Today we are talking with our favorite Christmas tree decorator, Holly Beary.
Me: Holly Beary thanks so much for joining us. Can you tell me how you get started with a tree decorating idea?
Miss Holly Beary: Thanks for having me. First I find that it helps to get in the mood. I decorate trees for stores a little earlier than most people so I find that being in the Christmas mood gets me started. I watch one of my favorite holiday movies, like White Christmas. After a little Bing Crosby and Christmas music I am ready to go.
Holly Beary: First you start with your tree selection. Fresh or artificial? You have to determine how much space you have. If you have the space, a full round tall tree can look fabulous. A smaller apartment or home might want a narrow tree. If you are really tight on space, you might want a short little tree that you can place on a coffee table or end table. The size and shape of the tree will determine how many lights, ornaments and decorations you will need.
Me: I’ve heard you like lots of lights.
Holly Beary: That’s true, I believe that lights are the core of a successfully decorated tree. Don’t skimp on the lights! I just decorated a 6 foot, slim, lodge pole pine style tree. It’s the kind that the branches don’t go all the way to the floor. I started with 350 of the new LED style lights, then layered another 300 red lights on top of that. If you have an artificial tree that you will be using for several years, take the time to light it properly. All trees will look fuller, richer with the lights woven in. Start at the top, with the lights plugged in, and work the lights out to the end of the branch, then back to center, then down the next branch. Try to keep all the cords close to the branches, you want to see tree, not cords. Repeat this all around the tree until you finally reach the bottom. It’s a lot of work, but if you do it right, it should be good for at least 3 seasons of lighting. The new LED lights may last even longer, as well as using less energy. I know its a lot easier to place your tree in the middle of the room and just walk around it, stringing lights like garland, but my way will make you look like a professional.
Me: Why did you overlay red lights on top of the white?
Holly Beary: I wanted to go for a traditional Christmas look in red, white and green, with just a little twist on the green. I like to take the red lights, and wrap some as singles, but at the end of the branch, I group 3 bulbs together by wrapping with wire. This makes it look like there are red berries in the tree. It’s a simple way to make it look special. I have a favorite set of older style red bulbs that I also group for a berry look.
Me: Ok, lights are on, what’s next?
Holly Beary: Next comes the design. Are you doing a color theme? An ornament theme? Or is this a family project where everyone helps? If this is a family project then bring out all your ornaments and get everyone involved. The best part of the family project is having special, custom personalized ornaments for each member of the family. This brings back fond memories of other holidays and traditions. If you are looking to design a color or ornament theme, then gather up all the items you have found and get started. Don’t be afraid to use different or unusual items in your tree.
Me: What kind of unusual items do you like?
Holly Beary: I like to find one or two really large items to use as a focal point. One year I took a large snowman on a sled and wired him into the tree. Then I used white batting, wrapping it around like garland to make it look like he was sledding down and around the tree. Another year we used a large fishing creel and a fishing pole into a tree with fishing ornaments. Don’t be afraid to try something different, a tree topper doesn’t have to just go on the top of the tree, place it in the tree at an angle. Have fun with it.
Another thing I like are picks, these are berries, leaves or other floral items on a wire that you can stick in the tree. They can add an unusual bit of color or a different element.
Me: What is your favorite tree?
Holly Beary: I love the snowing tree at High Country Gifts & Engraving. It is fun to make and fun to see. You will instantly be in the mood for a White Christmas. Stop in today to see it in action.