Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas | Midwest Living

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

Here are 35 looks to inspire your Christmas tree decorating. Whether it is formal, natural, funky or classy, a Christmas tree expresses your personality and philosophy.

Burlap wrap: closeup

Burlap ribbons and bows complement the brown, bronze, gold and silver ornaments on this tree.

Family heritage: closeup

Straw ornaments like this snowflake are traditional Scandinavian favorites.

North Woods style

Pinecones and magnolia sprigs tucked into branches complement the knotty pine walls and other natural decor in this Minneapolis area home. See the next slide for a closeup of this tree.

North Woods style: closeup

Bird's nests, fresh bay leaves, loose pinecones, acorns and glass fruits grace the nature-theme tree.

Personal pride

A stash of ribbons won during dog competitions comes out of the box to adorn a dog-lover’s tree in this Zionsville, Indiana, home.

Easy elegance

With two pheasant hunters in the family, it is fitting this tree gets a wispy look from feathers. The tree harmonizes with the sage green walls, wood beams and natural flooring in this Missouri home. See next slide for a closeup.

Easy elegance: Closeup

Crackle-glass orbs continue the textural theme of the pheasant feathers and burlap.

White Christmas

A flocked Fraser fir decked with glass and silver ornaments provides continuity with the white cottage interior of this Kansas home. See next slide for closeup.

White Christmas: closeup

Glass icicles shimmer in a snow-white scene.

Crafty touches

Homemade ornaments suit a tree in a Craftsman-style home. See the next slide for a closeup of this tree.

Crafty touches: closeup

Gingerbread cookies, strands of popcorn and berries, and sticks of rock candy are some of the homemade elements on this tree.

Retro fun

This tree at Des Moines' Festival of Trees & Lights features a fun '50s theme with ornaments that include a poodle skirt, Route 66 sign, juke box and records. Note the retro-style gas pump used as a tree topper! 

Tiny trees

No room for a full-size tree, or no time to decorate one? Create an eye-catching miniature version with something as simple as this pot of rosemary. 

More ideas for tiny trees

Suit the setting

Beside a grand staircase and in view of a formal dining room, this tree has to wear finery. Even the tree topper makes an elegant statement. See the next slide for a closeup.

Suit the setting: Closeup

Such a grand tree requires a suitable topper. A bouquet of ribbons works without making it top-heavy.

Snowman theme

Snowmen heads and hats, carrots, snowflakes and a plaid scarf "garland" add winter cheer to this tree. The topper, of course is a colorful hat!

Warm it up

Extending the spirit outside seems to call for some extra warmth. So this tree skirt is a blanket. Snowflakes and pinecones continue the mood.

Homemade focus

A variety of homemade ornaments decorate this tree, including long spirals and candy canes made with crafts store tri-beads. Snowman and Christmas tree shapes colored by kids add more festive touches.

Winter whites

Tans and blues extend from the room decor right onto the tree for a serene effect. See next slide for a closeup.

Winter whites: closeup

Touches of barely there blue pop against a serene scene of glass and silver.

Lego love

Legos are the star of this kid-friendly tree, featured at Des Moines' Festival of Trees & Lights. A Lego Santa tops the tree, while other holiday-theme Lego constructions dangle from the branches. Clear plastic ornaments filled with Legos also hang from the tree, and the garland includes Lego bricks. 

Joyful sentiment

A wild assortment of ribbons, stick lights and colorful ornaments clearly sends a message of joy. The top hat is a crowning touch!

Yarn decor

This tree at Des Moines' Festival of Trees & Lights features giant balls of yarn in varying sizes and a yarn-wrapped tree topper.

Burlap wrap

Burlap ribbons reflect the other natural elements in this room. Brown paper wrapping on presents anchors the look in nature. Words on the tree skirt pick up the writing above the mantel. 

Burlap wrap: closeup

Burlap ribbons and bows complement the brown, bronze, gold and silver ornaments on this tree.

Good wishes

Peaceful doves pop against holly sprigs and glittering acorns on a tree that wishes viewers peace and bounty. 

Feliz Navidad

The decorators of this tree at Des Moines' Festival of Trees & Lights went all-out with a Feliz Navidad theme, from pinatas at the base of the tree to a sombrero at the top.

Brighten spirits

Bejeweled with twinkle lights, this tree can’t help but sparkle. See the next slide for a closeup.

Brighten spirits: closeup

Sticks of faux berries jut out from a tree that dazzles with lights. 


White lights and silver ornaments make this tinsel tree shine brighter. 

Family touches

Paper chains and photocopied family pictures lend personal touches to this tree. An urn brimming with oranges dresses up the bottom of the tree, while sand and gravel inside the urn stabilize the trunk.

Family touches: closeup

Copies of vintage photos and handmade garland accent this pretty tree.

Natural beauty

Sticks gathered from the yard add a woodsy touch to this tree; ornaments in green, brown and other natural colors add to the look. See the next slide for a closeup.

Natural beauty: closeup

Flowers, owls and more traditional Christmas ornaments all complement the woodsy theme of this tree.

"Silent Night" theme

This homeowner printed words from the song "Silent Night" on parchment paper and cut them into tags to use as ornaments. Cardstock drummer boys add another craft touch.

"Silent Night": closeup

Printouts of the words of "Silent Night" hang on this tree along with a garland of buttons, framed silhouettes and other color-theme decorations.

Shimmery setting

Though the tree continues the gold of the living room decor, its shimmer and shine keeps it the centerpiece. See the next slide for a closeup.

Shimmery style: closeup

Gold and green ball ornaments shine among tufts of neutral raffia. 

Bright baubles

Pompoms, polka dots and primary colors stand out against the brightness of silver cookie cutters hanging on the tinsel tree. 


Candy canes and cloth circles keep this red-and-green tree kid friendly. See next slide for a closeup.

Kid-friendly: closeup

Twist red and white clay or pipe cleaners together to make candy canes that look sweet but won't tempt toddlers.

Passion for pastels

Pastel ribbons drape the tree in subtle glamour. Spots of citrus yellow add mood-brightening color.  See next slide for closeup.

Passion for pastels: closeup

Fabric flowers and sequined clutches make for a feminine look. 

Go glam

Teal and purple stand out on this tree decked in metallics. See next slide for closeup.

Go glam: closeup

Every ornament on this tree sparkles with glitter.

Color-coordinated mix

This tree shows off a mix of color-coordinated baubles, silk flowers, twigs, pinecones, glittery deer, and handmade ornaments, while ice skates under the tree nod to a favorite family activity.

Tower of sweets

Candy canes, gumdrops, M&Ms and other sweet treats cover this tree from bottom to top.

Princess appeal

Satin ribbons, sparkling slippers and fairy-tale ornaments adorn this fanciful tree at Des Moines' Festival of Trees and Lights. 

Cookie theme

Miniature rolling pins, cookie cutters, gingerbread men and bundles of cinnamon sticks mix with burlap wrap, bells and twine ornaments on this tree. 

Woodland whimsy

An owl tops this nature-theme tree, which also has sparkly pine cones, feathers, and miniature bird nests. 

Tree of games

Cards, spinners, tiles and other pieces from a variety of games adorn this tree at Des Moines' Festival of Trees and Lights. 

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