Creating a swoon-worthy Christmas tree is everyone’s goal. Maybe your goal is to create two or three, or even more. Creating your Christmas tree with ribbon is the easiest way to take your average Christmas tree all the way to amazing. Ribbon and bows add that decorator wow factor. The best part is that it’s easier than you think, especially with a little help from your friends. That’s where we come in 🙂
- In this post we will show you three different kinds of bows that are easy to make.
- We will also show you five different styles of decorating your Christmas tree with ribbon.
Don’t worry. These tutorials are easy to follow and will take you step by step so you feel like an expert. We promise!
- How to Put Ribbon on a Christmas Tree
- Decorate a Christmas Tree with Ribbon…Using Less
- 3 Main Ribbon Design Styles
- Ribbon Buying Guide: Understanding Ribbon
- Wired ribbon vs. Non-wired Ribbon
- Solid vs. Mesh Ribbon
- Bouncing Method
- Organic Method
- Types of Christmas Tree Bows
- Simple Old-fashioned Bow
- No-Bow Ribbons
- Easy Big Christmas Bow
- It’s Your Turn to Decorate Your Christmas Tree With Ribbon
How to Put Ribbon on a Christmas Tree
There are many methods of decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon. Sometimes choosing which one to use is the hardest part. When you understand different style choices and have a vision for your tree it makes it easier. The only way to become an expert is through experimentation and practice.
Decorate a Christmas Tree with Ribbon…Using Less
Ribbon can get expensive. So we’re always looking for ways to get the impact we want while using less ribbon. Here are some tips:
- Don’t use it straight from the roll.
- Cut your ribbon into pieces. Depending on the style and size of your tree we recommend 3-5 ft. pieces.
- If the back is hidden do not go around the tree.
- Bouncing smaller pieces gives the illusion of more while using less.
3 Main Ribbon Design Styles
- Vertical placement, starting at the top and working straight down, all around the tree
- Diagonal placement, taking pieces around the tree at regular intervals creating diagonal stripes down the tree
- Haphazard placement, taking pieces and tucking them in and out of the tree in different directions, giving a more organic look and not creating regular lines
Julie’s mesh ribbon is the perfect example of this haphazard tucking and placement style.
Ribbon Buying Guide: Understanding Ribbon
- Why is ribbon so expensive?
- What are the different types of ribbon?
- What makes each type of ribbon unique?
- How is ribbon made?
- What is the history of ribbon?
Making the most of ribbon starts with understanding it. When you understand the product you know how to buy it and what to pay for it. I love this ribbon buying guide for all those reasons.
Wired ribbon vs. Non-wired Ribbon
- Using wired ribbon is different from using non-wired ribbon.
- Wired ribbon holds its shape.
- Non-wired ribbon is flowy and creates an old-fashioned, more casual look.
- We love both styles on a Christmas tree.
Solid vs. Mesh Ribbon
- Using mesh ribbon has the benefit of allowing the lights of the tree to shine through.
- Mesh ribbon has a more subtle affect, and it’s a great addition to any tree.
- Using solid ribbon is often used for its color, texture or patterns.
- Solid ribbon makes a stronger visual statement.
The bouncing method can be used in all three placement options. Bouncing means taking the ribbon and tucking it, then “bouncing” a piece over the branches, then tucking again and so on, creating a ribbon-bouncing affect.
- This method involves far less tucking and more casual laying of the ribbon across the tree.
- To create an organic feel let the ribbon flow naturally over the branches.
- To create a natural feel you may want to turn the ribbon, forming natural curl and a 3-dimensional look like Julie did with her tree this year.
- Jodie used this same organic method with her “Merry Christmas” ribbon but allowed it to lay mostly flat so the words would show.
- The look is fluid, casual and effortless, as if the ribbon fell onto the tree.
- It gives the tree a little old-fashioned feel.
Types of Christmas Tree Bows
Bows are another fabulous way to decorate your Christmas tree with ribbon. One benefit of decorating with bows is that it uses less ribbon than covering the entire tree with lengths of ribbon.
Just like ribbon styles, there are plenty of bow styles to choose from. Have fun playing with all of them.
Simple Old-fashioned Bow
- This method needs no real explanation. If you learned to tie your shoes you’ve got this one down already.
- Don’t underestimate the beauty and potential impact of the simple bow.
- I love to use this bow with delicate 1/4 inch ribbon.
- When using delicate ribbon place them on the tips of your branches.
- For my family room tree this year I used two shades of 1/4 inch velvet in my two key accent colors, gold and black.
- Also consider making the simple bow using wider ribbon of your choice. You can choose to tie them on branches or tuck them in around the tree at regular intervals.
- Also simple to create.
- Perfect with three ribbons, but you could do it with four if you want.
- Choose three ribbons of different width that look good together.
- Cut them all the same length.
- Length is up to you, but we like about a foot.
- Lay the second widest on top of the widest.
- Take the thinnest ribbon and tie the other two together.
- Spread out the ribbon and you’ve got your no-bow ribbon ready to go.
- This works equally well with both wired and non-wired ribbons.
- Use all around your tree at regular intervals.
- To help envision where to place, I imagine creating diamond shapes all around the tree.
Easy Big Christmas Bow
I have a blog post that details these gorgeous Christmas tree bows and how to make them.
When to Use and Tips for Decorating your Christmas Tree with Ribbon and Easy Big Bows:
- Still an easy bow to make
- Larger look
- Use this bow if you want to fill more of your tree and use fewer ornaments.
- Create using 3-4 different ribbons.
- I like to use a variety of colors, textures and widths of ribbons
- For a bigger look use wider ribbons.
- I also like to use wired ribbon for these.
How To Make Easy Big Bows to Decorate your Christmas Tree with Ribbon:
- Choose 3 or 4 different ribbons to layer
- Cut into equal lengths, about 30″ long.
- Gather together and fold in half.
- Use craft wire to secure in the middle, creating large loops at the top and long tails. Halfway is where I secure.
- Leave enough wire to be able to secure to tree if desired. You can opt to tuck inside the branches and not use the wire to secure. It’s up to you.
- Spread out the loops and tails.
- Arrange around the tree, creating diamond shapes.
Variation on the above “Big Bow” is a smaller version. Simply cut your ribbon lengths to 20-22 inches instead of the large 30″ for a smaller but equally show-stopping look for your Christmas tree. You can see in these photos of Jodie’s tree how layering just 2 ribbons still made a huge impact on her tree.
Jodie’s version is super simple. She doesn’t connect them. She just loops them and sticks them into the tree.
Here’s another close up view.
It’s Your Turn to Decorate Your Christmas Tree With Ribbon
Feel free to tailor the sizes to the size of your Christmas tree and your unique look you’re trying to achieve.
These ideas are simply starting points for you to get creative and comfortable using ribbon to decorate your Christmas trees.
There’s no right or wrong way. Once you get going we bet you’ll find new ways to use ribbon that are all your own.
Remember our only rules for decorating
- Have fun.
- Don’t worry.
- Enjoy the process!
Merry Christmas Y’all!