Design and DIY

How To: Scandinavian Christmas Tree

November 21, 2018

If you’ve been following along with my then you know I’ve spent the past two months scouring the internet for the perfect Scandinavian Christmas tree. One so sparse that even Charlie Brown would shed tears! After several failed attempts, I finally settled on this 6.5′ Alpine Balsam Fir with Clear LED Fairly Lights from Balsam Hill. Slender and realistic with ample space between branches, this tree checks off all the boxes. Beautiful? Yes! Worth the $249 price tag? Debatable. Yet there’s nothing on the market quite like it and with the Scandinavian trend still going strong, it’s a tree I know I’ll have for years to come. Keep on reading to get the look!

The Tree

The secret behind the Scandinavian Christmas tree is that… IT’S REAL! Unfortunately, for those of us with kids, animals, allergies, or lack of time, authentic trees just aren’t a feasible option. So when looking for a Nordic-inspired artificial tree, it’s important to keep the following things in mind:

  • Tree height
  • Tree width (If you plan on putting your tree in a corner, make sure the base isn’t too large.)
  • Open space between branches 
  • Realistic trunk

Below, I’ve sourced the best artificial Christmas tree options on the market all for under $210. 


The Base

What’s almost as important as the tree itself? The base! Finding the perfect basket to nestle your tree in is essential to the Scandinavian look. But that’s easier said than done. The question I get asked most frequently is “How do I put my tree in a basket?” Often artificial trees come with 20-24″ metal stands that would call for an awkwardly large basket. With help from my friend Erin at Francois Et Moi, I found a 16″ diameter plastic tree stand from Target that easily fits into baskets! It’s described to hold a 6′ tree but mine is 6.5′ and the stand worked like a dream (even with my super thin trunk)! My water hyacinth basket measures 17.7″ in diameter but gets a bit smaller at the base. The stand doesn’t touch the bottom which makes my tree about 4 inches taller while remaining solid and secure. So toss your tree skirts and check out some of the inexpensive alternatives linked below! 

Pro Tip: Look for taller baskets so that less (or none) of your trunk is showing! This looks more natural. The bottom branches should just be touching the top of the basket.


The Ornaments

Scandinavian design is all about simplicity. In order to achieve this look on your Christmas tree: 1. Keep your ornaments all the same color but different styles or 2. Use 2-3 different colors but the same style. Linked below are the ornaments I used on my tree this year! Want to be extra hygge this holiday season? Tuck a faux fur rug into your basket for added texture and coziness.

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  • Reply Rachelle November 21, 2018 at 9:46 am

    So pretty, great job! The photos look great.

    • Reply emilyeveryday November 21, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Oh my gosh Rachelle – thank you! Honestly.. I struggled with the lighting so much this past week! So thank you for saying that. 🙂

  • Reply Thekwendyhome November 21, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    It’s so beautiful! I love the entire look! Thank you for sharing these tips because I think the Scandinavian Christmas tree look is way more nuanced then we think! Haha!

    One question though, looks like you used batter operated lights with green wires. Would it make a huge difference if we used the traditional lighting strands that are thicker and have bigger bulbs?

    • Reply emilyeveryday November 21, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      Hey girl! The tree came prelit with fairy lights! But I don’t think traditional lights would make a huge difference. In fact a lot of the Scandinavian trees I saw on Pinterest had the larger, more traditional lights!

  • Reply Chelsey November 5, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Did you get them with the lights I’m just worried about the lights if they stop working.

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