Christmas tree topper ideas are the perfect opportunity to make a statement with your festive decor, and ensure that your Christmas tree has the perfect finishing touch.
Your tree topper is an integral part of your Christmas tree ideas, as your eye will naturally be drawn to the top of the tree, so you want your chosen design to round off your decorations and festive theme in style.
From traditional stars and angels to beautiful bows and unique ornaments, your chosen decoration should be a celebration of your Christmas decor ideas, and a statement way to make your tree design feel perfectly complete.
Christmas tree topper ideas
Explore our inspiring collection of classic, contemporary and creative Christmas tree topper ideas.
1. You can't go wrong with a traditional star
A shining star at the top of the tree is a classic Christmas tradition that many of us embrace when decorating our Christmas trees.
Symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem in Christian faith, a traditional Christmas star decoration can integrate into a range of Christmas tree themes, with so many different styles of star to choose from to perfectly coordinate with your scheme.
2. Keep it heavenly with an angel
Anyone who knows how to decorate a Christmas tree knows that it’s important to hit on that sense of magic, awe and wonder.
Putting an angel on top of your Christmas tree (or indeed a fairy for a more secular approach) conveys the idea of a magical character looking down on your holiday celebrations.
Alternatively, you can consider branching out to include other festive friends. ‘A little Santa perched up on the tree is a fun addition for those who prefer a kitsch aesthetic and is a big winner with kids,’ adds Jason Billings-Cray, Buyer at John Lewis.
3. Get festive with foliage
Perhaps controversial, but we think holding back on decorations and letting the rich greenery speak for itself is one of the best ways to decorate a Christmas tree. If you can’t stand to leave the top bare, consider adding more foliage to finish off the natural look without drawing too much attention.
‘Pick holly, skimmia, eucalyptus, bay or any fresh evergreen, and fasten together in a bunch. You’ll need to do this as near to Christmas as possible to avoid them wilting. To keep them alive a little longer, place the stems into some wet cotton wool and wrap with tinfoil’, says Angela Slater, gardening expert at Hayes Garden World.
If you prefer something a little more eye-catching, you could always include a few seasonal blooms. 'Hydrangea heads in particular look fantastic on top, and can also be placed into gaps in the branches to make your tree look fuller’, says Angela.
4. Tie up your design with a bow
If you want your tree to feel all wrapped up, then try decorating a Christmas tree with bows.
Not just the reserve of presents and Christmas wreath ideas, bows are a simple but effective addition to Christmas tree decor. Try tying smaller ribbons on branches across your whole tree and using a larger bow for the tree topper, or use a standalone bow on top that color-matches your other decorations, like in this example.
5. Choose a topper crafted from natural materials
Natural materials are one of the biggest growing interior trends, so consider bringing them into your Christmas decorations too.
Delicate straw decorations, like the topper on this stunning Christmas tree design, are proving a popular swap for high-shine glass ornaments, and the material works wonderfully for the topper too.
Natural materials like wood, ceramic and clear glass can help create a contemporary look, but also work wonders with farmhouse Christmas decor ideas.
6. Embrace the totally unique
There are no rules when it comes to Christmas tree topper ideas, with many of us in recent years embracing the weird and wonderful when decorating our homes for Christmas.
From novelty Christmas ornament ideas, to unique Christmas trends, such as embracing the retro nostalgia of paper decorations and tinsel, your Christmas tree is the perfect place to get creative and totally unique with your decorations.
In this cozy living room setting, the tree top has been decorated with a beautiful carousel decoration, establishing a unique focal and talking point in the space. The colors of the decoration tie in perfectly with the rest of the scheme, creating a truly elegant and magical Christmas tree design.
7. Make it pretty with paper
It may be the season of abundance, but going back to basics is one of the loveliest ways to decorate over the holiday season. A paper tree topper is beautiful in its simplicity, and has the added benefit of being easy to make – not to mention eco-friendly.
This dinky little tabletop tree has been created from recycled paper cut into squares and built up in layers, but you could stick to fashioning just the star topper if you’d rather a real tree.
If you’re using pages from a book, choose a family favorite for an extra personal touch – it’s an heirloom in the making!
8. Play with scale
Miniature trees are perfect in homes where space is tight, but that doesn’t mean you have to go small on the topper – choose an oversized design to ensure it stands proud, regardless of height.
Paper decorations are a good option as they won’t weigh branches down on a smaller tree, while laser-cut designs make for some beautiful silhouettes when paired with twinkling fairy lights.
