• Amanda Shields

DESIGN GUIDE: THE CHRISTMAS TREE EDITION

Updated: May 8

Written by Guest Blogger: Leslie Mead



Is your tree real or artificial? These decorating steps apply to both.

When buying an artificial tree, you want to purchase a good quality tree. Yes, they can be fairly pricey and sometimes an investment, but it is something you will have for years. I have a 20-year-old tree, it’s old school and I love it. Bowes/branches are individually attached to the trunk and has a numbering

system. It takes a bit to put it up, but nothing beats it's fullness and quality.

So, lets talk about steps in decorating your Christmas tree…


  1. Purchase a quality artificial tree that will last you for years.

  2. Fluff and shape your branches

  3. Take your decorations out and decide… what is your theme for this Christmas? Think about what you would like your tree to look like.

  4. String your lights. Most trees purchased nowadays are pre-wired.

  5. Now it's time for the ribbon, layering different types of ribbons adds depth to the tree.

  6. Grouping Christmas balls in threes creates fullness throughout the tree.

  7. Finally, finish by adding all your ornaments


Today most trees come in 3 sections that are easy and fast to put up. Fluff and shape your branches. This takes a little time but gives you that look and fullness you want. Today's selection of trees are pre-lit which cuts down on stringing time. The feedback from clients is that stringing lights is the part that they dislike the most.

Side-note: if you put your tree up and find that a section of lights is not working, replace that section with a new set. Just follow the lights that are out and wrap it around the branches…You don’t need to replace the tree.



Next, pull out all your decorations and spread them out so you can see what you have. Group the same decorations/ornaments together. (ie. branches, extra fillers, pinecones etc.) That way you see what you have to work with. What’s your theme/story for this year? See what inspires you from your collection of ornaments.

Before you start building: have on hand, twine, scissors, floral wire (wire cutters) and hooks. I always start with the tree topper. Start building with branches, sprigs, sprays, dogwood, birch bark, grapevine balls (different sizes) and pinecones. You are building a crown and working outwards and downwards.

Next once I’m happy with the topper, I add ribbon. You can run the ribbon verticality or wrap horizontally. Use several ribbons of different sizes and colours. Ribbon with wire is much easier to work with. Push the ribbon right to the trunk of the tree. It gives you a fuller effect (you can use small sections of ribbon if you don’t want to use a continuous roll).

Group your Christmas bulbs in threes. It creates a little story of your groupings. It’s great to get the kids involved to tell their stories! Use the rest of your ornaments to fill the gaps, it may not be a typical ornament but it will help tell the story of your tree. Make sure to step back and take a look to see if you have any gaps that need to be filled.

Now stand back and let your tree tell its story!


#Christmasdecor #MerryChristmas #HolidayHome #Holidaydecor #Christmasdecorating #Interiordesign #Christmastree #Christmastreeinspo


Today's guest blogger, Leslie Mead, is an interior decorator with a love for all things Christmas. She played an instrumental role assisting Amanda Shields Interiors for the duration of this years Pickering College Holiday Home Tour.

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