Learn to decorate like a professional! Use this easy step-by-step tutorial to style ribbon on a Christmas tree for stunning visual appeal.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Snow will be falling and blanketing everything in a beautiful, white wonderland (at least here in Utah). Scents of cinnamon and vanilla are fuming from kitchens. Family is coming into town and you are hosting. Hence all the pressure to have the perfect Christmas tree on display. Change things up a bit with a more unconventional way of decorating your tree this holiday season!
Christmas Tree Basics
Before we begin talking about ribbon on your tree, let's go over a few basics that need to be established before we starting decorating.
Whether you are purchasing a real tree from a farm, cutting one down yourself, or opting for an artificial tree - the important thing is that you want it to look good in the space you have.
Personal preference is that trees look better when they are fuller and taller, but not so tall that the top of the tree hits your ceiling. As a rule of thumb, the size of your tree should be a foot smaller than your ceilings. If you have 10 foot ceilings, buy a 9 foot tree. This allows room for a tree topper. However you decide, choose what you like best.
If your tree doesn't have light strands already in it, it will be up to you to put them in. There are many methods to wrap them whether it be individual wrapping branches or just winding around the tree.
You do want to make sure that everything is tucked in so the cords aren't very visible. Adding fairy lights is also a great option if you don't want to go the traditional Christmas light route.
Adding Ribbon on a Christmas Tree
Using different ribbons is one of the easiest ways to change up your Christmas decor from year to year without breaking the bank. It's also a great way to bring in color and personality to any tree style.
Buying all new decorations can be expensive so I am always looking for other ways to add something new. A great way is to alternate the type of ribbon from year to year.
What Type of Ribbon to Use
Your first step will be to pick out new ribbon for your tree. Consider the following as you search for the best ribbon to use:
Width - Do you want wide ribbon or thin?
Length - Plan on a minimum 24 feet of ribbon for the entire tree. How much ribbon you need overall will vary based on the size of your tree. You can also go up to 36 feet if you wind and tuck your ribbon in.
Color - There are many options for ribbon colors. Pick a neutral color palette or go with a pop of color. Red and white ribbon are always classic compliments. Silver and gold can also be a stylish pairing. One trend in the last few years is to pick more pastel colors instead of traditional Christmas coloring. Whichever color scheme you choose, using varying textures to layer the ribbon will help in adding more dimension.
- Plaid ribbon - a great way to bring in a pattern and additional color
- Satin ribbon - creates a smooth and elegant look
- Wired edge ribbon - easy to mold and hold shape
- Burlap ribbon - adds a rustic vibe
- Velvet ribbon - a soft and high-end look that has more texture than satin
- Faux fur ribbon - incorporates great texture on the tree
- Striped ribbon - adds a fun pattern to the tree
- Wide tartan ribbon - traditional plaid Christmas ribbon that is great for ribbon Christmas garlands
Tutorial: How to Style Ribbon on a Christmas Tree
Instead of swapping out all of your decor each year, there are different ways to change up your Christmas tree style. This year I added new ribbon colors to the red ribbon from the previous year. My fireplace is now gray and I have accented with a charcoal dresser in the living room. It is an easy way to incorporate the color scheme of my everyday decor into Christmas decor as well.
For adding ribbon to this tree I went with 2 different kinds. But don't forget that simple ribbon can be just what you need to complete your Christmas decorations. It's a good idea to pair a solid ribbon with a pattern or texture. Plus, I use the solid on my gifts too!
Cut and Layer Wired Ribbon
First step, cut your ribbons (depending on the length of your tree). Lay out the different types of ribbon together in their cut lengths. You will want a variety with different widths and colors. It gives it a fun dimension and brings in additional texture. When picking out your ribbon make sure to check width sizing so they layer correctly according to your desired design.
