I gave up my job to trim Christmas trees — these are my top decorating tips

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An Arkansas woman decided to branch out from her teaching job to a career decorating Christmas trees. Five years later, she claims she’s charging $1,000 on average to fix up firs for her clients.

“I may not be teaching in a classroom — I am still teaching people how to elevate their living spaces to invite others over with confidence,” Amanda Ware, 43, told Newsweek. “That is a huge part of our brand. I want everyone to feel confident in building community in their living spaces.”

The Bentonville mom runs Hello Holidays — a tree-trimming service that provides all the fixin’s for a hefty fee. Ware said she and her team start sprucing up trees as early as October, and they decorate at least 100 a season. November is her busiest month.

Amanda Ware holds Christmas ribbon
Ware told Newsweek she charges $1,000 on average to spruce up a tree.

She told Newsweek she spends two to five hours per tree, depending on the size.

“The service fee to have a tree decorated could be anywhere between $300 to $1,500 per tree, depending on the size and who is decorating it. If you hire me, you are going to pay a premium,” Ware boasted to the outlet.

“I have previously decorated a tree that had $10,000 worth of decorations on it, and the tree only cost $200.”

Ware also shares her exper-trees on Instagram and on TikTok, where her brand has more than 85,000 followers hooked.

Here are her decoration do’s and don’ts.

  • Do buy a colorful tree to be daring.
  • Do put a small tree on a box or container and make it look taller by covering it with fabric.
  • Do stick to a color theme, such as pink decorations on a pink tree.
  • Don’t forget to fluff the tree and fill in any holes using artificial glitter sprigs and berries.
  • Don’t use tinsel because it is messy.
  • Don’t top the tree with a star because it’s dated — use a bow or flowers instead.
  • Don’t put mesh on a tree or wrap ribbon around a tree horizontally because it looks cheap.
  • Don’t buy all of the decorations at one time in case you get bored of them.
Amanda Ware decorating tree with red balls
“Most people put their favorite baubles and ornaments within eyesight — but if you are adding balls, I suggest buying them in a pack of three or five,” Ware told Newsweek.

Decorated white Christmas tree
“Forgetting to fluff the tree and leaving holes is a common mistake but it’s an easy fix,” Ware confided.


Amanda Ware decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon
“My favorite decoration is ribbon, it is one of the reasons I got into this business,” Ware said.

Amanda Ware in front of a decorated tree
“I cut [ribbon] into strips and never wrap it around the tree horizontally, as I think this makes it look cheap,” Ware advised.

Decorated Christmas tree featuring gold and blue
“I usually put the ribbon vertically around the tree and make bows with it,” Ware revealed.


Decorated multi-colored Christmas tree
“I have previously decorated a tree that had $10,000 worth of decorations on it, and the tree only cost $200,” Ware bragged.

Decorated Christmas tree with lights
“I say put at least 100 lights per foot of the tree. If there aren’t enough lights then it doesn’t look good,” Ware recommended.

Amanda Ware in front of a decorated tree
“My company sells everything you put on a tree. We have designer ribbons, sprigs and ornaments that give a finished and elevated look to a Christmas tree,” Ware boasted.


Decorated white and pink Christmas tree
“You can shop any of our trees and that is what our customers and clients love about your unique business. They can buy everything on one of our trees or mix and match,” Ware confirmed.


Ware is a fan of lights — especially a warm white light — and she recommends stringing at least 100 lights per foot of tree.

“Lights give off a glow and make any evening more romantic,” she declared to Newsweek. “They also enhance all of the decorations. Sometimes you can’t see the decorations because of the lack of lights.”

Ware said she pines for ribbon, calling it “one of the reasons I got into this business.” She said she places patterned or velvet ribbon vertically on the tree and makes bows of it, so it appears high-end.

For a ballin’ tree, Ware suggests buying packs of three or five of the baubles and arranging them in triangles — one at eye level, one to the lower right, and one to the lower left — or creating a diamond shape using four.

“We specialize in over-the-top, more-is-more, so we like extra,” Ware confessed. “This is a general estimate, yet for a 9-foot tree decorated all the way around, we like to use three to five rolls of ribbon; 40 to 60 sprigs and florals; and 30 to 50 ornaments.”

Looking beyond the holidays, Ware expressed interest in expanding her business to everyday occasions such as birthdays, showers, and dinner parties.

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