When I was a jewelry designer I specialized in unusual findings in my one of a kind creations. Cracker Jack charms, baby rattles and eyeglasses filled the pages of magazines like Elle Accessories and Marie Claire with my designs. Often when interviewed, I would say that if something would sit still long enough I would eventually find a way to make it wearable. I seem to decorate a Christmas tree with the same attitude.
Large or Small: How to Decorate with Ornaments of any Size
Size is really the only thing you need to consider when decorating your tree (or making jewelry). When it comes to creative Christmas decorations for your tree, anything can become an ornament as long as it is not too large or too heavy. Even items on the heavier side can occasionally be wired to your tree. I’m not talking decorate a tree for your home gym with dumb bells, though I like the concept.
Quick tips for decorating with heavier ornaments:
- Try to keep items under 2lbs each. These items won’t weigh down your branches, but several of them will make your tree extra heavy.
- Consider wiring your tree to the wall, especially if you have small children. I often use zip ties around my trees for just this reason.
On the flip side, small lightweight items don’t necessarily need hangers and can often times just ‘sit’ on the branches of your tree. Feel free to go as small as you want with your ornament, but consider size. You don’t want to decorate a 9 foot tree with your grandmother’s thimble collection. Decoration size should match your tree size. For my white Christmas tree decorated in a Feliz Navidad theme, I opted for mini party favor size pinatas. Full size might have worked as a base (that gives me an idea) but not as an ornament.
Traditional and Eclectic: What to Consider when Mixing and Matching Ornaments
I’m a big fan of juxtaposition with all my design work, and Christmas trees are no exception. Take my angel tree for example. The gorgeous Toasted Champagne Tree is very sleek and elegant. I continued with monochromatic gold bulbs and luxe looking silver garlands. Next I piled on the angelic kitsch. Don’t be afraid to mix chic ornaments like Treetopia’s Gemmed Up Pearl Beaded Ornaments and your collection of plastic ’60s tree toppers.
An Oceanic Theme for my Mantel
Another tip for an eclectic tree is to decorate in theme. This could be a collection like toys on my green tree, by color like gold, or by theme like Feliz Navidad. I’m the first to admit that throwing a bunch of random stuff on a Christmas tree is going to look weird. However, a bunch of similar random stuff starts to look pretty amazing. Sometimes with your theme you have to take crafty matters into your own hands to make the look work. I made fabric wrapped packages in coordinating fabric to put under my Some Like It Hot Tree. A custom vintage inspired felt tree skirt is just what my Oh Christmas Tree needed. I’m pretty smitten with the piñata ornament I made for my Feliz Navidad Tree.
The only rule about Christmas tree decorating is that you should not follow any rules. There are a few things that will make your tree look more cohesive, but nothing is set in stone. Weight is your only limit, and with the help of some floral wire and zip ties, even that can be overcome.