Christmas tree topper ideas – 14 ways to add a perfect finishing touch

From traditional stars to on-trend bows these Christmas tree topper ideas will ensure your tree looks polished and perfected

compilation of theree Christmas trees with different Christmas tree topper ideas from red stars, bows and gold paper stars
(Image credit: Future)

These thoughtful Christmas tree topper ideas will help you add the perfect finishing touch to your festive fir – because no Christmas tree feels quite complete without a striking star, angel, snowflake, or ribbon to finish it off in style.

When it comes to Christmas tree decorating ideas, a tree topper is up there as one of the most important finishing touches. Whether your preference is for an angel, a fairy, an elegant bow, or something a bit more unique like your favorite novelty ornament it's all about adding that perfect finishing touch.

The best Christmas tree topper ideas should be impactful, impressive, and most importantly enhance your Christmas tree theme – whether you're placing them on top of one of the best artificial Christmas trees or the best real Christmas tree make it count.  

Christmas tree topper ideas: 14 ways to style your tree

Whether you're looking to upgrade your old tree topper or you need to buy your very first one, our guide to the best on-trend Christmas tree topper ideas will help you find the right topper and inspire your festive decorating theme for 2022. 

1. Shining gold stars

Gold star Christmas tree topper ideas

(Image credit: Oliver Bonas | Future)

Nothing beats a festive gold star when it comes to Christmas tree topper ideas, in fact, they're almost as essential as Christmas tree skirts when it comes to decor. The gilded gold star is one of the most iconic Christmas decorations of choice for almost any tree size, color, and type. Because thanks to being a warming choice of metallic gold goes with all Christmas tree color trends to enhance accent tones, to give other hues a luxe feel.

And the beauty of modern designs means that there's a variety of different gold stars to suit all, from traditional hammered gold stars to modern paper star-like creations there's a star to sign bright for all tastes.

2. Elegant bows

Compilation of two Christmas trees with ribbon bow Christmas tree topper ideas

(Image credit: Future)

A simple bow is one of the most popular Christmas tree topper ideas to take over holiday decorating trends in recent years. The simplicity is a major factor in its popularity no doubt because all you essentially need is a length of ribbon to make your own DIY tree topper. 

You can use a length of colored ribbon that coordinates with your decorating or make more of a statement with a contrasting accent color that might be visible within the decor of your living room (or whichever room the tree resides in). 

Of course, you can buy beautiful readymade bows but if you're on a budget a homemade bow is just as effective.

3. Statement snowflakes

beaded snowflake Christmas tree topper idea

(Image credit: John Lewis )

A snowflake Christmas tree topper is an understated show-stopper that catches the light and adds a glimmer of extra shine to the top of the tree without having to add actual lights – like this sophisticated Beaded Snowflake Tree Topper at John Lewis (opens in new tab)

Reflective metal and beaded snowflake ornaments are ideal if you prefer modern icier, cool tones for your Christmas decorating ideas, such as silver, pastels, or white to create a snowy-like scene. 

4. Novelty ornaments

Gray living room with Christmas tree with a novelty llama Christmas tree topper

(Image credit: Future)

Some of the most popular and best Christmas decorations of recent years are novelty ornaments that welcome a touch of personality and playfulness to a decorating scheme. Whether it's a trending animal-of-the-moment, like the Llama has been in recent years, or a kitsch Santa on a surfboard a quirky decoration adorning the top of the tree adds a fun finishing touch.

Best of all, this could be an ornament you already have that's an all-time favorite that you simply reposition at the top of your tree or it can be a new find that you wish to draw attention to this year. Any color scheme goes, it's all about having fun with this idea and taking a more maximalist approach to decorating. 

5. Rustic rattan decorations

Rustic rattan Christmas tree topper idea

(Image credit: Future)

A rustic-style Christmas tree topper, whether a star or heart-shaped design, is a perfect tree topper for homes that prefer a more natural decor with a subtle hint of country-style charm thrown into the mix. 

Being made of woven wood this style of tree topper is best suited to more traditional Christmas decorating ideas, sitting idyllically alongside woodland creatures, red berries, pine cones, dried fruit, and foliage for a freshly foraged look.

6. Angelic angels

Angel Christmas tree topper ideas one in gold one in white

(Image credit: Future)

An angelic angel sitting on top of a fir tree is a timeless choice that will work year after year, especially in homes with a more traditional approach to decorating. 

From classic, handmade angels with fabric dresses and halos to more modern abstract angel silhouettes this iconic Christmas tree topper is ideal for those who prefer more traditional decor, so we'd advise it for trees and homes with gold/silver decor.

Angel tree toppers are the kind of heirloom decoration that remains a family favorite for generations, so we reckon it's a good investment to last for years.

7. Jolly red stars

Hallway Christmas tree and living room Christmas trees with red star Christmas tree topper ideas as a metallic star alternative

(Image credit: Future)

If your tree is traditional red and green with very little metallic incorporated within the decorating scheme you may find a metallic star, be it gold or silver, a little jarring. In that instance, a red star tree topper is an ideal way to add a topper without distracting from the other decorations adorning the tree. Sticking to the same color palette means your tree topper idea feels cohesive and doesn't stand out for all the wrong reasons. 

