How To Find The Perfect Number Of Ornaments For Your Christmas Tree

bright Christmas ornaments in plastic package

It’s time to trim that tree!  This is one of my favorite parts of the season!  Your tree will have its own personality depending on what decorations you select, their size, and how many you use. 

So where do you begin?  How do you know how many decorations to use?  Start with our Trim That Tree chart below for a quick no stress guide to the perfectly decorated tree! 

Before trimming the tree don’t forget to consider your…

Tree profile

The tree profile, width, will make a difference in the amount of decorations you will want to add. A wider tree can understandably hold more decorations than a thin tree. 

Size of decorations

Items of different sizes are visually appealing, so be sure to have a mix of large, small and medium size decorations.  

If you concentrate on larger size pieces you may need a few less than we list here. If you include more small size pieces you may need a few more than we list here. To achieve a balanced look, try to not lean too far one way versus another.  

Tree Style

Certain tree styles lend themselves to more ornaments than others. It will depend on your style and personal preference but here are some general guidelines.  

  • Traditional green trees have space for the most ornaments because they generally come with no adornments. 
  • Flocked trees come with attached snow so they will have a bit less space. The snow acts as its own special decoration and can really shine as the star of the tree with less ornaments. 
  • Tinsel trees in a variety of colors have space for as many decorations as traditional trees. However, you may want to show off more of the colorful branches and use less decorations. 
  • Fiber optic trees are similar to flocked trees. The beautiful lights are decorations of their own, so you may want to use less of other items and let those lights take center stage. 

Decoration Style

If you are in a minimalist state of mind you may want to add fewer decorations than are recommended here. 

If you’re of the more-is-more opinion, add more decorations than what we recommend here. 

If you plan to add ribbon or garland to your tree you may want to plan for fewer decorations as well.  Ribbons and garlands are a great addition to any tree, but they will leave less room for other decorations. 

Trim That Tree Decorator’s Guide

The easiest way to decide on how many decorations and how much ribbon to add to your tree is to use tree height and profile type (width). By combining these two elements you can plan for a well balanced tree.  

Chart with Christmas trees, ribbons, and lights

Pencil trees are the narrowest variety and are almost the same width from bottom to top.  These trees need far less decorative pieces than other profile trees.  

  • A good rule of thumb is 5 ornaments per vertical foot of height. For example a 6 foot pencil tree would need about 30 ornaments.  
  • For ribbon you will need between 1-2 yards per vertical foot depending on how billowy or drapey you want the ribbon to look.  A 6 foot pencil tree would need 6-12 yards. 

Slim and Medium profile trees are similar in width. They will need more ornaments and decorations than a pencil tree.  

  • For trees 9 feet and under 8 decorations per vertical foot in height is recommended.  A 6 foot tree of this profile would need about 48 decorations. 
  • For slim and medium trees over 9 feet 10 decorations per vertical foot is recommended.  A 10 foot tree in this profile would need about 100 ornaments. 
  • With ribbon you can add 3 yards per vertical foot for all heights of slim and medium trees. A 6 foot tree would need 18 yards and a 10 foot tree could be done with about 30 yards. 

Full profile trees are the traditional cone shape that many of us think of when we think of Christmas trees. These are the widest trees and have room for the most decorations.  

  • If you have a full profile tree that is 9 feet or less plan for 10 decorations per vertical foot. For example a 6 foot tree would need 60 ornaments or decorations. 
  • Full trees over 9 feet can hold anywhere from 15-20 decorations per vertical foot.  A 10 foot full tree would need about 150-200 decorations.  
  • Full trees can handle a bit more ribbon at 3-4 yards per vertical foot. A 6 foot tree would need about 18-24 yards.  A 10 feet tree would need about 30-40 yards. 

Remember the information here is just a guideline. You really can’t go wrong.  Deck your tree with the bits and bobbles that make you happy and enjoy the season! 

Trim That Tree

Decorations include any items that are not draped across the tree like strands of lights, long strands of ribbons, or garlands.  When you hear decorations, think of stand alone items like ornaments, bows, florals, stems, pinecones, etc. 

4’

 24-40 ornaments and decorations, 4-8 yards of ribbon

5’

36-50 ornaments and decorations, 5-10 yards of ribbon

6’

Pencil: 30 ornaments and decorations, 6-12 yards ribbon

Narrow/Medium: 48 ornaments and decorations, 12-18 yards ribbon

Full: 60 ornaments and decorations, 18-24 yards of ribbon

7’

Pencil: 35 ornaments and decorations, 7-14 yards ribbon

Narrow/Medium: 56 ornaments and decorations, 15-21 yards ribbon

Full: 70 ornaments and decorations, 21-28 yards of ribbon

8’

Pencil: 40 ornaments and decorations, 8-16 yards of ribbon

Narrow/Medium: 64 ornaments and decorations, 18-24 yards of ribbon

Full: 80 ornaments and decorations, 24-32 yards of ribbon

9’

Pencil: 45 ornaments and decorations, 9-18 yards of ribbon

Narrow/Medium: 72 ornaments and decorations, 21-27 yards of ribbon

Full: 135-180 ornaments and decorations, 27-36 yards of ribbon

10’

Pencil: 50 ornaments and decorations, 10-20 yards of ribbon

Narrow/Medium: 100 ornaments and decorations, 24-30 yards of ribbon

Full: 150-200 ornaments and decorations, 30-40 yards of ribbon

11’

Pencil: 55 ornaments and decorations, 11-22 yards of ribbon

Narrow/Medium: 110 ornaments and decorations, 27-33 yards of ribbon

Full: 165-220 ornaments and decorations, 33- 44 yards of ribbon

12’

Pencil: 60  ornaments and decorations, 12-24 yards of ribbon 

Narrow/Medium: 120 ornaments and decorations, 30-36 yards of ribbon

Full: 180-240 ornaments and decorations, 36-48 yards of ribbon 

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