How to install tree topper


How To Keep Christmas Tree Topper Straight • Queen Bee of Honey Dos

So, you’ve put up your Christmas tree. You’ve got all the decorations looking gorgeous. Everything is going great. Then, comes the finishing touch. The addition of the tree topper. And what do ya know? The stupid thing won’t stay upright!

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I know you’ve been there. You may even be suffering from the crooked star (or angel) syndrome, right now. But, don’t give up. I have been using this trick to keep my Christmas tree topper straight for years.

So, take a deep breath. Grab your cup of coffee (or wine). Sit back, and let me tell you a few simple ways that I have found to conquer the wayward Christmas tree.

How To Keep Christmas Tree Topper Straight

Beginning with those crazy, swirly, springs

You know. The ones that come attached to most tree toppers. I am not sure how it happened, but somewhere in the world lives a person who thought that it would be a good idea to add that springy thing to a heavy ornament. Then, expect it to stand straight on a branch that can barely hold itself upright.

It’s hard to believe that in all of these years, and with all the inventions that we have come up with that no one has invented something better for a tree topper.

Seriously, we have put a man on the moon. We can reach out through waves to people all the way on the other side of the world in just a matter of seconds. But, keeping a star straight on a tree… nope. That seems to be beyond our mear mortal minds’ capabilities.

So, here is what I have come up with to keep my Christmas tree topper straight and upright. A very basic. Simple. Dowel rod. Yep, that’s right. I said, a dowel rod.*

That and a couple of zip ties* is all it will take to get your star sitting straight. And this is how it works.

That flimsy little stalk that comes at the top of every artificial tree is simply not strong enough to hold the weight of anything more than the needles attached to it. But, if you can extend the center support, you will have something to work with.

Dowel rods are amazing little tools. They can be used in a lot of different ways. I use Dowel rods for all sorts of projects. So, we can add this one to the list.

Now, it doesn’t take a very long dowel rod to work. You just have to use enough to proportionately distribute the weight that you are adding.

About 10” of length from a 3/4″round dowel is adequate for most toppers. But a longer dowel can be used for heavier objects.

Starting from the top of the tree, maneuver the dowel rod down through the branches. The idea is to keep it right against the center pole.

Leave about 3-4 inches of wood protruding above your last needles (not counting that last long piece). Then, use the zip ties to attach the dowel rod to the center pole.

Make sure to use at least three zip ties. One at the bottom of the dowel rod and the other two placed at the center and at the top edge. Pull them as tight as you can get them.

Next, twist the spring down over the dowel until it has a super tight hold. Then, use that long branch tip at the top of the tree to wind around the spring and camouflage it.

Tip – if you add the topper during the tree assembly and before you put that last tree section up, it will be much easier to get it secured tightly. But, I am assuming that you may already have your tree up and not willing to disassemble the top portion.

You can see one of my trees from this year with the star mounted. I just wanted to show that the dowel rod is very easy to hide with a bit of ornaments and stems.

On a Side Note:

I did find this tree topper stabilizer* that can be purchased. I tried it out. It works okay for lighter-to-moderate weight items, but really only keeps it straight and does nothing to secure the piece to the tree. A hard bump can send it toppling to the ground.

I also found this other stabilizer.* It holds more securely IF you can get it on your tree. The issue for me was the twist mechanism which has to be twisted down the length of the center pole. Not easy to do with branches protruding out in all directions.

After testing both devices, I decided to stick with my DIYed version. But, if DIYing isn’t really your thing, by all means, give one of those a try!

This technique has been working quite well for all of my stars. (FYI – you can see how I built that shipping crate here, and find the instructions for building that star, here. If you want even more of my decorations, check out last year’s Christmas tour!

Moving on to the angel tree toppers

Now with angels, the base is a bit different. Most of these have a cone-shaped piece of plastic that is supposed to slip down over the treetop. Sounds simple enough, right?

Except, no matter how many branches you stuff up her bum, she always seems to be on the brink of diving to her death in a display of protest. This is how I lost my most cherished tree topper several years ago.

