Christmas Tree Decorating Tips & Hacks


How to decorate a Christmas tree. Decorating tips and hacks. Design Dazzle #christmastree #tagatree #dreamtree #michaelsmakers

I am sharing part 2 of the Michaels Dream Tree Challenge. If you haven’t seen my Christmas Dream Tree check out this years theme “Santa’s In The Woods Christmas Tree“. If Santa and Mrs Clause had a cabin in the woods what would there Christmas tree look like? Well, it would have all their favorite things –  cozy sweater knits, birch logs, snow, reindeer, plaid and Santa’s favorite red tricycle when he was a kid. I have been decorating trees for a very long time and have learned what works best for me. So, I am sharing some of my Christmas Tree Decorating Tips & Hacks with you!

If you haven’t seen all the Dream Trees yet, stop by The Glue String to see all 30 – they will blow you away!


Christmas Tree Decorating Tips & Hacks

how to fluff a Christmas tree

1. Fluffing the Christmas Tree

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Pulling the artificial tree out of the box – you will have a completely flattened out tree. The tree that Michaels sent us has three sections to put together. So it is EASY PEASY. Starting with the base of the tree which has the stand attached. Fluff out all the individual branches by bending and twisting to get it just right. Find the light plugs before adding the next section (just so you will know where they are when you need to plug-in the lights). Add the next section of the tree and do the same fluffing. The last step is to add the top portion of the tree. I love how easy it is to set up an artificial tree with only 3 sections that stack on top of each other. It takes all of about 10 – 15 minutes to fluff the tree.


2. Elevate Your Christmas Tree

I always add a base for my Christmas tree to sit on – even if it is only 8-10 inches high. It really makes a difference! The tree has a bigger presence in my home since we have high ceilings. And larger presents sit directly under the tree instead of only around the tree. I use boxes (shown above) that have cans in them – so they are heavy duty and very sturdy. You could also build a simple base out of wood.

3. How To Keep Your Tree From Tipping Over!

First I want to say this artificial tree has a very wide and safe stand that is much easier to use than a real tree. Unless I put the tree in my front window, I only decorate about 3/4 of my tree. The other 1/4 is against a corner/wall and you can’t see it. I also usually use tree toppers on my tree that can be a bit heavy. So my trees tend to be heavier on one side and I don’t want to risk them falling over. My secret to making the tree more secure: a BAG of RICE. Yep, I purchase a 10 pound bag of rice and place it in a pillowcase. I put the bag on top of the tree stand brackets in the very back. The rice bag ends up laying flat and hides very well under the tree skirt. You would never know it’s there. Of course, I use the rice after Christmas and there is no waste!


4. Lights, lights, lights!

I’m so HAPPY the Michaels tree comes pre-lit! It is easy to find the light cords on the inner part of the tree and plug-in. Lighting on the tree is very important.  I really despise putting lights on the tree. With that said, I always add extra lights. Only one extra strand of lights was added to this 7 foot tree.  Because the tree already has lights wrapped very nicely on it, I just PLACE a set of lights on the tree. It takes about 5 minutes to do it this way. I also don’t wrap the lights around the tree I wrap in sections so it is easy to remove.

TIP: I purchase larger bulbs than what is on the tree. It makes a difference with how the tree shines and just looks great!


Now on to some of my decorating tips:



Christmas Decorating Tips & Hacks - decorating with ribbon. Tree designed by Toni of Design Dazzle #christmastree #tagatree #dreamtree


1. Ribbon is my FAVORITE to decorate with!

I like to decorate with wide ribbon and sometimes it is tricky to find. And if you do find it – it’s very expensive! This ribbon looks like a high-end designer look and the entire roll cost about $12. I happen to go to Michaels on their Labor Day Weekend sale in September and purchase my ribbon at that time. It’s 60% off. So each roll of ribbon cost about $4 each. For the details on how to make this designer high-end look ribbon.



Christmas Decorating Tips & Hacks. Tree designed by Toni of Design Dazzle #christmastree #tagatree #dreamtree

2. Add the unexpected to your Christmas Tree!

 Various textures on a tree are important. On this tree I have: beaded snowballs, birch branches, knit sweater ornaments, “snow” branches, pine cones, twigs, etc. I like to add the unexpected items to my Christmas Trees. This year it is birch logs/branches. Birch logs go perfectly with my Santa’s Cabin in the Woods Tree. Now one thing I know about birch logs/branches is they are heavy. Adding them to the tree would be very difficult due to the weight. So I created FAUX BIRCH LOGS using wood dowels for the smaller branches and pool noodles for the larger branches. I’ve shared the step-by-step tutorial how to make faux birch logs.


Christmas Decorating Tips & Hacks. Tree designed by Toni of Design Dazzle #christmastree #tagatree #dreamtree

3. Create Ornaments With Items You Have At Home!

I love the red wool sweater knit ornaments on the tree. Do you have a favorite sweater that somehow got snagged and isn’t wearable anymore but would make a great repurposed craft? What about turning the sweater into ornament balls or even a gift sack? You can use Styrofoam balls or clear plastic ornaments to cover the sweater around. It is simple and you only need scissors and a glue gun. Look here for the tutorial repurpose sweaters into ornaments.


