Leading up to the holiday season, I get TONS of requests for a tutorial on how to make a tree topper. And so, I’ve made one for ya’ll! Now, I know that many of you have likely already trimmed and topped your Christmas tree. And, if you’re a home décor business, you may have already started making products for the next holiday. BUT – my Etsy page and local boutique are still selling Christmas décor and likely will for a couple more weeks! Plus – you can always switch out your old topper for a new one at any point this holiday season! And after making this beautiful Christmas tree topper, you might not be able to help yourself! Let’s give that tree a gorgeous update!
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Don’t forget to pin this tree topper tutorial for later!
Types of Christmas Tree Toppers
You may know of the traditional tree toppers – bow, star, angel. But there are tons of different tree toppers to choose from. Walking through Christmas decoration aisles, I’ve seen so many new and unique toppers. I’ve seen things like top hats, Santa hats, lollipops, gnomes, snowflakes, pom poms – even a rooster! While I find all of them a great way to show your personality and draw the eye to your marvelous tree, there’s just something about a handmade topper that I just LOVE! And I love the ones that are over the top. One important thing to remember when it comes to these decorations: you don’t just have to use a tree topper for Christmas – it can be for any tree, celebrating ANY holiday!
If you haven’t taken my tree decorating class yet (fun fact: you still can!), I go over a TON of decorating tips and tutorials for any holiday tree – and toppers are a big part of the more than 10 hours of content! So, without further ado – and a great glimpse into what you can learn in my class – here’s a step-by-step guide to making a tree topper.
DIY Christmas Tree Topper Tutorial
This tree topper is a simple one that you can easily stick on your tree. While the directions are simple, it will look anything but that! It’s gorgeous, classic, and traditional while still bursting with character!
To make this design, you’ll need:
- 8 different types of long-stem picks
- Handmade Christmas bow (bow tutorial available on YouTube)
- 6-inch zip ties
In this tutorial, I used the following picks:
- Red bells with brown stems
- White snowflakes with white stems
- White, flocked berries
- Big, red snowflakes with glitter
- White spikes with glitter
- Red and white, striped yarn branches
- Glittery red fern
- Green spikes
The bow required the following supplies, including five types of ribbon:
- Three, 2.5-inch ribbons, each with a different design
- Two, 1.5-inch ribbons, each with a different design
- Tinsel ties
- Zip ties
- DecoExchange’s EZ Bow Maker
Other supplies I used include:
Christmas Topper Instructions
This tutorial does a great job of creating a topper with a variety of textures. The colors of the picks and their stems allow each piece to be seen and add a touch of whimsy, while the shapes compliment the designs of the bows ribbons.
Remember, when adding the last five picks, or layers, you don’t need to stack the stems one on top of the other.
Step 1: Start with the back
Place the green spike pick behind the glittery red fern. This is the very back of the topper. Zip tie the two stems together higher up in the design instead of at the bottom. This helps keep the picks sturdy. Use two zip ties and cut the tails in the front of the design. Fan the picks out and set aside.
Step 2: Add the red and white, striped pick
The next pick is thicker. Before attaching it, move the branches around to give it some life. Then, lay it on top, making sure it doesn’t go higher than the top of the fern underneath it. Zip tie two ties around the spine again to ensure it stays sturdy and doesn’t droop in the back.
Step 3: Add some white into the design
Lay the white spikes with glitter on top in a way that fills in the space between the previous pick’s branches.
Step 4: Add the red glitter snowflakes
Create the next layer with the glittery red snowflakes. Make sure they do not lay higher than the top of the red fern pick in the back.
Step 5: Add dimension
Wiggle pieces from the previous layers through a little bit so it looks like they all mingle and the topper doesn’t lay flat.
Step 6: Add the white berries
Add the white berries next. You don’t want a ton on this pick, so if there are a lot of branches, cut some off. The one I used had four branches.
Step 7: Add the snowflake pick, then the red bells
Add the white snowflake pick, then the red bells, which will be the front of your topper.
