How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Professionally with Ribbon

This easy, frustration-free guide will show you how to put ribbon on a Christmas tree so it looks like it was professionally decorated!


Getting the ribbon on your Christmas tree to look just right can be is a lot of hard work! You can spend hours trying to get the ribbon in the right place on the tree only to step back and realize you have a hot mess on your hands. For years, I struggled with getting the ribbon to look good on my Christmas tree.  However, last year I discovered a Christmas tree hack to make your tree look like it was done by a professional. 

In past years, I have spent hours of my life figuring out how to wrap ribbon around a Christmas tree so that it looks like the images of those designer trees on Pinterest.  I never got the hang of it until I found the easiest way to make the ribbon look like it was cascading down the tree. 

This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you how to add ribbon to a Christmas tree and it’s a great alternative to more traditional methods that take a long time. However, with this method of…. you will get the same look without taking much time and spending less money. I’ll show you this method on my own Christmas tree and include the same simple steps on a video tutorial as well! Whether you are after a traditional look or something more modern, here is the best way to decorate the perfect Christmas tree without the hassle!

LET ME SHOW YOU:

  • The easiest way to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon
  • How to select a color palette for your tree
  • How to put ribbon on a Christmas tree using less ribbon to save you money
  • Encouragement when it seems like your life is out of control in this week’s Renovate Your Faith devotional at the end of this post

(As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclosure HERE I only use affiliate links for products I use and love).

How to Add Ribbon to a Christmas Tree

This step-by-step tutorial is also on video so you can see exactly how to arrange the ribbon on your own tree. If you don’t see the video pop-up, look for the embedded version at the end of this post or click here: How To Put Ribbon on a Christmas Tree, YouTube Video

Supplies Needed to Decorate a Christmas Tree with Ribbon

☑️  Christmas Tree – You can use a real Christmas tree or artificial tree for this tutorial.  The nice thing about faux trees are the wire branches that are easy to bend.  Also, don’t feel like you have to pay a lot of money on a high end Balsam Hill tree.  My Walmart tree works just fine: Low-Cost Christmas Trees
☑️ Wired Ribbon – Get at least two types that are wider than 2 inches:  Wired Christmas Tree Ribbon
☑️ Sharp Scissors – These are my FAVORITE and I use them for everything: Fiskar Scissors
☑️ Various Kind of Ornaments, Ornament Hooks and a Tree Skirt

Step 1 – How To Decorate a Christmas Tree with Ribbon Vertically

Before we starting adding ribbon it’s important to take a few minutes to plan out what we want our tree to look like.  Also, using the right type of ribbon will make this process so much easier!

What is the Best Type of Ribbon To Decorate a Christmas Tree?

A great thing about this process is that it is versatile. You can use different ribbons of various sizes and materials although wired ribbon is by far the easiest to use. Although I’ve tried different techniques to put ribbon on a tree, this is my favorite way because it takes less time and is more simple.

How Wide Should Christmas Tree Ribbon Be?

Although you can use different types of ribbon, the ribbon width is important. Use Christmas ribbon that is at least 2 inches wide and up to 4 inches wide.  This year I used three kinds of ribbon of different widths for my 7.5 foot tree ranging from 2.5 to 3.75 inches. Note: Mesh ribbon or loose burlap can be much wider because in most cases you will double it over or “scrunch” it some.

Ideas for Combining Different Textures and Styles of Ribbon

Now that you know the right size of wired ribbon, there are lots of fun ways to get ideas for the different types and colors of ribbon on your tree to get the look you want! You can find lots of pretty ribbon combinations on Instagram or Pinterest to give you a jumping-off point for your color palette: Christmas Tree Ribbon Decoration Ideas

Remember that you’ll get the greatest impact by mixing different colors of ribbon that coordinate but are not super close in shade. For example, two shades of red ribbon on a tree won’t look great but red and green ribbons and different but they coordinate!

Where to Buy Wired Ribbon to Decorate Your Christmas Tree

Be sure to use a wired ribbon for your tree as the wired edge allows the ribbon to be bent easily and tucked into the tree without readjusting later, which will make a huge difference in helping the loops to stay in place. Remember not to use thin ribbon as it is harder to loop and won’t make a big impact visually. Here are great prices on different types of ribbon. Two popular alternatives to satin wired ribbon are mesh and burlap as it’s fun to mix textures to add visual interest to your beautiful tree.

You can find wired ribbon that is reasonably priced at Hobby Lobby or any other local craft stores. I like to use Amazon for low-cost wire ribbon:

Solid Christmas Ribbon on Amazon

Burlap Ribbon on Amazon

Buffalo Plaid Ribbon on Amazon

Mesh Ribbon on Amazon (you can fold it over lengthwise)

What is the Correct Order to Decorate a Christmas Tree?