Christmas Decorating Tips & Hacks: how to create a beautiful tree topper. Tree designed by Toni of Design Dazzle #christmastree #tagatree #dreamtree

How to make this reinddeer head tree topper

4. Make a Beautiful Tree Topper

I love this tree topper and especially how the reindeer head and plaid antlers turned out. For this type of tree topper I use foam to attach the deer head and all the floral Christmas picks to.  In the past, I’ve used a birdcage, an elf, snowman and lots of unusual tree toppers. Check here for the  tutorial on the large deer head tree topper.

Christmas Decorating Tips & Hacks: # 4 Always have beautiful wrapped gifts under the tree.Tree designed by toni of Design Dazzle #christmastree #tagatree #dreamtree

 5. Beautiful Gifts Under The Tree

When your gifts are wrapped beautifully and match your tree decor it makes for a stunning Christmas look. I enjoy having presents wrapped early and placed under the tree – it makes my home seem to have a little more Christmas cheer!


Check out my past two years of Michaels Dream Tree’s. Out of the three trees which one is your favorite?

Christmas Dream Tree Challenge by Michaels - Vintage Shabby Chic Christmas tree designed by Toni of Design Dazzle #shabbychicchristmas #tagatree

My Shabby Chic Vintage Dream Christmas Tree!

The Emerald Forest Jeweled Christmas tree by Toni of Design Dazzle. Beautiful jewels, baubles, greenery, succulents, moss, birds and more! #christmastrees #tagatree #dreamtree

My Emerald & Jeweled Forest Christmas Tree.


Christmas home decor with decorating ideas and tips. Design Dazzle

 I really enjoy decorating my home for Christmas. Check out the link to see DIY ideas for Christmas.

Would you like to spread some holiday cheer? You can by sharing a photo of my dream tree or any trees that inspires you this year on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tag your friend, use the hashtag #TagATree  !! I would love to see all the different styles of Christmas trees!

  • Michaels has a variety of Make it Merry projects for you and your family to work on this season
    •  And don’t miss tomorrow’s special Michaels Holiday Pinterest Party — Saturday, November 15, from 1-4 PM. Come in to your Michaels store and create a fun holiday project with the help of a Michaels associate!



Thank you to Michaels for the gift card and Christmas tree. All opinions and ideas are my own.


Posted on November 14, 2014
Categories: christmas, Christmas Wonderful, crafts, creative ideas, diy projects, diy tutorials & creative ideas, holiday awesomeness, holiday ideas, toni's projects, ideas and tips

  Leave A Comment


  1. Pat Cobb says:
    November 19, 2014

    Everything is beautiful, however you just have that special touch and it is called talent. Thanks for sharing. I love it all.

  2. Shirley Kathan-Sayess says:
    November 19, 2014

    Gorgeous!!! Your birch logs are inspired. Brilliant.

  3. Gail A Reed says:
    November 19, 2014

    Love love Christmas !!

  4. kay odegard/lorenzen says:
    November 19, 2014

    Love your ideas.

  5. Chris says:
    November 21, 2014

    hi Toni. I just discovered your site! Can you tell us how you finished the birch logs? Florida doesn’t have birch trees and I do miss them. Have even asked a friend to bring some from NH but she thought I was kidding.

  6. Layne says:
    November 25, 2014

    This is absolutely beautiful – I’m so excited for Christmas!

  7. Paula Biggs @ Frog Prince Paperie says:
    November 25, 2014

    Always in awe of your beautiful trees, Toni. Glad to have a few hints as to how you get that gorgeous look!

  8. Susan Noble says:
    November 25, 2014

    Absolutely love every single one of your Christmas Trees that you have done. Thanks for the great tips and hacks you inspire me.

  9. Cristy Mishkula says:
    November 25, 2014

    Love these tips! Will definitely be using them soon. How did you get soem of the branches white to look like snow?

  10. Brittany @GreyGrey Designs says:
    November 26, 2014

    These are all so beautiful! I can’t pick a favorite!

    • Toni - Design Dazzle says:
      November 26, 2014

      Thank you Brittany! The trees are so much prettier in person. I still go back and forth between which one is my favorite!

  11. Kristyn says:
    December 15, 2014

    Thank you for the beautiful post and the tips. I’m looking for inspiration for next year (this year isn’t even over yet!) and your trees are so beautiful! I particularly like that Emerald & Jeweled Forest Christmas Tree. It’s absolutely gorgeous!!

    • Toni - Design Dazzle says:
      December 17, 2014

      Thank you so much for your very sweet comments. I appreciate reading them very much. Each year I will always share my Christmas tree. It’s one of favorite ideas to share.
      Have a very Merry Christmas!!

  12. Kim says:
    October 18, 2015

    Can I buy birch Logs from you

    • Toni - Design Dazzle says:
      October 19, 2015

      Hi Kim,
      Sorry I don’t sell items. But i have a tutorial on how to make the birch logs. Check the post for the link.

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