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How to Put Ribbon on a Christmas Tree the Right Way

Ready to change up your Christmas tree style this year?

Adding ribbon is an easy and inexpensive way to do it.

When done properly, you can add dramatic dimension to your tree with ribbon when paired with the perfect Christmas ornaments and lights. Once you do it a few times, you’ll wonder how you ever put your Christmas tree up without ribbon!

Ready to get started?

Here’s a little insight on how to put ribbon on a Christmas tree:

Adding Ribbon to Your Christmas Tree

If you decide to add ribbon to your tree decor this year, you’ll want to make sure it coordinates well with your current Christmas tree ornaments. Here’s how to get started with ribbon decorating:

Choose your ribbon

  • Wire is best - Select a wire ribbon as it allows design flexibility
  • Three is the key - Try not to use more than three strands
  • Color choices - Use a sheer and a solid in the same color; add an accent color
  • Pick favorites - Don’t get crazy with too many colors

Add ribbon before ornaments

Begin your tree decorating by adding lights and then the ribbon. Ornaments should always go on last. If you attempt to add ribbon after hanging ornaments, you run the risk of breaking ornaments as you style your tree.

Now it’s time to grab your scissors and start ribboning.

Step 1: Handle with Care

You’ll want to start at the top of your tree if you plan to create a cascading effect. As you do this, make sure you don’t just lay ribbon atop branches. Instead, attach it to the innermost branch where you start. If you have a real tree, you may not need to do this as the needles will keep it in place.

  • Start deep in the tree; feel where the branch meets the trunk
  • Twist wired branches around ribbon to secure
  • Keep scissors handy for cutting ribbon

Step 2: Tuck and Twist

Once your ribbon is tied or secured to the branch, you’ll want to bring it to the outside of the tree and twist it into pretty billows. Let the ribbon drape naturally, too.

  • Start at the top backside of tree
  • Slowly work around without straining ribbon
  • Alternate ribbon loop sizes
  • Vary intervals of tucking and billowing

Step 3: Use Patterns

Keep your design interesting by using patterns as you decorate.

  • Zig zag or circle around the tree
  • Keep pattern random
  • Start new ribbon trails to fill-in holes

Step 4: Repeat

Once you’ve finished with the first ribbon, it’s time to add in the next two ribbons. You may not have to do this if you decide to layer two ribbons.

  • Change up the pattern
  • Be patient; it takes time to get right
  • One ribbon works fine if you have enough other decor
  • Use leftover ribbon for other Christmas decor projects

Hang Ornaments with Care

Once your ribbon decorating is done, it’s time to fill in the greenery with your cherished Old World Christmas ornaments. Start with bigger ornaments before filling in the gaps with the smaller ones. While putting ribbon on the tree might be a one-person job, hanging Christmas ornaments can involve the whole family.

Happy decorating!

Do you use ribbon to decorate your Christmas tree? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!

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April 25, 2019 by Rachael Mitchell

Written by

Rachael Mitchell

Rachael Mitchell is a freelance writer based in Seattle, Washington, and has over 15 years of writing experience. She’d never be able to pick just one favorite ornament, but narrowed it down to the S’more and Tennis Ball. She always looks forward to s’mores in the summer with friends and family adding gourmet ingredients, and played 4 years of college tennis in the mid-west.


Christine Applegate

Christine Applegate said:

Thank you for the advise. I have used ribbon for years but I will try this method this Christmas!

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