Ombre is a popular color scheme, and for good reason. It is simple, yet sophisticated and elegant. Many people like to use it when dying clothes, but did you know that you can use it when decorating your tree? You can use the ornaments you already own, or you can paint new ornaments to match your specific color scheme. Lastly, you can always paint a white tree ombre, and decorate it using neutral ornaments.
[Edit]Using What You Have
- Go through your ornaments and separate them by shade and color. Ombre is the transition of different colors or shades. If you want to give your tree an ombre look, you will need to hang your ornaments in rows, based on shade or color. For example, if you have dark blue, light blue, and silver ornaments, put them into three separate groups. Don't worry about the shape or material: focus on the color and shade alone.
- Plan out your design. If you are using different shades of the same color, plan on arranging the ornaments from darkest to lightest. If you are planning on using different colors, such as red, gold, and green, use the color with the most ornaments on the bottom of the tree, and the color with the fewest ornaments on the top.
- Consider the lights. White Christmas lights are always a great start, regardless of the color scheme you are using. You can always take things a step further, however, by going with colored Christmas lights. Be sure to match the color of the cable to the color of your tree, however. For example, if you have a white tree, you should get Christmas lights with a white cable.
- If you are going with a standard ombre, consider getting lights that match the main color. For example, if you are doing dark-to-light pink ombre, get pink lights.
- If you have a multicolor scheme going on, consider a strand of multi-colored lights. Take out the bulbs, then rearrange them on the string, grouping the like colors together.
- If you bought a fake Christmas tree, it may already have lights attached. You can remove the clips/tags, pull the lights off, and replace them with your own.
- Consider mixing and matching different colors. There is nothing wrong with having both white and colored lights.
- Put the lights on first. Start at the base of the tree and work your way up in a spiral. Wrap the cable around the main branches, from trunk to tip and back to trunk. Moving back-and-forth along the branches will help give your tree more depth.
- Wrap a garland or two around the tree. Leave about 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) of space between each row/round. If you have multiple colors, you can hang the garlands in rows based on color. You can also choose one color of garland, and use it throughout your tree. This can help tie all of the different colors/shades together.
- Hang your ornaments based on color, starting with the largest. Hang all of the ornaments from your first color group on the bottommost branches. Hang the ornaments from the next color right above them. Work your way up in rows until you reach the top of the tree. Be sure to hang some ornaments close to the trunk. This will give your tree more depth.
- If you are doing a standard ombre, start with the darkest color and work your way up to the lightest.
- If you are doing a multicolor ombre, use the color with the most ornaments on the bottom of the tree. Use the color with the fewest ornaments on the top of the tree.
- Add some neutral fillers. Clear ornaments make great fillers for any color scheme. Wooden ornaments are great if you have a lot of silver, gold, copper, or bronze in your tree. You can also use some neutral colors, such as white. Do not get too carried away, however! You want the main color for each section to shine through!
- Other ideas for fillers include icicles, tinsel, snowflakes, and floral picks.
- Add a tree topper, if desired. You can use a tree topper that matches one of the colors on the lower part of your tree. You can also match the topper to the last color on the top of your tree. Alternatively, you can skip the tree topper altogether; ombre is a pretty fancy look for a tree to begin with.
- Consider adding a tree skirt. You can match the tree skirt to the first/bottom color on your tree. You can also choose a darker shade. Alternatively, you can go with white, which will look like snow and help the ombre really stand out. Avoid using am ombre tree skirt, or you will have too much ombre!
[Edit]Making and Using Ombre Ornaments
- Buy acrylic paint based on your desired color scheme. You will need one bottle of paint for each color. Plan on having 3 to 4 different shades of the same color, going from dark to light.
- You can use regular paint, glittery paint, or metallic paint.
- It does not matter if the paint is matte or glossy.
- The bigger your tree is, the more colors/shades you can have.
- Divide some clear ornaments into groups based on your color scheme. Buy some clear, plastic or glass ornaments. Divide your ornaments into groups based on how many colors you will be using for the ombre. The ornaments don't have to be the same shape and size.
- Plan ahead. You will need more "dark" ornaments for the bottom of your tree, and fewer "light" ornaments for the top.
- For a fancier look, consider iridescent ornaments, or ornaments with glittery designs on them. They must still be clear, however.
- Mix a few drops of water into your color. Pour some of your darkest paint color into a cup. Add a few drops of water, and stir to combine. You want the paint to be runny, sort of like cream. Don't let it get so thin that it becomes transparent, however.
- Pour a little bit of paint into your first group of ornaments. Pull the metal caps off of each ornament first, then pour some paint inside the ornament. If you need to, stick a funnel into the neck of the ornament first, then pour the paint in.
- Keep the caps in a safe place so that you don't lose them.
- You don't need a lot of paint; a little bit goes a long way.
