How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Worthy of Pinterest, According to an Expert
So the Frasier Fir you picked out in a dimly lit tree lot seemed great—until you put it up in your house and realized it had more gaping holes in it than the 70-footer holding court at Rockefeller Center this year. (Turns out, 2020 has been hard on all of us, greenery included.) Those gaps and holes aren’t necessarily a bad thing, though. In fact, they can be an asset for creating your most over-the-top, eye-catching display yet.
To prove it, we turned to HomeGoods style expert Jenny Reimold. She trims nine trees a year throughout her Nashville home, each worthy of a Macy’s window display. So who better to show us how to decorate a Christmas tree that rivals the ones you see on Pinterest and Instagram? Here’s exactly how she does it.
1. Set a Theme for Your Christmas Tree
Giving your tree a theme makes it easier to create a more cohesive look. While shopping, Reimold keeps an eye out for color combinations or trends that can inspire her. Don’t be limited to classic holiday decorations either—this year, a set of colorful vintage radios formed the basis of her ‘60s-ish, turquoise, aqua and red tree.
2. Try the “Wrap and Tuck” Technique
Once your theme has been set and your tree is up, Reimold wraps her trees in lights and garland. From there, she often adds vertical stripes of ribbon, using a “wrap and tuck” technique she’s developed. Essentially, you wrap the ribbon around a branch at the top of the tree, then run it down the length of the tree, wrapping and tucking the ribbon around branches every few feet to secure it. (To see a full demo, check out the “Xmas décor” highlight on her Instagram stories.)
3. Hunt for Statement Pieces
Ornaments of varying sizes and shapes add visual interest to the tree, but you don’t have to stick to just ornaments. Reimold tries to incorporate a few larger “statement pieces”—each roughly the size of her forearm (like the aforementioned radios)—to make her tree pop.
4. Get to “Shoving and Stuffing”
So, how do you get those larger pieces to actually hang in the tree? Reimold recommends looking for cedar or spruce trees, as they have sturdier branches, though she typically uses artificial trees at home, which can handle heavier items. From there, she employs her “shove and stuff” method: Look at the gaps in the tree, and “shove and stuff” the larger items right in to fill those holes. You may have to stuff them in a bit deeper into the tree than you normally would, squeezing them in snugly, so they’re less likely to fall out.
5. Add in a Little Filler
Reimold often buys a few packs of artificial tree sprigs from HomeGoods, then stuffs them into any other empty spots. “It’s an easy way to add fullness to the tree,” she explains.
6. Ditch the Tree Skirt
A tree skirt is a great way to disguise a clunky tree stand, but it’s not necessary. Reimold often grabs a plush throw blanket and wraps it around the base of the tree, securing it around the back with a hair clip. It’s a free way to work with what you’ve got, it can be adjusted to fit your tree trunk—and nobody ever notices it’s not a proper skirt.
7. Garnish, Garnish, Garnish
Now you’re ready to add in all of your ornaments. Try to place them at varying depths within your tree—that way, when you look at it, your eye travels from branch to branch. It creates more of a surprise-and-delight moment as you take things in. (And, on that note, if you can stick to two or three main colors, with about 10 percent totally random ornaments, you’ll find that your tree looks pretty pulled-together, no matter how different the shapes of the trinkets are.)
8. Repurpose Your Ornament Boxes
Rather than tuck those boxes into the attic, Reimold wraps them in coordinating, festive wrap and uses them as décor surrounding her tree! It’s an easy way to create a lush look, even if you don’t finish your holiday shopping until the 24th.