Since I was quite devastated over her death, I decided to make sure that no other angel could succumb to such a tragic end.

Before attempting to sit another angel on my tree, I tried several techniques. This is the one that worked the best.

It requires the addition of a styrofoam cone.* You know the type. You can find them in just about any craft store. Or use that link to buy one online.

With this method, I like to use the 1/4″ round dowels. It is easier to push inside the styrofoam. However, I go a bit longer on the length to get a strong stable hold.

First, test the cone out under the angel’s dress. Slip it inside the plastic sleeve and see how well it fits. The idea is to get a nice snug fit.

You may need to cut some off of the tip of the cone, or you may need to remove some excess from the bottom. But, most of the time it is fine as is. Just work with it until the cone fits snuggly inside the plastic sleeve.

I used white zip ties and an unpainted dowel for demostration purposes. However, you will want to use matching zip ties if possible.

Next, use the dowel rod technique from above. Attach the dowel rod to the center tree support just like before. Except for this time, instead of twisting a star on top of it, you push the styrofoam down on top.

Actually, it is better to press the cone over the dowel rod before attaching it to the tree. That way you are not applying force to your tree.

Then, once the dowel rod/cone piece is locked in place, slide the angle down over the cone. That’s it! Now your angle can stand proud like she was meant to.

With this method, the angel will need a tad bit more overhead room. It will add about 10″ to your final tree. (win/win) So, just keep that in mind.

As you can see, it is better to get the topper attached before moving on to the other ornaments. She is really stable and I have no worries that she will fall to her death.

Let’s talk about real trees:

With a real Christmas tree, you can accomplish the same effect without needing a dowel rod. But, only if you plan ahead.

On a real tree, you can snip off the tiny branches that are attached to the main truck. If you clip off enough, you will get to a much sturdier part of the trunk.

This sturdier section should be more than adequate to hold your topper in place. Then, you can trim the tree to blend with this new height adjustment. Depending on the tree, you may not need to do much trimming.

But, let’s assume for the moment that you didn’t plan for the need to do any trimming. Or maybe you already have your tree finished and you just want to keep your Christmas tree topper straight.

In which case, you can use either of the above methods. It works perfectly for artificial trees, but there is no reason you can’t use it on a real tree, too.

One Last Tip:

You can spray-paint the dowel rods to match your tree. I did that for the tree that I flocked last year. And you can’t even tell it is there.

Now, if you need help with your tree lights, you can see what I did to solve that problem, here. Happy Holidays!

The 13 Best Christmas Tree Toppers of 2022

By

Brigitt Earley

Brigitt Earley

Brigitt Earley is a product reviewer for The Spruce who specializes in home hacks, products, and parenting. While she currently writes about home products and toys for The Spruce, Earley has also been published in Oprah Daily, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart, among others.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process

Updated on 09/23/22

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

With Christmas right around the corner, it's almost time to start unpacking all of your holiday decorations. While we're looking forward to hanging up our stockings, unloading our favorite festive ornaments, and purchasing our tree, perhaps no finishing touch is as important as a tree topper.

We've researched top brands and unique styles for every tree out there, considering durability, ease of installation, and design. Our top picks include a dainty angel from Willow Tree, a sneaky Santa from Balsam Hill, and affordable yet impactful picks from Amazon.

Here are the best Christmas tree toppers for decorating your tree.

Our Top Picks

Best Angel :

Willow Tree Song of Joy Tree Topper at Amazon

Best Snowflake:

Pottery Barn Jeweled Snowflake Tree Topper at Pottery Barn

Best Light-Up:

Kurt Adler 10-Light 12-Point Capiz Star at Wayfair

Best for Kids:

Moon Boat Reindeer Hugger at Amazon

Best Unique:

Pottery Barn Felt Gnome Tree Topper at Pottery Barn

Best Festive:

The Holiday Aisle Santa Hat Tree Topper at Wayfair

Best Star:

Kurt Adler Gold Glittered 5-Point Star at Amazon

Best Hanukkah:

