How To Decorate A Christmas Tree 2021

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There are so many ways to decorate your Christmas tree—and ten times more decorations to bring your dream aesthetic to life. Even as a market editor and prop stylist with 16 years of experience and credits at Dwell, Domino, Travel + Leisure, and more, it can be overwhelming to sift through all of the noise to highlight the very best decor to tell a visual story or put the finishing touches on a room to make it camera ready.

In fact, I’m still deciding what direction I’d like to go in with my holiday decor this year, so I’ve been searching on Pinterest and Instagram like it’s my job (well, it kinda is). Below are the four concepts I’m most excited about, as well as the essentials you need to pull them off. From a pared down and minimalist aesthetic (think: wood-bead garlands and a neutral palette) to a style for the color-loving maximalist side of me (loads of vintage-inspired glass ornaments and multicolored bows—so fun!), each feels festive in their own unique way. If you’re still pondering how to trim your tree, you’ll find all the inspiration you need below.

Photo by Terrain

By having a Christmas tree (real or faux), you’re already bringing nature indoors, but why not double down on that idea with woodland-inspired decor? Pinecone, leaf, and mushroom ornaments are a start, but layering in textural, preserved elements like Italian ruscus and asparagus foliage takes this look to the next level. Major bonus points if you go all in and attempt a mossy, woodland-scene tree skirt.

Antique Green Glass Pinecone Ornament | Shop on Terrain, $20

Photo by Terrain

Farmhouse Pottery Wooden Forager Ornaments (Set of 4) | Shop on Food52, $50

Photo by Food52

Get super-meta with the look by adding pinecone ornaments that mimic the real deal. Or charming wood ornaments that show off four types of fungi, all of which are in perfect alignment with the woodland motif.

Dried Asparagus Bunch | Shop on Anthropologie, $38

Photo by Anthropologie

Bleached Italian Ruscus (Set of 5) | Shop on Amazon, $ 25.99

Photo by Amazon

Go ahead and layer in the texture with as many natural elements as you can get your hands on, like dried asparagus, which is nice and voluminous. If you have some bare spots in your tree, break up some preserved Italian ruscus into smaller pieces and secure with floral wire or just tuck them in between branches and foliage.

If you prefer a less-is-more approach to decorating, this look might be right up your alley. Key elements include a woven tree collar, wood beads, and a few neutral ball ornaments—tree topper not required.

Leanne Ford Rizzo Textured Ball Christmas Ornaments (Set of 6) | Shop on Crate & Barrel, $39.95

Photo by Crate & Barrel

Susurru Studio Himmeli-Inspired Ornaments | Shop on Etsy, $9.64+

Photo by Etsy

Stick with the pared-down aesthetic by limiting the types of ornaments you use. Classic ball ornaments in a range of sizes and matte-metallic finishes add enough variety, but still keep things simple. Add in one other ornament type, like these super-simple geometric sculptures, and consider your tree trimmed.

Holiday Time Natural Seagrass Woven Christmas Tree Collar | Shop on Walmart, $19.98

Photo by Walmart

Sage in Thyme 7-feet Wood Bead Garland | Shop on Amazon, $14.99

Photo by Amazon

Not only does this woven, natural-fiber collar help streamline your tree’s look, it makes set-up super easy—no futzing with a fabric skirt. A string of unfinished wood beads draped around your tree helps to make it feel festive without being flashy.

This look embraces a rainbow of hues—and not the traditional Christmas variety either. Magenta, pink, yellow, and teal all mingle together on one tree creating a super-cheery vibe that feels like the physical embodiment of joy.

Shiny-Brite Colored Glass Ball Ornaments (Set of 9) | Shop on West Elm, $18

Photo by West Elm

Rainbow Glass Finial Ornament | Shop on Anthropologie, $16

Photo by Anthropologie

Load up on vintage-inspired, hand-painted glass ornaments because more is more with this look and you’re going to want a lot of them. To keep things interesting, make sure you have a mix of ornament shapes, like these multicolored glass beauties with a vertical orientation.

Offray Cotton Candy Roman Stripe Craft Ribbon | Shop on Amazon, $2.97

Photo by Amazon

Brass Star Tree Topper | Shop on CB2, $39.95

Photo by CB2

Once you’ve piled on the ornaments, grab multicolored craft ribbon and tie some bows on a few branch ends as a finishing touch. With so much going on down below, a simple star moment—albeit, in a shiny brass finish—is a nice way to top this maximalist lover’s tree.

Straw stars, mini candles, felt mushrooms, plus loads of red accents. Pile these elements on your tree—but don’t be too precious about it—and you’ll nail an authentic Scandinavian Christmas moment. Nestle a duo of yule goats if you want to go above and beyond, then sit back and enjoy a mug of glogg.

Clip-On LED Candle Lights (Set of 10) | Shop on Anthropologie, $58

Photo by Anthropologie

Lazyspace 24-Piece Straw Star Set | Shop on Amazon, $12.89

Photo by Amazon

The simplest (and safest) way to give your tree a Nordic holiday look and an especially warm glow? Add mini clip-on LED taper candles. These can be used indoors or out and can be remote operated. Another classic Scandinavian holiday design is the straw ornament. This set includes six different star shapes held together with red string.

A red mushroom is a common motif in Scandinavian Christmas decor. Beyond being adorable, these wool versions are also lightweight and unbreakable. As for the topper, it’s hand carved in Germany from beechwood and manages to be ornate yet simple at the same time—the perfect way to finish off a festive, Nordic-inspired tree.



This post was updated November 2021 with brand-new ways to decorate a Christmas tree.


How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Share some inspo with us below!


This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate and Skimlinks affiliate, Food52 earns a commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.




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