Christmas Tree Decorating Basics Cover the Floor It is always a good idea to cover the floor (no matter if hardwood, natural stone or carpet) with a large piece of plastic in order to protect it from scratches and stains. If you don't use a tree skirt, cover the plastic with a subtle colored piece of fabric. Keep your tree Fresh. Keep the water reservoir in your tree stand full, especially during the tree's first days and week indoors. Most trees with a fresh cut (which will induce water absorption) will drink many quarts of water in the first few hours, so check the water level in your tree stand several times a day for about a week, and less frequently thereafter. Decorating Start Decorating in the following order: Lights, Garlands, Ornaments. Assemble all boxes together before starting the decorating process. Ornaments Mix some special ornaments along with the generic ones. Special ornaments like birdhouses, angels, special handcrafted ornaments should be mixed with the regular baubles. Perfect Time The perfect time to decorate a tree is in the Evening. It will bring out the entire magic of the twinkling lights and sparkling ornaments. Start With the Lights When decorating, start with the lights first. Starting at the base of the trunk and working up, wrap the lights around every major branch, moving from the trunk to the tip and back. Do not just wrap the cables around the outside of the tree branches. It gives the tree more sparkle when it is lit from the inside as well. String the lights around the trunk as well as the branches to light the tree from inside as well as from outside. Use different types of lights. Faceted glass bulbs appear brighter. Small twinkle lights and colored lights also bring a lot of sparkle and shine. LED lights are also useful as they can be kept illuminated for a longer time without the fear of lights getting too hot. You can use single colored lights if working on a themed tree or mix and match a variety of different colored lights. Next, the Garlands The second step in decorating a Christmas tree is to adorn it with Garlands. Garlands are a pretty way to decorate your tree. Drape your garlands before you add the ornaments. A Variety of garlands can be used. Flowers, beads, knit, paper, ribbons and even organza or tissue fabric can be used as garlands. Start at the top, stringing less garland, and work your way down, increasing the amount of garland. For ribbon, paper or cloth garlands, wrap them loosely around the tree. For thin beaded garlands, swag them from branch to branch. Take care not to wrap the garlands too tight so that the branches start bulging out of the garlands. And Finally, the Ornaments Now it is time to hang all the ornaments that you have collected over the years. The best way to do this is to assemble all your decorations together first. Mix some special ornaments along with the generic ones. Special ornaments like birdhouses, angels, special handcrafted ornaments should be mixed with the regular red, white and green ornaments. For an interesting variety, mix a variety of shapes like icicles, tear drops and stars together. To showcase all your ornaments properly, hang the largest ornaments first. Space them evenly apart. Fill in around them with medium and small sizes, balancing the overall look. Finish with your special ornaments such as specialty shapes, angels, crystals, birdhouses etc. Just like the lights, create some depth by hanging some ornaments around the trunk. If decorating around a theme, use ornaments to match the theme.
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