Kurt Adler Hanukkah Tree Topper at Amazon

Best with Streamer :

Etsy Red Velvet Christmas Tree Topper Bow at Etsy

Best Ornament :

Northlight Red and White Glass Finial Christmas Tree Topper at Amazon

In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • What to Look For

  • Why Trust The Spruce

Willow Tree

View On Amazon View On Hallmark. com View On Willowtree.com

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • A little heavy

A faceless design paired with an intricately-patterned gown makes this hand-painted angel topper a timeless piece. Her soft pose makes it look like she's singing and dancing at the same time, and she's perfectly packaged in a fitted box, ready for gift giving. The spiral cone makes for easy installation on a tree, but the angel can also be displayed as mantle decor.

Price at time of publish: $69

Dimensions: 11.5 inches tall | Material: Resin

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

View On Pottery Barn

Dimensions: 17 x 17 x 5.7 inches | Material: Steel, glass

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • Difficult to clean

Dreaming of a winter wonderland? Because not everyone can have a white Christmas, this pretty snowflake tree topper makes a great addition to your holiday tree. The 10-pointed snowflake is crafted with an intricate array of white beads and clear gems that give the whole piece a sparkling, diamond effect.

Price at time of publish: $99

The 8 Best Indoor Christmas Lights of 2022

Kurt Adler

View On Wayfair

What We Like

What We Don't Like

If a light-up star better suits your holiday decor style, you’ll swoon over this artistic option. The twelve-point star has ten bulbs to ensure it really shines atop your Christmas tree, and gold glitter detailing adds to the drama of it all. It latches onto the top of your tree via a spiral clip attachment and includes four spare bulbs and two spare fuses.

Price at time of publish: $94

Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.8 x 1.5 inches | Material: Plastic

Moon Boat

View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Affordable price point

  • Conversation starter

  • Great for large trees

What We Don't Like

A friendly face hugging your Christmas tree will delight little ones, as well as those young at heart. This polyester reindeer is an Amazon best-seller and features wired structuring, perfect for posing as you'd like. It's definitely on the bigger side, so keep the dimensions in mind if you plan to use it on smaller trees. Note that the head is empty, so the brand suggests stuffing it with your own newspaper or cloth for best results.

Price at time of publish: $19

Dimensions: 61.4 x 50.4 inches | Material: Polyester

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

View On Pottery Barn

What We Like

  • Cute and quirky

  • Lightweight

  • Balances well

What We Don't Like

This festive topper from Pottern Barn adds a playful element to your tree, and pairs well with nearly any colored ornament. Mr. Gnome himself comes dressed in red and sports a matching pointy hat, with only his nose and long white beard peeking out. He only weighs half a pound, and can be spot cleaned with a cloth.

Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 19 inches | Material: Polyester, iron

Courtesy of Wayfair

View On Wayfair

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Add a touch of Santa to your tree this year with this festive hat topper. Just like Santa's hat, this adorable topper features a classic red and white tinsel design with a white pouf at the end. Made of hand-felted wool, your tree's branches can be tucked into the interior pocket hidden inside the bottom of the hat.

Weighing only a pound, you won't have to worry about it weighing the tree down. A bonus about this topper is that there are no plugs or electricity required. All you need to do is top this little hat atop your tree (maybe with a bit of extra stuffing), and then you'll have a beautiful, decorated tree right before your eyes.

Price at time of publish: $115

Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 12 inches  | Material: Wool

Courtesy of Walmart

View On Amazon View On Wayfair

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • Must b

There’s no sacrificing on Christmas sparkle with this traditional five-pointed star, a great choice for those who prefer classic holiday decor. Kurt Adler's tree topper is decked out in plenty of gold glitter that will stand out even across the room. It also boasts an intricate die-cut pattern that lets light from your LED lights shine through, creating an attractive glow that spreads across the ceiling.

Attaching it to the tree is easy, too—just place the coil on the top of the tree. Be mindful to push it all the way down, though, so you don’t experience any tilting.

