How to decorate a tree with your personal style

HANG IN THERE: Check out Gemma Patford's top 10 tips for decorating your Christmas tree in a way that celebrates your signature style.
HANG IN THERE: Check out Gemma Patford's top 10 tips for decorating your Christmas tree in a way that celebrates your signature style.

Decorating a Christmas tree is an annual tradition in most Australian homes, filled with fun and merriment as families pull out the tinsel for another year, trying to recall whose turn it is to put the star on the top as Michael Bublé croons Silent Night in the background.

Others however, find the entire process overwhelming, particularly those who see it as an extension of their decorating prowess, and dare not step back from the branches until it looks like something you'd see in the front window at David Jones.

But a Christmas tree should be a personal representation of the season, and say as much about you and your family as it does about all the traditional trimmings.

Renowned maker and craft queen Gemma Patford's has joined forces with Spotlight to create a list of top 10 tips for decorating your tree that also creates your unique look.

Using Spotlight's extensive range of Christmas decorations (and some non-conventional items), here are Gemma's go-to tricks for decorating her tree.

  1. Select a theme. You might like to experiment with a new idea. Scribble down all your ideas thoughts that come to mind when you think of that theme.
  2. Once you've selected your theme, select your colours. Be specific, chose three to four colours and don't go overboard (unless that's your theme!).
  3. If you are using tinsel - always hang this first. Try and push it into the tree branches so it is half hidden. I love how hidden tinsel makes your tree look fuller and gives it a subtle sparkle.
  4. Sort your decorations into colours, then if you have the energy, sort them into sizes. Hang the largest decorations first. Emphasise the larger decorations with the smaller items. Go big or go home!
  5. Experiment with textures. Use fabric decorations next alongside shiny decorations. Pop some fake flowers into the mix.
  6. If you opt to forgo tinsel this year, consider making fabric garlands out of strips of velvet. Simply braid or drape long garlands of fabric into your tree like you would tinsel. It creates a beautiful luxurious effect.
  7. Lengthen the hang length of your baubles by replacing the existing string with beautiful long ribbons.
  8. Make it personal. Create a personalised decoration for each member of the house hold. My mother-in-law cut our initials out of cardboard and decorated them with plastic gems. It's a nice sentimental touch.
  9. Tree toppers are such a personal choice. I use the paper angel I made when I was a kid. Moths have eaten most of it, but regardless of how styled my tree is, I like to roll out Priscilla the Paper angle. She's seen a lot!
  10. For a neat way to store gifts, consider reusable sacks. A few handmade velvet Santa bags under the tree will look amazing and will save you a few wheelie bins of recycling.