How to decorate a Christmas tree

Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the most exciting times of the year, marking the beginning of the festive season and bringing a touch of magic to your home. Get the family involved too to add to the fun and set the scene for the excitement to come throughout this wonderful time of the year. Interior design expert Julia Kendell shares some of her favourite ideas for Christmas tree decor to make sure your tree takes centre stage this Christmas season.

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Watch how Julia Kendell decorates a tree


Here's how to decorate a Christmas tree

  1. Add lights to your tree
  2. Swap some of the colours to update your tree decorations
  3. Decide how many decorations you need
  4. Put your decorations on the tree

Materials: Artificial Christmas tree, fairy lights, red baubles, white ornaments, natural timber ornaments.

1. Add lights to your tree

Decorate your Christmas tree with twinkling lights to bring it to life and add that festive shimmer. Generally speaking, you should allow 100 lights per vertical foot of tree, but for a little extra wow factor, you can use up to 200 lights. If the tree’s going in the corner of the room, remember you don’t need to wrap the lights all the way round the tree. Start at the bottom and push the lights in and out to make sure you’ve got illumination at the trunk, as this helps to add depth to the overall look.

2. Swap some of the colours to update your tree decorations

While it would be lovely to replace all your Christmas tree ornaments every year, sometimes it’s nice to keep at least some of the decorations you already have. By just swapping some of the colours, you can completely update your tree’s look. For example, if you have traditional decorations in red, gold and green, you can take out all the gold and green ornaments and leave the red ones to create a brand new Scandinavian style – replacing the gold and green with ornaments in white tones and natural timber.

3. Decide how many decorations you need

Generally, it works well to have around 100 decorations for a four-foot tree and 150 decorations for a six-foot tree, depending on the size of the decorations and how full you want your tree to look.

4. Put your decorations on the tree

Evenly space out the decorations around the tree, using the smaller ones towards the top. Use the ‘not so special’ or ‘filler’ decorations further inside the tree to add depth and put your special decorations in more prominent positions. If you have breakable or precious decorations and there are pets or children around, it’s a good idea to wire them on to make sure they don’t fall off.


Now that you know how to perfectly decorate a Christmas tree, discover further festive inspiration in our Christmas hub, ideal for adding extra seasonal sparkle to your home this year.

How many lights do I need for my christmas tree?

Knowing how many lights to use on your tree can be tricky, don't use enough and your tree will look sparse, use too many and your tree will look busy.

Luckily we've put together a simple guide to help you get just the right amount:


Recommended lights by tree height matrix


Once you know how many lights you need, all that's left to do is to find the right lights by quantity and colour.

Number of lights

100 300 500 800 1000 2000 3000
Bright White
Warm White
Multicoloured X X
Pastel X X X X X X
Pink X X X X X X
Blue X X X X X X


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