After you have put up your tree and it’s on a good base, it’s time to decorate! If you have an artificial Christmas tree, you can spread out the tree branches to fill any large gaps. I love the look of a full tree so I like to add some extra thickness to cover any bare spots. I do this by adding a roll of green garland in between the rows of branches and you can see pictures and instructions on the best order to decorate a tree here: How to Decorate a Christmas Tree, Step-by-Step

One year I decided I wanted a flocked tree. For a lightly flocked look, I like to use this spray: Tree Flocking Spray on Amazon. The next step is to add the Christmas tree lights, and although my tree came prelit, I like to add additional strings of Christmas lights as shown in the link above.

Do you put ribbon or ornaments on the tree first?  I like to add ribbon to the tree after adding the lights and before adding ornaments.  Every beautiful Christmas tree has lots of ornaments so we will fill in with large and smaller ornaments around the ribbon loops.

Step 2 – How to Put Ribbon Strips On A Christmas Tree

When adding ribbon to a Christmas tree, tutorials often tell you to use one long piece of ribbon that weaves in and out of the tree.  Others might instruct you to use a few longer strips.

But the absolute BEST tip I can give you when adding ribbon to a Christmas tree is to avoid working with one long piece of ribbon.  Long pieces are difficult to work with and in trying to fix one section of ribbon, you can easily pull another section too tight.

So, you know that beautiful wired ribbon you just bought for your tree?  Our first step is to cut it up in lots of smaller pieces.  But don’t worry, it’s going to be worth it and oh so pretty!  Also, I save my cut pieces of ribbon by re-rolling them on the spool from year to year.

Start with the ribbon you want to see most of on the tree.  I really like the look of my red and white striped ribbon so I added it first.  Cut a few three-foot strips at a time.  (Don’t cut up the whole spool until you are sure of the lengths you need for the size of your tufts.) I used shorter lengths of ribbon towards the top and slightly longer strips of ribbon on the bottom of the tree.

For my 7.5 foot tree, one three-foot strip is going to equal two swoops or waves.  You’ll start with the end of the ribbon and just tuck it into the tree.  Come down at an angle and tuck the middle part into the tree.  Now come out again for your second swoop and then tuck the end back into the tree.

Now, imagine where that next ribbon strip would go if it was one long piece. Add your second piece of ribbon and continue the process.

You want the ribbon “swoops” to be loose, never pulling tight against the branches in straight lines.  I like to imagine those little birds from Snow White decorating the tree by flying in and out the branches with one long piece of ribbon.  Okay, maybe I’m the only person that visualizes that.  But regardless, you want to simulate the look of one very long pieces of ribbon winding in and out of the tree.  That is super easy to accomplish with this method!

Also, it helps to have your ribbon coming down the tree in an angle.  It doesn’t matter if it’s coming down to the left or right but you don’t want it completely horizontal or straight vertical.

The main rule of thumb to remember is that you don’t need to get the ribbon perfect at this point. You’ll have an opportunity to get every loop how you want it in the end. The goal now is just to get the cut ribbon strips on the tree.

Some tutorials say to use green pipe cleaners to attach the ribbon to the tree branches but I don’t feel it’s necessary, especially with using the wire ribbon.

 

Step 3 – How to Add Ribbon To A Christmas Tree From Top to Bottom

Go from the top of the tree to the bottom doing the same with each strip until you have some even distribution of that ribbon color through the tree like this. Keep adding strips to the back of the tree but don’t waste your time if the back can’t be seen by others.

Now, go through the tree with the second color of ribbon as I did with the white snowflake ribbon here.

As you are adding the ribbon, this is not the point that you want to be a perfectionist.  We will have an opportunity to get more detailed later.  For now, just get it on the tree!

Here is my third and final layer of turquoise ribbon.

Step 4 – Finishing Touches To Get the Look of Cascading Ribbon on a Christmas Tree

At this point, you should have all of your ribbon colors filling space on the entire tree without crossing over one another. Now, take a step back and touch up your ribbon by pulling out any loops that are too tight or even making your bow look like it is connected to the ribbon in the tree. You can adjust your ribbon loops a little bit but also remember that we will be filling in with ornaments which will make the look of your tree more cohesive.

When you get your ribbon exactly how you want it, start by adding larger ornaments first. This is where you can be strategic to cover any places where the ribbon strips end or begin making it look like the ribbon cascades behind the ornaments. I added big snowflakes to my tree also or you can add big bows. If your ribbon is really bright, consider adding in some metallic ornaments if you are concerned about too much color.

After adding larger ornaments, I like to put special ornaments in the middle of the tree so they are more visible. Put the biggest ornaments at the bottom of the tree, especially if they are heavy. You can put small ornaments at the top of the tree or at the tips of branches.

Finally, add a tree skirt to the foot of the tree and you are done decorating!

How to Make a Christmas Tree Ribbon Topper

Of all the tree toppers, I like the ones that look like they are connected to the ribbon already in the tree.  For this bow, I used my super simple trick to make bows the easy way as I did here.

Bows for the top of your Christmas tree don’t have to be difficult to make with some of the shortcuts I take in the link above. You can also adjust the size of your bow easily by changing the size of your ribbon loops. I also give tips on how to attach your ribbon bow to the top branch.

