Tinsel Hanging 101

For those of you born after 1970, I thought I’d share my technique for hanging tinsel, also known as icicles, on the Christmas tree.

First, look all over creation for a store that actually sells tinsel. Not as easy to find as one would think. It’s almost like tinsel isn’t a popular Christmas tree adornment nowadays, but we all know that isn’t true!

A humorous look at tinsel hanging, a staple of Christmas trees in the 60's!  If you ever wondered why it went out of fashion, look no further.

Through much scientific research, I have found that it is most eye pleasing to place three pieces of tinsel on each branch. No more. No less.

Gingerly select your three tinsel strands by grabbing them in the exact middle of the strands (a tape measure may be helpful) and placing them onto the branch 1.29 inches from the tip.

A humorous look at tinsel hanging, a staple of Christmas trees in the 60's!  If you ever wondered why it went out of fashion, look no further.

You may want to hold your breath when doing this, so you have a steady hand. If not, you may twist the tinsel and crease it and no one wants to look at mangled tinsel. Select three more strands and repeat.

Throwing of tinsel onto the tree in big gobs is strictly prohibited. We will have none of that! Applying tinsel is an art form and should be treated with reverence.

After spending a entire, mind-numbing delightful evening painstakingly applying tinsel to the tree, stand back and admire your shiny, sparkly creation.

A humorous look at tinsel hanging, a staple of Christmas trees in the 60's!  If you ever wondered why it went out of fashion, look no further.

Seriously, this was the first time in probably 40 years that I have put tinsel on a tree. Did it a lot as a kid and then kicked the habit around the time they invented fake trees and twinkle lights.

It was sort of fun to decorate with tinsel this year. At least for the first half hour.

A humorous look at tinsel hanging, a staple of Christmas trees in the 60's!  If you ever wondered why it went out of fashion, look no further.

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  1. says

    I so remember doing this as a kid. My mother was a thrower and I was a hanger. It is fun to see it again- makes me think of Christmases as a kid- xo Diana

  2. says

    I remember putting tinsel on when we were little!! Unfortunately I’m afraid tinsel and my cats wouldn’t get along all that well. I think I read somewhere it’s bad for their digestive tract and they try to eat everything!!

  3. says

    Hi Pam! Oh, I love tinsel and we always had it on my tree when I was a little girl and when my children were little! 😉
    Love it.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  4. says

    You need a measuring tape to apply tinsel to a tree? Who knew?! Never, never apply when the humidity is low. Tinsel and static electricity do not mix. You’ll be going to the grocery store with tinsel stuck to the seat of your pants. But I guess tinsel is better than toilet paper.

    Funny post, Pam. :@

  5. says

    I love tinsel. I love it even more after seeing it on your tree. I have boxes of tinsel that I packed away several years ago. I would love to hang on our two trees. I think our two cats would also enjoy eating it. I’m thinking if they enjoy eating Easter grass, tinsel would be equally tasty.

  6. says

    Oh yes, tinsel hanging. I learned the same method you describe (but not exact measurements) from my mom. And it was exactly three pieces of tinsel. Takes the patience of Job. But looks magical when you are finished. The tinsel that they make now is so light weight and static-y. Does anyone remember the heavy (perhaps lead) tinsel that was used before the early or mid 1960’s? It was heavy and hang much more like icicles in the tree. But here is something weird…I remember being a very little kid and liking to chew it. Not swallow it, just chew it like gum. Makes me and my now-filling-filled teeth shiver to recall it. But I think it may have been lead-I am surprised I didn’t get lead poisoning. I had a flashback when I saw the comment from a fellow blogger concerned her cats would eat the tinsel.

  7. says

    I love tinsel but this year couldn’t have it because of the cats. Persians don’t bother tinsel but the kittens I have now would be eating it for sure. I don’t need any vet bills. You are so right with your hanging method–the same one I used. Now you make me miss my tinsel :)

  8. says

    Everybody used tinsel!! My Mom kept it from year to year, folded into an old magazine, that magazine is still in the attic and full,of tinsel or icicles as we called them! It looks quite a bit thinner than it used to be!

  9. says

    thank you for promoting the revival of tinsel! from the first tree we ever purchased to today, icicles have always been on my tree. even with the criticism of friends & family, i stood firm on this! {they must be strategically placed, of course, & a daily combing is essential.} i think it’s high time tinsel icicles regain their place in the arsenal of christmas decor!

  10. says

    Too funny. I think you channeling my mother, because those were pretty much her instructions to us, as kids. Of course, when she left the room, it was an all-out, tinsel tossing fest!

  11. says

    I remember tinsel hanging as a kid. It was fun and frustrating at the same time, especially when it was full of static and sticking to your clothes. Honestly – never missed it when it went out of style. But – it does bring back many warm memories of years gone by.

  12. says

    Gotta tell you, we always put tinsel on our tree. I’ve tried to leave it off, but the tree always looks naked. Plus, there’s nothing like tinsel clinging to the dog’s tail to say “Christmastime!”

  13. says

    Such a funny post!!! We always used tinsel when I was a kid. I started out placing it precisely (maybe not exactly 1.29) but ended up throwing the rest…especially at the top of the tree where I couldn’t reach!!! Thanks for the memories!!!

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