Decorating the Christmas tree with ornaments is a fun and enjoyable experience for many, even a time-honored tradition for some. Whether you’re just starting or simply looking to add new pieces to your collection, this guide will show you the different types of ornaments as well as a few holiday themes you can try this year.
Ornaments originated from Germany, much like the beloved Christmas tree. Hans Greiner, a blown glass artisan in Lauscha, started manufacturing baubles which were then brought over to the U.S. by German immigrants in the 1800s. The retail company Woolworth’s also started importing them, making ornaments one of the most popular types of Christmas tree decorations we know today.
Types of Ornaments
There are many different types of Christmas ornaments and choosing which ones to get could be overwhelming. Below is a list of some of the most common baubles you’ll find on the market.
Made from glass or iron, snowflake ornaments can add sparkle to any holiday decorating theme. These baubles are available in a variety of unique patterns and designs, just like real snowflakes. Use these for your winter wonderland or snowy forest theme to create an enchanting, magical look.
Vintage Christmas ornaments refer to tree decorations from older generations. Some collectors specialize in finding rare, authentic vintage ornaments in specialty stores, flea markets, and garage sales. Commercially made pieces are usually replicas designed to look like they’re from the late ‘30 to the ‘50s.
Common Ornament Materials
From artisanal mouth-blown glass to fabrics such as felt and polyester, Christmas ornaments are made from a range of materials. Here are the most common ones:
Balsam Hill offers a wide assortment of Christmas ornament sets that you can mix and match to create countless themes. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to decorate your Christmas tree this year, here are three ideas you can consider:
You can’t go wrong with a classic Christmas theme. Green, red, and white are timeless holiday colors that inspire nostalgia and a festive atmosphere. Shop the products below to recreate this look.
- Spruce® Christmas Tree
- Nordic Frost Novelty Ornament Set
- Red BH Essentials Classic Ornament Set
- White BH Essentials Classic Ornament Set
- Red BH Essentials Swirl Ornament Set
- Silver BH Essentials Swirl Ornament Set
- Red Felt & Wood Vintage Beaded Garland Set
- Small Red Berry Picks
- Red Berry Leaf Picks
- Nordic Snowflake Tree Skirt
An enchanting woodland motif is a dreamy way to decorate your Christmas tree. Start with a frosted tree to create that snowy forest look. Click on the links below to see more details about the products used for this theme.
Elevate your Christmas tree décor with a metallic theme. This motif features a mix of ornaments in varied gold tones, along with matte green and neutral colors. Browse the links below to see the products used in this motif.
Keep your ornaments organized and protected by investing in specialty storage bags. These will keep your delicate and precious baubles away from dust and damage. Balsam Hill’s Christmas ornament storage box is made from polyester and includes a lid and 3 drawer-style trays with dividers. We also offer rolling ornament chests made from durable 600D polyester fabric with padded canvas. They include removable trays with handles and acid-free, fabric-lined dividers and a front storage pocket.
Tips For Decorating With Ornaments
Ever wondered how professionals decorate their trees to make them look perfect? Here are some tips from our experts at Balsam Hill:
Categorize Your Ornaments
Organize your ornaments in containers before hanging them on the tree. This will make the process easier since you won’t have to rummage through boxes looking for a specific ornament. You can group them together according to color, size, shape, materials, or theme.
Hang Ornaments Last
Ornaments should go last to avoid bumping and breaking them as you decorate. We recommend that Ribbons go first, especially if you need to anchor them deeper into the branches. If you’re stringing your own lights on the tree, make sure to do that before adding your ribbons.
Layer Your Ornaments
Combine large and small ornaments to achieve a layered look. Start with the larger ones and tuck them deeper into the foliage to add depth, then hang the smaller ones on the tips of the branches to create a draping effect. The more intricate ornaments should also be displayed on the tips so they’re more visible from any angle.
Determine How Many Ornaments You Need
The number of ornaments you have to use depends on the size of your Christmas tree. Your style preference is also a factor – do you want a light or heavy coverage? Click the link below to find out how many you need using our Christmas Tree Decorations Calculator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to commonly asked questions about Christmas ornaments.
What Is the Most Popular Christmas Ornament?
Angels and stars are always popular, whether as an ornament or tree topper. Classic Christmas balls also never go out of style.
What Are the Different Christmas Ornament Shapes?
Christmas ornaments come in a variety of shapes including balls, onions, teardrops, finials, stars, angels, snowflakes, and more.
What Materials Are Used To Create Ornaments?
Glass, metal, fabric, wood, and capiz are some of the most common materials used in making Christmas ornaments.
How Do You Pick Christmas Ornaments?
Choosing Christmas ornaments depends on your personal style and preference. Start with a theme and build out your ideas from there. For example, a winter wonderland motif would look great with white and red elements, snowflake accents, and faux frozen red berries.
How Many Ornaments Do I Need for My Tree?
Wondering how many ornaments you need for a 6-foot tree? The number of ornaments depends not just on the size of your tree, but its shape as well. The sizes of your ornaments also come into play, including how light or heavy you want the coverage to be. Use our Christmas ornaments calculator to find out.
How Big Should My Ornaments Be?
Ornament sizes can range from mini, standard, and jumbo. Mini ornaments are usually 2 inches in diameter, while standard ornaments can range from 2.5 to 3 inches. Jumbo ornaments, on the other hand, can measure anywhere from 6 to 10 inches in diameter or larger. Mini ornaments are great for smaller tabletop trees. Use standard-sized ones if you like everything to look uniform or mix them with jumbo ornaments to add visual interest.
How Do I Customize Ornaments?
If you’re into DIY arts and crafts, customizing ornaments is a wonderful way to make them more personalized. Start with plain ball or star ornaments and decorate them with various materials like glitter and sequins. You can also paint them in your favorite colors using watercolor or craft paint.