighting them.

If you have a cut Christmas tree, cut the bottom branch or two off, trim them back a little, then run them down the length of the staircase railing. The green foliage looks good if offset by red, gold or silver baubles. Don’t forget to hang a length of foliage down the newel at the foot of the stairs.  You can decorate the foliage as well, however, use small decorations. There are two problems with using a branch from your Christmas tree – you need to be sure your tree still looks proportionate with missing lower branches, and, more importantly, the branch used on the staircase will suffer from needle drop.

Finally, add a string of Christmas lights. LED lights are best for this as they generate less heat and are more hardy. You could also consider rope lights or icicle lights depending on the size of your staircase. If you can place your decorated Christmas tree alongside your decorated staircase, the overall effect is terrific. Christmas decorations are not just for Christmas trees; they can be used anywhere you like.

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Creating Novel Christmas Tree Toppers

While we focus a lot of creative attention to decorating Christmas trees, we often forget all about the top of the tree.  Instead of being creative, most decorators revert to the traditional star or angel for their tree. Why don’t you become creative and add something completely different to the top of your tree this Christmas? Here are a few Christmas tree topper suggestions to consider.

  • Feathers – you can buy imitation feathers from most craft shops. Peacock feathers can add some real elegance to a tree – and certainly look different.
  • Flowers – a posy of fresh flowers can make a great Christmas tree topper. You can also consider larger flowers such as a white poinsettia or hydrangea.
  • Snow Flake – your children will enjoy helping here, in fact, most school age children are better at making a snow flake than their parent. Fold up a sheet of white paper then cut a snow flake design. Unfold and behold a wonderful snow flake for the top of your tree.
  • Ribbons – create an elegant and formal bow tie using ribbon,  or simply hang coloured ribbons in a streamer effect. It’s your tree, use your imagination.
  • Teddy Bears – teddy bears make great decorations, whether it’s small bears for the tree, or a large bear for the top, they look great. If you have a young member of the family, make it their teddy once Christmas has finished.
  • Toys – there are a wide range of toys that can be added to the top of a Christmas tree. Make sure the toy is not too large for the tree.
  • Photos – for the sentimentalists, photos of absent or departed family members often bring sobriety to Christmas, they also make the tree somewhat special.
  • Star – while a star is very traditional, you can make your own. Make a wire five pointed star then decorate it with what ever comes to hand. Small coloured baubles, paper, flowers – again, use your imagination.
  • Mix’n’Match – try mixing several of these ideas together, for example, a teddy with a posy of fresh flowers, or a hand made stare with ribbons.

Christmas tree toppers can be anything that appeals to you and your family. The joy of a modern Christmas tree is that there is no right or wrong way to decorate a tree when it comes to being creative. If the end result looks good in your eyes, then that is what matters most. Tree toppers add that final finish, and you don’t have to stick with traditional Christmas stars, create your own stunning effect instead.

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Adding Garlands To Your Christmas Tree For Added Effect

Christmas trees look great when they are fully decorated with lights, baubles and trinkets. You add extra dimension to your tree by adding garlands. In some areas, the tradition is to use colored tinsel as a garland, however, you can really make garlands out of anything. Crepe paper can be used to make great garlands, especially if you give the crepe paper a half twist between branches. You can sit down with string and beads (or any other craft material) and create your own as well – kids love this task and they can be as creative as they wish. One thing to be careful with when using beads is that you don’t make your garland too heavy.

When placing a garland on a Christmas tree, work from the top slowly going around your tree. Never place a garland too tightly around a tree, otherwise you will tend to pull branches together and this will take away the symmetry that Christmas trees are famous for. Instead, place the garlands loosely with a slight sagging between branches. Work your way from the top of the tree to the bottom. Light garlands such as those made from tinsel or crepe paper look good on the branch extremities as the final decoration. Heavier garlands should be placed deeper into the tree where the branches are a little stronger.

Decorating a Christmas tree is all about imagination, and about what looks good to your eye. Be sure you garlands complement your lights and baubles – each should add to an overall picture. One danger that many make is to make a Christmas tree too busy. This is a Christmas tree, so we do want to see the tree as well.

When completed, step back and look at the finished product. Does it look balanced; do branches sag from too much weight? Do remember to turn the room lights off and your Christmas lights on – this will give you a good idea of how well decorated your Christmas tree. Decorating a Christmas tree should be fun, not a chore – so enjoy the experience, you only get to do it once a year. Of course, you have to order your tree first – have you ordered your farm fresh cut Christmas tree yet?

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Turn Baubles Into A Fun Tabletop Christmas Decoration

Are you looking for new and novel Christmas decorations? You are really only limited by your imagination when it comes to creating decorations, and sometimes, the items required are all close at hand. While baubles are commonly used to decorate Christmas trees, they can be used in a variety of places. Here’s a do-it-yourself tabletop decoration that you and the children should have fun putting together. Remember, use your imagination, and include other decorations like leaves, dried berries and dried twigs for ever better effect.

Materials: Length of dowel (this is the height of the table top decoration so cut to your preferred size); silver or gold wrapping paper; baubles and decorations in a range of sizes and colours; old large sock stuffed to form a rough ball shape; attractive bowl filled with stones, rocks or glass beads (deep enough to anchor your decoration). You will also need a large needle and thread and plasticine.

How: wrap the dowel in silver or gold wrapping paper. Place one end in to the stuffed sock and keep in place using an elastic band. Thread a large needle and tie one end to the hanging ring of a bauble. Thread the needle through the sock pull the thread through until the bauble is firm against the sock (not to tight). You can thread the next bauble and continue placing baubles (and other decorations) as you go.

Be creative, the end result should be similar to lollipop made from baubles and anything else you have found. You can add hanging ribbon or tinsel for added effect if you like. Once complete, anchor the base into the plasticine, then place in the bowl surrounded by rocks, stones or beads.

This decoration looks great as a central tabletop decoration, and it’s one that you (and your children) can proudly claim as your own. After Christmas, you can easily take the decoration apart again, carefully storing the decorations ready for an all new decoration next Christmas. Tip – the larger the ball shape to begin with, the larger the lollipop, however, don’t make it too big, otherwise it will be unstable and hard to keep from toppling over. If you don’t have enough baubles, then check out our range of fabulous Christmas baubles – there’s plenty there to keep your imagination busy this year.