Start at the Top of the Tree
Next step, take the end of the ribbons and bunch them together. I like to double layer my ribbons. Start at the top of your tree and tuck the bunched end of the ribbon into the tree. Bunching the ribbon helps it stay in place. Continue working down the tree making what looks like ribbon loops. When you tuck the ribbon into the tree, pinch it so the other end poofs out.
This will create a cascading waterfall effect. If you have a smaller tree, this cascade look can make a huge difference in the appearance of a taller tree. I prefer the look of ribbon this way, but you can also go horizontal on your own tree if that is you prefer.
Another option for placing your ribbons is to cut your ribbon into 18" to 36" lengths. Then place the individual pieces into the tree, instead of two at a time. You can strategically go down the tree with ribbon in a vertical line.
Add Another Color or Ribbon
Next, add another color of ribbon that is also layered. Put this ribbon on a little more randomly than the other one. You don't have to follow straight lines.
Continue to work it down the tree until you get to the ribbon end. I usually use around a 6 foot strip of ribbon. (But like I mentioned earlier, you can also use smaller strips.) Once it runs out, start a new strand at the top of the tree.
Be careful to not get too carried away or you may end up with a full-out ribbon explosion. The best way to make sure this does not happen is to only use 3 strips of one ribbon followed by 2 strips of another ribbon to weave down the tree.
Add the Rest of Your Christmas Tree Decorations
The ribbon may not look perfect when you are done, but that's ok. You can tweak and adjust the ribbon as you go. Now it is time to add in the ornaments and make the tree nice and full.
You can see that my tree this year is similar yet different, from last year. The only thing I bought was ribbon. Let me show you how I decorated the rest of the tree below!
Video - Decorating a Christmas Tree With Ribbon
How to Finish a Tree Like a Pro
The finishing touches can make or break the outcome of your tree. Take a look at the ideas below for some unique takes on styling beautiful Christmas trees.
Add Natural Pine Cones and Berries
Instead of using bigger ornaments, incorporate pinecone balls and red berry balls. There is nothing that says you only have to stick to classic ornaments. Adding fun variety that matches your theme is key.
Use Flocked Tree Branches
If you don't have a flocked tree but love the look, try adding in some individual branches with flocking on them. This helps to give your tree just a touch of the frosted look. Adding in branches is also a great trick to use if your tree is lacking in the fullness department.
Faux Red Berry Branches
I used branches of red berries to stick into the tree. Things poking out helps to create more dimension. Berry branches are perfect for that and for adding color. I also added in some gold snowflakes to break up the color just slightly.
When decorating your own Christmas tree, artificial flowers may not be the most obvious choice. An artificial tree or flower might even be discouraged. However, silk flowers with beautiful red accents and snow kissed tips definitely changed my themed decor.
Since flower stems are my inspiration I decided to stay with the natural theme and use things found in nature.
I added my red accent faux flowers through out the tree. I made sure to space them from the top to the bottom to help carry your eye across the entire tree. I also added some red hydrangeas throughout. These beautiful red poinsettias are also a good option.
The Tree Topper
Trees can look very empty if you don't have it full around the top. Tree toppers are a great option and it doesn't just have to be a traditional star or an angel. I used my handwritten merry and bright sign on top of the tree this year. (more details on creating a tree topper here)
Wrapped Presents Underneath the Tree
A tree isn't complete unless beautifully wrapped Christmas presents are included at the foot of it. You can wrap your packages to go along with your decor! Check out my wrapping tutorial here.
This wrapping paper is similar to the gingham paper I used. I also used a similar gold wrapping paper here. This candy cane swirl matches my decor as well as if you are going for the striped look. I almost always prefer to tie ribbon on my packages instead of bows because I think it looks nicer.
Decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon is a simple, yet effective way to add style, color, and texture to your holiday decorations. It's a project that requires little skill and minimal investment, but it offers a big reward. Whether you weave, spiral, or cross-loop the ribbon, the unique look you create will stand out. So, take the time to craft a masterpiece and enjoy the spirit of the season.
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