Price at time of publish: $11

Dimensions: 8 inches tall | Material: Acrylic

The 28 Best Christmas Decorations of 2022

Kurt Adler

View On Amazon

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • A little flimsy

This Hanukkah-inspired tree topper looks like it's made of metal, but it's lightweight and won't weigh down the tree. It features the classic Star of David design with a silver face and black border. You can easily attach it to the top of your tree with the coil stake, but it may take a bit of trail and error to get it to look perfect.

Price at time of publish: $12

Dimensions: 9 inches tall | Material: Plastic

Etsy

View On Etsy

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Ribbons aren’t just for gifts, and this tree topper is proof. With an elegant bow on top and ribbon tails that cascade down the sides of your tree for unexpected flair, this topper is sure to make your Christmas tree the centerpiece of any room—and a present to everyone who enters your space!

In terms of size, the bow itself is 14 square inches, while the ribbons are 9 feet long (though you can trim them to suit shorter trees). Just be aware that shopping from small artisans means longer shipping times, so be sure to order early.

Price at time of publish: $89

Dimensions: 14 inch bow with 9 foot streamers | Material: Velvet ribbon

Northlight

View On Amazon View On Home Depot View On Bed Bath & Beyond

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Sure, you deck your tree out in tons of ornaments, but did you know that there are special ornaments you can put atop your tree as well? This tall topper features red and silver glass stacked to add to the height of your tree. It looks great with either white or colored lights, as well as a whole host of colored tree baubles and trimmings. For a sophisticated vibe, try pairing the colorful tree topper with all white lights, white ornaments, and some silver tinsel.

Price at time of publish: $27

Dimensions: 14.75 x 2.5 inches | Material: Glass

Balsam Hill

View On Balsamhill. com

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Before Santa comes down your chimney, give him a well-deserved place on top of your tree. This cute tree topper from Balsam Hill features Saint Nick halfway down a chimney with a bag full of toys. While it's definitely pricey for a tree topper, the details are hand-painted and, with proper care, you can reuse this tree topper year after year. We recommend this grandiose pick for large trees for the best look.

Price at time of publish: $139

Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 8 inches | Material: Glass

Pottery Barn Teen

View On PBteen

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • Not as festive

If binging all of the Harry Potter movies is an annual tradition in your house, consider adding some wizardly elements to your holiday decor with this golden snitch tree topper from Pottery Barn Teen. The iconic quidditch ball's classy gold look will easily match other ornaments and decor, and shine in the light. It's perfect for a mini tree in a teen's room or a grand statement for a family of superfans.

Price at time of publish: $69

Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 17 inches | Material: Resin, iron

Mr. Christmas

View On Amazon View On Bed Bath & Beyond View On QVC

What We Like

  • Animated design

  • Lights-up

  • Included mount

What We Don't Like

Add even more interest to your beautifully decorated Christmas tree with a tree topper that spins. Santa's reindeer spin around the festive carousel and light up the night. It's a simple plug-in design, but be sure to hide the cord, so it doesn't take away from your decorations. The included mount makes it simple to place atop your tree and admire all season long.

Price at time of publish: $74

Dimensions: 7.7 x 7.7 x 20 inches | Material: Plastic

Ability to Light Up

If a tree topper lights up, it will need to be connected to your tree lights in order to work, which is important to consider since wiring can get cumbersome. Also, bulbs in light-up toppers will eventually burn out, so look for toppers that include spare bulbs and fuses.

Size

Tree toppers come in a variety of sizes, and it's important to choose one that's going to look appropriate on your Christmas tree. For instance, smaller toppers can look awkward on bigger trees, and bigger toppers can make already small trees look tinier. Pictures can be deceiving, so be sure to look at dimensions or measurements as you make your decision.

Ease of Use

Tree toppers with good bases shouldn't give you much trouble, but in certain cases, you'll need to anchor, or secure, the topper to the Christmas tree. When you're looking to get a tree topper, pay attention to the base and peruse reader reviews about their installation experience. Different types of bases included clip-on, coil, or attach via a plastic cone.

