How to Decorate Like a Rockefeller on a Modest Budget

Arguably the most famous Christmas tree in the world, the lush, 76-foot high Norway spruce jutting above the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, makes for a great holiday decorating inspiration in your own home.

Sitting high above the branches is the crown jewel, a glinting European star that boasts a whopping 25,000 crystals and weighs in at 550 pounds. Now in its 10th year, the star has taken a life of its own.

You can achieve a similar effect in your own home, even if you are lacking that legendary Rockefeller budget. While the European company issues a beautiful snowflake ornament each year that can grant your tree a healthy dose of pizzazz, you can achieve an equally beautiful effect with individual European crystals.

Ice the Base

You can maximize your tree’s glitter factor by gluing European crystals on the tips of branches to mimic the dazzling look of fresh-fallen snow. By adding crystals to your tree’s base, you are already creating a nice three-dimensional surface for string lights to reflect off of.

It is best to choose a color palette early on. You can go with classic clear stones, blue, red or a mixture of colors to replicate the rainbow hues found on the Rockefeller tree.

Revamp the Classics

Perhaps you have a sentimental tree topper that has been passed down from your family or some well-worn favorite ornaments that now look decidedly dated.

You can apply European crystals to any of these to breathe new life into your decor while keeping your tree from becoming too cookie-cutter perfect.

Make New Favorites

You can plan a whole party around creating some dazzling new ornaments for your tree. Any small wooden cutouts or even children’s toys will work.

Want a Christmas-themed T-Rex on your tree? No one will blink twice if he is encrusted with crystals, a la a Judith Leiber clutch at the Oscars. In fact, the more quirky the object, the more fun you will have making it spectacular with your guests.

Be sure to provide an array of shapes and sizes for your guests’ enjoyment. It is also wise to paint objects a solid color, such as gold or silver, before applying the stones.

Fail-Proof Panache

Finally, if you don’t feel as if you have the patience or artistic skill to bedazzle ornaments, you can buys some simple wide ribbon or a tree skirt and glue crystals to them to provide the perfect finishing touches to your tree.

Glittery ribbon will mimic a more upscale version of tinsel as it bounces twinkly light around the room.

Christmas guests will smile as they set their packages atop a glamorous tree skirt with more sparkle than a Rockette’s costume.

No matter what aspect of the tree you choose to focus on, the possibilities are endless when you have a healthy supply of European crystals.

Jason Pistiner

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