RENOVATE YOUR FAITH:

As I marveled at the finished tree, I couldn’t help but notice how the ribbon seemed to weave in and out in one intricate pathway that I couldn’t clearly comprehend.  Each loop seemed to twist and turn unpredictably through the branches, only to disappear and then peer out again in some other part of the tree.

Something about this was so familiar.  I loved the perceived intricacy of the ribbon, and although I didn’t weave the ribbon in one long strand through the tree, I loved the consistency and fluidity.  For this tree was some of my own handiwork and it brought me great satisfaction and joy. 

In the same way, we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10)

He intricately weaves the events of our lives together as an ornate masterpiece.  We are His creation and our lives are delicately woven within the rhythms of His will. 

Life often feels perilous, snaking in directions that seem haphazard or unfamiliar.  But He knows the purpose of every turn, twist and curve.   Along the way, He is there to give us support, strength and constant assurance like the eternal branches of a strong evergreen.  As we follow the path of His will, we can rest in knowing that there is always an inherent continuity of His will and provision.

He has created you with an intricate purpose.  May our lives shine brightly with the radiance of Him, proclaiming His handiwork in our lives.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13,14

 

FAQ’s: How to Put Ribbon on a Christmas Tree

How do you fluff a fake Christmas tree like a pro? If you have an artificial tree, simply start from the bottom pulling the whole branch down and fanning out each smaller branch. You want to spread them out as far as they will go in an effort to fill any large gaps. If your tree still isn’t full enough, wrap some green Christmas garland around it to fill in like I do here: How Do You Make Your Christmas Tree Look Fuller?

How to Put Ribbon On A Pencil Christmas Tree – If you are wondering how to put ribbon on a Christmas tree that is very skinny, you follow the same process above but you will have the ribbon coming down at a little less of an angle. You don’t want it to come down completely vertically but just on more of a slant.

Do you Put Ribbon On A Tree Before Ornaments? I like to put the lights, the topper, then the ribbon and the ornaments last. To see the full process, click here: How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Step-by-Step

How much ribbon do you need to decorate a Christmas tree? For my 7.5″ tree I used 4 rolls of each color ribbon and ended up taking 2 or 3 back. Since it’s hard to gauge how much you will need, plan on getting extra and saving your receipt for returns. It also gives you another excuse to go into Hobby Lobby!

You can also see how to make a super cute Christmas sign on a budget by clicking here: DIY Letter to Santa Sign

diy letter to santa sign

More Tips on How to Decorate a Christmas Tree With Ribbon

Be sure to check out my post here on how to decorate a tree!  It’s a step-by-step tutorial with lots of tips and tricks on how to arrange the lights, how to make the tree look fuller, and even how to pick your color scheme.  Also, be sure to click here to see the rest of my aqua and red Christmas decorations.

Related Posts to How to Put Ribbon on a Christmas Tree

DIY Letter to Santa Sign (No Cricut Required)

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The Easy Way to Decorate a Christmas Tree, Step-by-Step

How to Make a Bow with Burlap Ribbon (The Easy Way!)

My Favorite Light Greige (Living Room Reveal!)

Final Thoughts on How to Put Ribbon On a Christmas Tree

The Christmas season can be stressful so putting up your holiday decorations shouldn’t take more time than it needs to. Since the Christmas tree is most often the focal point of your holiday decor, it’s important to make the process as simple as possible! With these easy steps, you can make your own tree look like a designer Christmas tree without all the time and effort. This is such a simple way to get your Christmas Tree to look exactly how you envisioned. Not only is this process fast but you can also save money as it doesn’t use as much ribbon as the traditional way. When it comes time to take your tree, make sure to roll up the strips of ribbon so you can have the perfect tree again for next year!

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Blessings,

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How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Professionally With Ribbon

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12 Comments

    1. That’s a really good question. I am not actually sure because I got several rolls and returned what I didn’t use. I think it also depends on how dense you want the ribbon througout the tree. Thanks Andrea!

  1. Karen,
    It is early on a Saturday morning. My tree is ready for the beautiful ribbon I bought and I can’t wait to get to it. I’m newly committed to making sure I abide in Christ so my works are not “hay and stubble”. I had a quick, unsatisfying devotional and then opened Pinterest for some inspiration before I began. I believe God led me to your post. Your words spoke deeply to me. You are making a difference! I also love your How to. Now on to the decorating!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

    1. Laurie, Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know that. I so appreciate you taking the time to read the post and your encouragement. I wish you all the best and let me know if you need anything. – Karin

  2. Another reason this is so brilliant: little hands!!! I’m not afraid to try ribbon now because, if my curious toddler starts yanking, I’ll only have smaller pieces to restore rather than long swaths.

  3. I really love your post. I’ve always liked using ribbon on my tree. However the process turns out to be very frustrating and I don’t really know what I am doing, Your method will make it easier. I feel like redoing my tree right now. I don’t want to wait until next year! Thanks also for sharing your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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