Christmas Décor – Elizabeth from The Mustard Ceiling

Today, Elizabeth is going to share with us how she decorates her tree for Christmas!


Hi, Hyphen Interior’s readers! I’m Elizabeth from The Mustard Ceiling. Kristy asked me to stop by today and share a few tips on holiday decor with you. The holiday decor has just started around our house. Every year it begins with the Christmas tree and this year is no exception.

Decorating the Christmas tree has always been my first step to jumping into the holiday season. The whole process has always made me giddy… walking through the aisles of trees, soaking up the smell, trying to find “the perfect one,” then watching it come alive as the lights are wrapped around, and the final decorations are hung.

Many years ago, my parent’s were at a Christmas party, where my mom was immediately drawn to the Christmas tree. She was drawn to it because it glowed brighter than any tree she had ever seen. She asked the host of the party what his secret was, and he said a lot of lights (he had about 1,000), but the real key to lighting a Christmas tree is to wrap the branches (which I will explain how later).

We went to the nursery to pick-up our tree Wednesday evening. This year we chose a White Fir from the mountains of northern New Mexico.

Once we brought it home, and got it in the stand, it was time to put the lights on…

Step 1: Start at the base.

Spiral the lights around the branch, working from the center of the tree to the tip of limb.

At the end of the limb, wrap the lights a couple of time, and lead them back to the base of the trunk.

Hold the wires in place with the limbs of the branch,to keep them from showing.

2. Move in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction from base to top.

Wrapping each branch from the trunk to the end, each time starting again at the trunk.

3. Repeat until you have wrapped the tree from bottom to top.

It is always a good idea to have lots of helpers…

* It’s important to keep the wires as close to the center branch as possible, to keep them hidden.

The end result, your tree will have more lights and will appear to have more depth, glowing from the inside out. It will be twinkling like you have never seen before.

We always choose a tree with a lot of open spaces to really show off the ornaments. My parent’s have been collecting ornaments for me since my first Christmas, and my husband and I have carried on the tradition. Each year we purchase a new ornament for the tree. Most of the ornaments we hang now have sentimental value and a story to remember each year as it is placed on the tree. Trees with wide open spaces do a beautiful job of showcasing those special ornaments.

I hope this tutorial helps to make your tree extra twinkly this year. I recently read an article from Real Simple that recommended dividing your tree into three sections, lighting each section from bottom to top to keep the wires from tangling….maybe I will add that to the routine next year.

Thanks for having me today Kristy! Now that the tree is up, it’s time to start decorating the rest of the house for Christmas.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Elizabeth!  It’s always fun to see how other people do things.



  1. That will be a wonderful tree…My hubby always puts up our lights, I think I need to give him your tip!

  2. Thank you for having me today Kristy! I hope your move is going well.

  3. Looks great. Putting on the lights is a job a do not enjoy, but the results sure are great!

  4. Oooh. Good tip on the dividing the tree into thirds. I am going to have to try that. It would also be much easier then trying to convince my hubbs to come help me string lights because I can’t reach around the back side! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Your tree looks absolutely perfect, Elizabeth! This is a great idea to do tutorials on this because let’s face it, not all of us are as talented at making things look pretty! (c: It also makes me miss my home state of NM! Strange, right? (c:

  6. This was a great post…so bottom to top, in-out-in-out…I am committing this to memory for next year. Also, read that you should have approximately 100 bulbs per foot of tree. Merry Christmas Elizabeth and Kristy.

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