Additional research for this article is provided by Stacy Fisher, a writer specializing in crafting, DIYs, and other home topics. Additional picks were researched and considered by Shanon Maglente, senior commerce editor of The Spruce, who has years of product writing and testing experience across multiple categories including home decor, toys, appliances, textiles, beauty, and more.

Updated by

Stacy Fisher

Stacy Fisher

Stacy is a writer and freebies expert with nearly two decades of experience. She has appeared as an expert on Dr. Oz Show and several radio shows, published hundreds of articles, and co-authored a book. Stacy's written about how to celebrate the holidays for less, decorate your home with free printables, and has curated the best free resources for parents and teachers. Stacy also has an extensive background in academia.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process

and

Julia Fields

Julia Fields

Julia is the Assistant Editor at The Spruce, covering all things toys, gifts, and holiday. 

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process

How to make deciduous trees yourself

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  • How to make deciduous trees yourself

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How to make your own deciduous trees.

Now there is a very large selection of trees for sale, but if you want to make your layout more original and you have time, then you can make the trees yourself.

We will tell you how to make deciduous trees yourself, spending a minimum of money and a little time at home. These are the beautiful trees we get in the end.

For work we need: fine wire, dishwashing sponge or ordinary foam rubber, any cap or cardboard on which we will wind our wire, pliers, which are usually used in beadwork and green paint of different shades.

We wind the wire on the cover. For one tree, approximately 8-10 cm high, one coil is enough. But if you want a thicker trunk and a branched tree, then you can take more wire. Having wound, thus, the wire, cut it from one end. We straighten.

At the bottom, leave a centimeter and a half - two for the roots. They will continue to serve as the stand of our tree. Next, we begin to form a tree trunk by twisting it with pliers in one direction, as in the photo.

The roots were straightened at the bottom, twisting several wires into one. Next, we begin to form our crown, starting from the lower branches. To do this, we separate the bundle of 6-7 wires and twist it in a spiral to about half. Next, we divide our wires in half and twist further separately.

Then we leave one branch alone on each branch, and then twist two. It's as shown in the photo. By the same principle, we make 3-4 more lower branches. So that the branches of the second tier do not come into contact with the branches of the lower tier, we scroll the trunk a little more up.

We make the second tier of branches, again scroll the trunk and form the top in the same way as we did the rest of the branches. Here's what we should get.

And this is the skeleton of the future birch.

Next, thickly coat our tree with PVA glue. Glue in this case plays the role of a primer, thanks to which, our future painting of the trunk and branches will be easy and pleasant. Here is our tree completely covered with PVA glue (as if covered with snow). Let it dry completely, about 2-3 hours. As soon as the tree is completely dry, we begin to paint it. We paint the trunk and twigs either with brown acrylic, or, if it is birch, with light gray with black dots.

Next, paint our future crown. For this purpose, we took a sponge for washing dishes and plain white foam rubber. We poured some water into a bowl and added some acrylic paint in different shades. Here you can experiment with shades. If you need summer trees, then we use lighter shades of green, we need autumn leaves in darker colors and apply shades of red, yellow, etc. with a brush. Wrinkle the sponge in water so that it is evenly colored. We wet the sponge again and, without squeezing, apply paint to the sponge with a brush: first with one shade, then with another, then with a third. It is enough to apply a little paint on one side.

And then just crumple it in your hand, putting a glove or polyethylene on your hand. The sponge, as you can see, was painted unevenly, which is what we need. Since the sponge was yellow, it gave us an extra shade of yellow. Here's what we got. We wring out our sponge from excess water and put it on the battery or other surface until it dries completely. Another shade was obtained by dyeing ordinary white foam rubber. As you can see this one is more green. The first, lighter sponge went to the birch foliage.

Next, we rub the sponge on a fine iron grater and get such crumbly - the future foliage of our trees.

Next, we dip our tree in PVA glue or coat the branches with a brush and lower them into the crushed foliage. And so every branch. Then let it dry, shake off what is not stuck. Then we again apply glue to the branches, but not with a brush, but simply dripping drop by drop from the vial and pouring a little crumbly and again until completely dry. And so several times.