8. An illuminated star

neutral living room with Christmas tree with light up star Christmas tree topper idea

(Image credit: Lights4Fun)

If you're looking to make a real statement with your tree topper go for a design that shines, quite literally.  A shining pre-lit star decoration, like this fine example at Lifhts4Fun, is a great pick for homeowners looking for a star tree topper that is unique and made to be the center of attention. If you want your Christmas tree topper to stand out you can't go far wrong with a captivating light that draws attention.

When using lights as a tree topper just be sure to match the warmth of your existing best Christmas tree lights so the lighting is in sync – the last thing your want is a cooler blue light tree topper that jars with the rest of the warm white lights below.

9. Decorative artificial flowers

Burgundy red living room with jewel colored decorated Christmas tree with artificial hydrangea Christmas tree topper idea

(Image credit: Dobbies Garden Centre)

Decorating Christmas trees with flowers has become incredibly on-trend in recent years, and while the idea of fresh foliage appeals it's not long-lasting therefore artificial flowers are the only way to go when it comes to adding decorative floral flourishes to trees – it's hard enough to manage how to keep your real Christmas tree alive, let along the decorations on it.

Use a classic Christmas flower to take pride of place, like this Dobbies Red Poinsettia Clip decoration (opens in new tab), that effortlessly attaches to the central stem. You can use alternative single-stem flowers and attach them yourself, securing the flower head upright and in position. with florist wire to keep 

10. Playful paper decorations

two images of Christmas tree showing paper decoration Christmas tree toppers idea

(Image credit: Future)

From on-trend paper pom poms to concertina paper wheels that look like alternative stars there's a whole wealth of fun Christmas topper ideas to add a simple yet statement finish to your tree – especially for alternative Christmas tree ideas

From ready-made decorations, you can buy to DIY versions you can make yourself these decorations can be used throughout the tree with a color theme. Paper decorations work for any festive look, working equally as well alongside modern decorations as they would with traditional ornaments. 

Kids will adore a crafting day of making this fun tree topper idea, a great family fun activity to get into the festive spirit. And if you're searching for more festive products your children will love, take a look at our guide to the best Christmas gifts for kids.

11. Plentiful ribbons

Ribbon Christmas tree topper

(Image credit: Future)

Ribbons are the hugely popular option for dressing Christmas trees, in place of the once popular tinsel toppers and a core part of some of the best Christmas centerpiece ideas, and this option is both fun and sophisticated. 

To recreate this fun Christmas tree topper idea try using two different colored ribbons, interwoven to form a waterfall of cascading ribbon bows, layered like the top of a wrapped Christmas present. 

12. Foraged pinecones

Tabletop Christmas tree with pinecone Christmas tree topper idea

(Image credit: Future)

Keep things simple and opt for an entirely free and natural tree topper idea by way of foraged pinecones. Embrace nature's decoration by using real pinecones as alternative tree toppers, using a singular pinecone for mini trees, or tying a cluster together using florist wire to make more of an impactful decoration.

Many of the best artificial Christmas trees now come adorned with faux pinecones and berries as decorative elements, making this simple topper idea a perfect solution.

13. Understated stars

Snowy Christmas tree with understated Christmas tree topper idea

(Image credit: Future)

Not all Christmas tree topper ideas have to command attention, sometimes less is more. For those after a minimalistic tree topper that won't detract from the rest of your tree decor, an understated color-coordinated star is a fantastic choice. 

For a snow-covered tree especially, where there's already a lot going on a simple, silver star design is still fun whilst being minimal too. 

14. Charming heart motifs

Living room with Christmas dress decorated with a heart Christmas tree topper idea

(Image credit: Future)

Another classic symbol that captivates the feeling of Christmas is heart motifs. Adorning your Christmas tree with a heart-shaped tree topper is a lovely way to share a sentiment of warmth and love for the holidays.  

Use a simple hanging heart decoration but place it at the top to form an easy Christmas tree topper idea.

According to search data, a star is still the most popular Christmas tree topper closely followed by an angel, and then a bow. So if you're keen on any of the above Christmas tree topper ideas, you'll be among the popular majority of people who choose either one of these three for their trees this year.

Celebrated interior designer Steph Briggs, and co-founder of award-winning independent gifts and interior retailer, La Di Da Interiors (opens in new tab), agreed that angels and stars were popular, saying, "Fairies, angels are stars are the most popular Christmas tree toppers."

And when it comes to choosing your perfect tree topper, she suggested that you ensure you make note of a few things before purchasing. "Make sure it’s one that works with the shape and size of this year's tree," she told w&h. "I also always make sure that the lights go right up to the top of the tree so that it feels part of it rather than plonked on top."

When should you put your Christmas tree topper on?

When it comes to decorating your tree like a pro at what point during the process should you add your Christmas tree topper? According to professional Christmas tree decorator Laura Perry, from Team Festive (opens in new tab), the tree topper should absolutely go on last of all.

She explained, "Our top tip is to always put the topper on last. This is for many reasons – including the fact that you might want to see what works best with your chosen colors or theme before finishing off your decor. And, if you have kids, as a child (or a big kid!), putting the tree topper on as a finishing touch is one of the most privileged things to be responsible for, and creates lasting memories and traditions."

It can also be helpful to add your tree topper last in order to avoid pushing it off or moving it when decorating the rest of the tree.