"I work my way down a tree. Don't start in the middle, because going up and down will disturb the decor or even break ornaments. And wear an apron, because evergreens prick clothing."
Betsy Conte, Director of Social Activities at historic West Virginia hotel The Greenbrier, shares her tree trimming method to decorate a tree in 20 minutes!
Conte adorns the 75 themed trees and can do each one in about 20 minutes. How is that possible? Ribbon. She uses 4- to 6-inch-thick wired ribbon to create gravity-defying bows and a 10-inch-thick ribbon to make these garlands. The ribbon goes on first, and then she stuffs ornaments around the ribbon. "If the tree is against a wall, skimp on the back side's embellishment," she says, to save time and conserve decorations. Here, see more of her smart tree trimming methods.
"Using decorations that are too small is like a woman in a majestic outfit wearing tiny earrings. Perfect the balance by using large ornaments (8 to 12 inches) for an 8-foot tree and smaller ones for a tabletop tree."
"To create a color story, group ornaments to draw the eye in. This tree has red, gold, and white accents. Don't hang orbs on the branches' edges, because they might fall off. Tuck them farther into the tree."
"The sparkly dimension softens the tree and makes the whole ensemble dazzle, sort of like popping the collar on a shirt. My favorite froufrou is ting ting—long glittery branches available at crafts stores."
"A tree is never fully dressed without a skirt. In showy spots, use brocade or red velvet. If your skirt or decorations start getting tired looking, try using them on the back of the tree, or donate them."