Regardless of whether your tree is big or small, one way to ensure your topper truly makes an impact is by opting for a color that contrasts with its surroundings, in this case, both the tree and the wall behind it. Bright snow-white is always a good choice for ‘star of the show’ style.
9. Light it up
Nothing finishes off a Christmas tree quite like twinkling fairy lights, so why not take it one step further with a twinkling tree topper to boot. To ensure yours remains on the right side of tasteful, Amy Mason, director of product at Lights4Fun, advises taking the glow factor into account.
‘LED lights that emit a warm golden glow as opposed to cool white will give a softer look that complements the deep pine shade of your Christmas tree, enhancing the coziness of the room beautifully. Switch off the main lights and leave the ambient lighting on to create a truly magical setting’.
If you’re using extra fairy lights to complement your light-up topper, be sure to choose a similar shade of light for both to avoid an unsightly clash of colors.
10. Follow your personal style
Whether you’re fully embracing alternative Christmas tree ideas, or just want a tree that feels right at home, it’s always important to make your tree topper feel unique to you.
‘Shoppers are finding new ways to make bold statements with their decorations, all while showcasing their personal style,’ says Dayna Isom Johnson, Trend Expert at Etsy.
In this tree, a penchant for subtle blues and greens, as well as paper decorations, is extended to the periwinkle tree topper, creating a design rich in contrasting textures, shapes and materials.
11. Embrace a more rustic, wooden star
‘Be it a star or a fairy, no matter what you go for, the tree topper is the icing on the cake,’ says Jason Billings-Cray.
If you’re leaning towards more traditional Christmas tree themes, a star is the consummate Christmas tree topper. With its origins in Christmas’s religious side, but with a distinctly modern feel, it’s a choice that straddles Christmas’s past and present.
On this tree put together by Lindye Galloway Design Studio, a simple wooden star gives a contemporary touch.
12. Go big and bold
‘A standout topper is the ultimate finishing touch to any Christmas tree,’ says Dayna Isom Johnson. Going for a big and bold tree topper is a great way to instantly draw attention to your tree, before guests’ eyes wander down to your more detailed decorations below.
In this example, an oversized, bright green, patterned paper decoration takes the top spot, with matching ornaments peppered throughout the tree. If you’re wondering how to make a Christmas tree look fuller, larger decorations are great for filling or disguising gaps in your branches.
13. Have fun with feathers
If Christmas is just one long party in your house, make sure your tree is shaking its tail (or top) feathers too.
A crown of feathers is an excellent alternative way to make your Christmas tree feel both fun and contemporary. For a natural, countryside look, try natural brown feathers, while showgirl-style can be created through the use of peacock feathers or artificially dyed examples – either way, be sure to choose ones that are long and fluffy for impact.
14. Put a modern twist on traditional toppers
If you love traditional Christmas decor ideas but want ones that feel at home in the 21st century, choose modern takes on tried-and-tested topper silhouettes.
‘A classic doesn't need to mean boring,’ says Jason Billings-Cray. ‘Try something traditional with a twist, like a decorative copper star or a fairy embellished with sequins.’
In this example, a star is given a rustic, industrial look with the use of rusted steel for a modern farmhouse look.
15. Get crafty and make your own
If you’ve learned to crochet, sew, knit or whittle, think about using your newfound talent to make your own Christmas decorations.
In this example, a concertina star Christmas topper has been made with very thin sheets of plywood, and idea that can also be replicated to make Christmas tree skirt ideas. As well as being a fun festive activity, making your own decorations will make your tree totally unique.
What can I use as a Christmas tree topper?
Choosing the right Christmas tree topper really comes down to whether you want a traditional, modern or slightly quirky look.
If there will be kids around at Christmas time, consider something that peaks their interest, like Santa or a snowman sitting on top of the tree. For a less traditional look, consider using a scaled up version of some of your favorite tree decorations, like a big bouncing bow or a paper pompom.
What is the most used Christmas tree topper?
The most used Christmas tree toppers are usually stars and angels.
Symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus in Christian faith, stars and angels have been used for years to add the final finishing touch to the top of the Christmas trees.
An enduring favorite for classic tree schemes, they can also easily be modernized through the use of trending materials and abstract styles.
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Ailis started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. She then spent three years at the London Evening Standard, covering restaurants and bars. After a period of freelancing, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures, she started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing her to fully indulge her love of good interior design. She is now a fully fledged food PR but still writes for Homes & Gardens as a contributing editor.
- Zara StaceyContent Editor
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