Christmas tree decorationsTis the season for decorating gorgeous Christmas trees and I am all about making my holiday tree very personal and handmade. Though I love the smell of a real evergreen tree, I was so happy to have a new reusable tree from Michaels this year. As a blogger I do have to set mine up long before I would have in the past and I am not interested in picking up a pile of dry needles in mid-November. I will add evergreen garlands and branches in December to add that holiday fragrance. Michaels trees are pre-lit, lovely and very affordable. Though I do my yearly handcrafted Christmas tree (as I did last year and will soon share my 2014 version), for this Michaels tree I took the challenge to create a handcrafted look by using the a selection of rustic and natural looking items I found at the Michaels store. You can see all of the details in this reveal post and find the tutorial for the paper snowflakes right here.

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Today I am going to share with you my 7 tips and tricks to decorating a stunning tree. Most likely you have almost everything you need and you can repurpose items that are not made to be a tree ornament but are meaningful to you. This is what makes a personal tree. However you decorate, here are my top 7 tips.

1) Pick a theme. Even if your ornaments have been a random collection throughout the years, that in itself can be a theme. If you are dressing your tree with ornaments made by your kids. . . make that the theme by adding hand-strung popcorn and homemade stars. For my theme this year I chose a Pacific Northwest woodland look.

2) Start inside out. If you don’t have a pre-lit tree and are adding your own string lights, wrap your branches from the center of the tree out to the end of your branches. Be generous with your lights so that every few inches inside and out has a light. This will give your tree depth and dimension.

3) A lot of a good thing. To bring the tree together from top to bottom, I like to add one or two items throughout the tree that is similar. This could be a garland, or simple gold Christmas balls. By doing this I can mix and match the rest of my decorations and there is still a look of overall consistency.

4) Go big, go small, go unexpected. When I choose a theme for my tree I always pick a few items that make a big impact. This year it was the three large deer that you would normally see on a mantel or buffet that served as both my big and unexpected item. It is important when you add large pieces into your tree that you balance it with small items as well to fill out the tree and add visual interest.

5) Add texture. In picking decorations for a tree, bring in different textures and visual interests. A starting list to pick from is shiny, sparkly, soft, fluffy, wood, paper, nature or fabric. Pick at least three from this list or add your own favorite texture. One item that I felt really pulled my tree together was my red berry branches. I would consider that one of my nature item and the tiny texture of the berries with the red pop was the perfect final touch.

6) Go deep. When I begin to decorate my tree I will start with my round balls since this is something I have plenty of. I will place at least half of the balls deep into the tree branches which really helps add dimension and richness to the final look. Using the berry branches tucked deep into the tree is another way to add depth.

7) Make a statement. Your tree topper is a great way to make a statement and to give your tree that exclamation mark. For our tree we used another unconventional item with the kraft trophy head and keeping with our Pacific Northwest look. Think outside of the star or tree angel or make your star the stunning centerpiece of your tree.

Michaels and I would love to see how you decorate your tree this year so we are inviting you to Tag a Tree. Just post your tree on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #tagatree. You can @mention a friend or family to add a little cheer, and make sure and @liagriffith (my facebook is @liagriffith.hyl) so that I will be notified when you post. I am looking forward to seeing them.

If you have not seen all 30 of the Michaels Makers trees, stop by The Glue String and take a look. All Michaels stores are hosting a Holiday Pinterest Party tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 15 from 1-4pm – come in and create a fun holiday project with the help of a Michaels associate! Cheers! ~Lia

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