Step 8: Add another green spike to the front and sides (optional)
The final green spikes in the front and side of the design aren’t necessary. But I liked the way they looked. If you like them, too, add them!
Step 9: Zip tie the bundle together
Zip tie three ties around the bundle’s spine, just under where the branches start.
Step 10: Add a professional touch (optional)
If you’re making this for a customer, you can make it look more professional by wrapping tinsel tie around the stem, which hides the zip ties and makes it easier for the topper to slide through the tree.
Step 11: Add the bow and additional tinsel ties
Attach the bow with the middle about where the branches begin to splay out. Instead of attaching the bow to the topper, you want it separate when you attach it to the tree. That’s so the arms of the bow can wrap around both the stem of the topper and the trunk of the tree. Attach additional tinsel ties around the stem of the topper to create additional arms to hug around the trunk, securing the topper to the tree.
Tree Topper Questions
Now that you know how to make a tree topper, let’s answer some commonly asked questions I get.
How many picks do I need for a topper?
In this tutorial, I added about 8 picks (with additional green spike picks, which are an option). But how much you add in will be determined by your or your customer’s preference and budget.
How long does the bottom of the topper need to be?
The topper isn’t installed at the very top of the tree. You’re going to feed it down the trunk, so it does need some length, but it doesn’t need to be super long. This is important to remember if you’re making this for a customer and shipping it – because having it too long would require a longer box. In this tutorial, I cut the bottom of the topper about 5 inches long.
Do I need to Bundle it all together first?
It depends. If you’re making a topper for your tree, you can add the picks one by one to your tree. However, if you’re selling the product, it is easier to bundle them all together as one like I did in the tutorial.
Even More Tree Decorating Tips and Tutorials
For more holiday tree decorating guidance, check out my incredible tree decorating class! In it, I walk you through decorating a Christmas tree and (bonus!) a fall tree and Halloween tree. You’ll also get another tree topper tutorial AND a tree topper bow tutorial. I give you ALL the hacks I’ve learned over the years to help you be more confident in your decorating AND in making holiday tree products your clients will LOVE. For more info on the class, visit HolidayTreeClass.com. Once you enroll (by clicking the enroll button at the bottom of the page) and purchase the class, you will have immediate access to all of the great content.
Don’t forget to visit the Sincerely Creative Mom YouTube channel for more tutorials on making wreaths, centerpieces and more. You’ll also find the tutorial for making the bow that goes with this tree topper on there!
You can also join my text group and send me pictures of your Christmas and holiday creations! Just text 810-498-2310 and you’re in!
Or, explore Melslinks.com, where you’ll find links for ALLLL the things. That includes wreath supplies and tools, email newsletter sign up, eBooks, tutorials and more.
I know I just gave you a ton of information! If you’re looking for the quick and simple tree topper recipe without the extra explanation, check it out below. It also features a step-by-step video.
Christmas Tree Topper How To
- 8 Long-stem picks red and/or white in various designs
- 1 Large Christmas bow DIY bow tutorial on YouTube
- 6-inch zip ties
- Stem cutters
- Tinsel ties
- Stack red fern pick on top of green spike pick. Zip tie together higher up in the design.
- Layer the thick, red and white striped, branched pick next. Zip tie it to the other two picks, making sure it isn't higher than the top of the red fern pick.
- Lay the white spikes with glitter on top in a way that fills in the space between the previous pick’s branches. Wiggle pieces from the previous layers through the branches to add dimension.
- Add the white berries next. Then add the snowflake pick and, finally, the red bell pick.
- Add green spikes in the front and side of the design – optional.
- Zip tie three ties around the bundle’s spine, just under where the branches start.
- Wrap the tinsel tie around the stem to hide the zip ties – optional.
- Wrap two extra tinsel ties around the stem, making arms that will wrap around the trunk of the tree, securing the topper to the tree.
- Add the bow when attaching the topper to the tree by wrapping the arms of the bow around the trunk of the tree.