Whether you chop it down in a snow-covered forest or you assemble it from pieces that you store in the attic, trimming the Christmas tree is a tradition that lets you know the holidays really have arrived.
Sabrina Soto, our Target Style Expert for Home, showed us the right way to trim the tree. In a few easy steps, here’s how she creates a memorable holiday masterpiece that you’ll be tempted to leave up all year long.
Hang lights from the inside of the tree outward
Instead of resting strands of lights on the tips of branches, place them closer to the trunk of the tree, Sabrina suggests. “That way the glow radiates outward.” Nestling them far inside the branches also cuts down on the number of bulbs you need.
Add texture with ribbon or garland
“You definitely want ribbon with a wire,” says Sabrina. “You’ll be better able to place it exactly where you want it to go.” Weave the ribbon or garland through the tree, making sure to place some loops deep within the branches and on the outer edges.
Hang filler ornaments—lots of them
Sabrina loves using metallic spheres in a variety of colors, sizes and finishes. “Put heavier ones in the middle, and smaller ones at the ends of the branches,” she says. “Never put the biggest ones at the ends—they’ll be too heavy.” Stock up on about ten spheres for every foot of tree (a six-foot tree = 60 spheres.)
Use shapes as accents
Add ornaments in shapes like pinecones, acorns, leaves, or birds, aiming to include about five per foot of tree. If you have family heirloom ornaments, this is the time to add those, too. “It makes the tree look more interesting,” Sabrina says. When you’re adding ornaments, don’t just focus on the most visible side of the tree. “You really want to put ornaments in the back too,” she advises. “You’re not fooling anyone, even if the tree’s in a corner!”
Place a finishing touch
“You don’t want the topper to be bigger than half the width of the tree,” Sabrina cautions. So whatever tops your tree—angel, starburst, bow, or sparkling snowflake—don’t choose something that overwhelms the tree itself. “The tree should be the star,” she says. “The topper is just like a piece of jewelry.”