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Sunday, January 24, 2021

The designer Christmas tree of your dreams

With endless options, Christmas trees are the crown jewel of our festive decorations.

There is the traditional green tree, either real, artificial or a miniature living tree.

The winter wonderland experience, which requires you to ignore the hemisphere you live in, involving a white tree is always beautiful, or you can opt for a green tree, then spray on fake snow.

Why not go full hipster by using alternative materials such as clothes hangers, thongs, or even a vinyl wall sticker?

Regardless of tree type, you’ll need a colour scheme, ornament collection, lights, garland or ribbon and a tree topper.

Remembering the art is in the placement, these tips will produce the wow factor.

Colour schemes and themes

Green and red or silver and gold mixed metallics are classics, but trending colour schemes include black and emerald green, tiffany blue and white, and rainbow.

Make sure your colours match your theme: elegant is about sparkle; simple and rustic or minimalist means showcasing the tree and complementing with earthy tones.

If using a feature colour for multiple layers, include a variety of textures such as matte, glitter and shiny metallic to add dimension.

Tree decorating steps

Step 1: If using an artificial tree, the first, least fun, and most essential step is to fluff the tree.

Step 2: Add Christmas lights.Advice suggests a minimum of one strand of 100 lights per 30cm. Check the lights are working and fix any problems before putting them on the tree.

All lights should be identical in size, colour and shape. If your tree is green so too should the lighting cords be; if it’s white, the cords should be white.

Start from the bottom back of the tree, periodically step back to look at your progress and adjust as needed.

Step 3: Choose a garland or ribbonin your colour theme; it’s not recommended to use both.

For the garland, start about 1/5th of the way down the top of the tree, run down the tree at an angle, two to three times for a 2m tree and use floral wire to attach or twist the branches together.

Using ribbon on your Christmas tree makes it easier to change the look every year. Cut the ribbon into lengths varying from 5-10 cm. Start in the middle of the tree, stick your hands in and feel around for somewhere to attach the ribbon. Billow the ribbon diagonally, bring the centre in and secure the middle of the ribbon inside the tree to form one billowed tuft. Once secured, take the rest of the ribbon back out and form one more tuft then secure the tail. Start at another place, repeat all over the tree, mixing up the directions.

Once the tree is covered consistently and thoroughly, add an accent ribbon. As a rule of thumb, the wider the ribbon, the bigger the loops can be, start with a test piece before you decide your length. Finally, add any busy or patterned ribbon in small quantities.

Tips: Don’t pull the ribbon tight against the branches, you don’t want to see a taut wrinkle. When you are billowing, clear the outside branches into a big loop, but not so much it sags.

Step 4: Now it’s time to arrange fillers and ornaments. Fill any gaps with floral pieces, then starting with the largest or most unique, hang ornaments. Repeat with medium then small ornaments; cover any lighting cords, wire, or gaps in your tree.

Tip: As a general rule, place smaller ornaments near the top of the tree and larger ones lower down.

Step 5: Finally,top the tree.Traditional stars or angels look best when coupled with ribbon or another feature, you can mix it up with a berry or floral piece, DIY sprayed stems and branches or even an old wedding centrepiece. It shouldn’t go right to the top of the tree; this feature looks best a hands-width down from the tip.

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