Here is a birch after the first dipping.

We made a stand for each tree, this is for demonstration purposes. Cut out mugs from cardboard. Glue the trees to the base with a glue gun. They also glue the trees to the layout. Grass was made from the same crumb. You can add flowers from any material available to you.
A nest was made from sisal on one of the trees.

We have such beautiful trees!

Any questions? Ask them by calling 8(499)404-21-75

or leaving a feedback box:

How do you like our trees? Write in the comments! How to cut down a tree: a step by step process | Articles

June 03, 2019

Among arborists, tree removal is considered a specialty. The dismantling technique requires special experience, in-depth knowledge, the ability to work in a team of two people and the use of the right equipment. To better understand this profession, colleagues from Petzl went to a job site in the south of France. There they met Laurent Pierron, an arborist, who showed the process step by step.

Attention! This article is not intended to be a comprehensive tree removal guide. It only describes in general terms the process of dismantling trees and is not a training material.

When should a tree be cut in pieces?

Sometimes it is not possible to simply cut down a tree because of the location in which it is located. For example, in a city where a tree fall poses too much risk. This also applies to our current task, on the territory of the city of Valence (France). The only solution is to carefully disassemble the tree, cutting it into pieces from top to bottom.

Job site preparation

Any job site where tree work is planned (whether pruning or any other type of work) is planned in advance. This includes risk assessment, tree condition assessment, understanding environmental constraints, determining how to handle waste, preparing a list of equipment, determining the number of workers required, preparing signage for the security perimeter.

Choosing the right weather window

Tree work requires ideal weather conditions. A tree is a living thing that moves, and an arborist climbing a tree must work in a moving environment. Strong winds or rain can turn any job into a daunting task. If, for example, a thunderstorm warning comes in, the job site is immediately closed.

Basic steps in the process of dismantling a tree

  • Access to the top of the tree in the traditional way: passing a line, installing a rope, then climbing.
  • Set up a station at the top of a tree. The arborist, at his workstation, sets up a system of pulleys to control the speed and direction of the descent of the tree sections all the way to the ground. At this stage, the person at the base of the tree also prepares the necessary equipment: prepares traction and guiding ropes, a chainsaw, etc.
  • All tree branches are cut from the base to the top. Once the necessary systems are in place on the tree and on the ground, work can begin to dismantle the tree. The lower branches are always cut first. Then the arborist moves higher to the next branches. This method allows all branches to reach the ground without any obstruction.
  • The trunk can be sawn in pieces. Once all the branches are cut, the trunk is sawn in parts, starting from the top. The length of each part is calculated taking into account the diameter and weight.

Worker safety

  • The arborist uses a work positioning system with a heavy-duty adjustable lanyard. The Petzl MICROFLIP, designed for tree work, consists of a rope with a metal core and a clamp. Use an additional choke to keep the sling snug against the tree trunk. Such a system will stop the fall in the event of a fall.
  • A second system is installed below the positioning lanyard using a ZIGZAG mechanical prusik. This gear serves both as a backup belay system and as a tree descent line.
  • Additional stability is provided by special spikes (gaffs). Please note that spikes are only used when removing trees.

Carrying a chainsaw

A chainsaw often weighs more than 8 kg. This must be taken into account when assessing physical activity when dismantling a tree. It is much more comfortable when the load is partially distributed on the shoulders, and not just on the belt. The shoulder straps for the SEQUOIA SRT do an excellent job of redistributing the load.

Pulley system: the most dangerous moment

Power pulleys must be used for controlled lowering of tree trunk parts. The rope is attached to the center of the part of the trunk that needs to be lowered. This rope passes through a roller attached to an anchor point in a tree or troll. At the base of the tree, a special descender (Portawrap) is installed, with which the descent of parts of the tree is controlled. An important part of the preparation is determining the number of turns to wrap around the device. This is the most difficult stage. To determine the required number of turns, depending on the size of the descent section, you need a lot of experience in such work.


Learn more