- Swirl the paint to coat the inside of the ornament. Plug the opening of the ornament with your thumb. Rotate your wrist to swirl the paint around the ornament. Keep doing this until the ornament is evenly coated. Do this for all of the ornaments you poured the paint into.
- If the paint doesn't swirl easily, it may be too thick. Add more water.
- Turn the ornaments upside down so that the excess paint can drain. The easiest way to do this would be to slide some paper under a wire rack, and then setting the ornaments upside down onto the rack. The excess paint will drip out of the ornaments and onto the paper.
- Alternatively, you can set the ornaments upside down into an egg carton.
- Repeat the previous steps with the rest of your paint colors and ornaments. Work one color group at a time. If you are using a funnel, be sure to clean it out first so that you don't mix paint colors.
- Let the ornaments dry completely before putting the caps back in. Pinch the wire prongs on each cap, then slide them down the neck of each ornament. Be careful not to scratch the paint.
- Some acrylic paint requires curing time in addition to drying time. Read the label carefully.
- The paint may pool in parts of the ornament. If this happens, swirl the paint around to redistribute it.
- Arrange the ornaments on your tree, starting with your darkest and finishing with the lightest. Hang all of the darkest ornaments along the bottom of the tree. Move on to the next shade, and hang them on the next level. Go through your shades until you reach the top of the tree. Hang the lightest ornaments there.
[Edit]Painting an Ombre Tree
- Buy a white Christmas tree. If your tree came with lights attached to it, you will need to pull them off. Go over the tree, and pull off the little clips/tabs first, then pull the lights off.
- Choose and plan a color scheme. Pick at least four colors to use for your ombre design, including white. Choose a base color for your tree, then pick out different shades of that color: dark, medium, light, and white. For example, if you chose blue as your color, your color scheme would be: dark blue, medium blue, light blue, and white.
- Christmas trees have distinct rows or sections. Plan on having one shade per row.
- Buy some spray paint according to your color scheme. You will need one can of spray paint for each color that you will be using. It would be a good idea to buy a can of white spray paint as well. Even though your tree is already white, the white spray paint can act as an "eraser" if you make a mistake.
- Spray paint comes in both flat and glossy finishes. Pay attention to this when out shopping.
- If you can't find matching spray paint, buy clear acrylic sealer in the finish you want.
- Take apart your tree, if possible. Some trees are built so that you can pull out the branches. If your tree is one of those, take these branches off now, and separate them into groups based on what row or section they were in. If it is not possible to take your tree apart, keep it together.
- Prep the branches for painting. Open up the branches and fluff them out. Take them outside, or to a well-ventilated area. Spread out some newspaper, and place the branches on top. If you don't have a lot of space to work with, start with the branches from the bottommost row.
- Spray paint the branches. Paint the branches from the bottommost row your darkest color. Let the paint dry, then flip the branches over, and paint the back. The paint likely won't cover the branches completely, and you may have some white showing. This is fine.
- If you didn't take your tree apart, simply spray paint the bottommost row using your first, darkest color.
- Continue painting the branches until you are done. Leave the branches at the top of your tree white. If you can't take apart your tree, wrap a trash bag around the parts you have already painted. Make sure that they are dry first.
- Apply a sealer, if necessary. If your spray paint had both glossy and matte finishes, your tree will look mismatched. Pick a finish (matte or glossy) and buying a matching can of clear, acrylic sealer. Spray the mismatches branches with the sealer. This way, all of the branches will have the same finish.
- A sealer can also help the paint last longer.
- Choose a non-yellowing sealer, if possible.
- Let the branches dry before placing them back on the tree. Once the paint has completely dried, you can bring the tree back inside. Be careful when handling the tree, however, as some of the paint may flake off.
- Decorate your tree. You can continue the ombre scheme by placing matching ornaments in each section. You can also create a more subtle ombre effect by using ornaments that have neutral colors, such as black, white, silver, or clear.
- Use both simple and fancy ornaments and garlands. This will keep your tree from looking too busy.
- Hang some ornaments closer to the trunk, and some on the tips of the branches. This will give your tree more depth.
- Mix-and-match different sizes of ornaments.
- Use some neutral colors, such as white or clear.
- Most ombre trees start with the darkest color at the bottom. You can reverse the order, and use the lightest color at the bottom instead.
- Some ombre schemes focus on different colors rather than shades. This is always an option.
- Keep the shades separate. Don't mix light and dark shades on the same row.
[Edit]Things You'll Need
[Edit]Using Decorations You Already Own
- Christmas tree
- Christmas lights
- Assorted ornaments
- Garlands and chains
[Edit]Making and Using Ombre Ornaments
- Clear ornaments
- Acrylic paint
- Spoon or popsicle stick
- Funnel (optional)
- Wire rack or egg carton
[Edit]Painting an Ombre Tree
- White Christmas tree
- Spray paint, white, plus 3 different shades of desired color