How To Decorate a Christmas Tree with Ribbon

If you’re going for a very traditional look with your Christmas tree, ribbon decorations will be ideal.

Something about the way the ribbon glistens against the tree with gives the room an old-timey feel, like you’re looking at something right out of a history book. And for that reason, we will show you how to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon.

When it comes to decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon there are a few different ways.

You can have it so the ribbon cascades vertically down the tree.

You can have it where its draped around the tree like tinsel.

Or you can even make the ribbon into bows and have those attached on top of the tree or around the tree like other ornaments

Vertical Ribbon Decoration on a Christmas Tree

Curled ribbon decoration
Image from Love Happens Mag
vertical ribbon on christmas tree
Image from From My Front Porch To Yours

The vertical look can be executed in two ways:

  1. One way will have it looking like a waterfall.
  2. The other would have it come down like ringlets, curling as they come down the tree.

To achieve the curled look:

  • you can dampen the ribbon, wrap it around a skewer and place it in the oven at medium heat until dry to achieve a curled look.
  • If you can get your hands on some wired ribbon all you would need to do is curl the ribbon and the wire will hold the shape. 

Then you secure the top of the ribbon at the top with the tree, hooking a branch to secure it if you have an artificial tree. If not you can use wire or ornament hooks to hook the ribbon to a real tree branch.

When you reach the end, you can hide the ends by attaching the ribbon to the bottom of the tree by wrapping any extra to a branch that’s not visible.

how to tie ribbon on christmas tree
Image from The Blue Eyed Dove

For the waterfall look:

  1. you can either cut smaller strips
  2. or work with a long stretch of ribbon.

If you’re using a long stretch you need to secure the top by hooking the ribbon to a branch to secure it.

You then measure out a small stretch of fabric, pinching where you want it to end and hooking it with a branch or wire. You continue this until you reach the bottom of the tree where you hide the ends by wrapping any extra to a branch that’s not visible. 

Then repeat until you’re happy with how it looks.

You can do this with shorter strips of ribbon, but the effect may vary.

Short Ribbon Decoration

Short ribbon decoration
Image from Monica Wants It
short ribbon christmas tree decorations
Image from Balsam Hill

This is a little different from the other two, rather than using long strands of ribbon, with this one you use shorter strips.

You take the ends of the strips and attach them to sections of the tree. You use the same technique as you do for attaching and securing the ends of the ribbon in the other styles.

Because the strands are shorter you can get a little more creative, you can mix ribbons to get different effects. From different widths to different colours, it’s all in your hands.

Decorating a tree this way could be a fun family activity. Whether you just use ribbon or add other ornaments, it can really make your tree feel like your own.

If you want to look at some other things you could put on your tree this Christmas, check out our post, Gold Christmas Tree Decorations.

Horizontal Ribbon Decoration

Ribbon on tree diagonal
Image from Brittany Williams on Pinterest

The technique is the same as vertical ribbon decoration, but instead of working down in a line, you drape the ribbon around the tree like tinsel. Keeping an even width between each ring. 

As you go round, twist a branch around the ribbon for security. Or if you have a real tree, ornament hooks or small cuts of wire can be used to secure the ribbon.

As well as being secured it will give the ribbon a puffed look rather than having the ribbon be a block of colour around the tree. This is a good way to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon if you don’t want to spend time aligning the ribbon downwards.


Dos and Donts of ribbon
Image from Remodelaholic
ribbon on christmas tree
Photo – A Pop of Pretty
Decorate a tree with ribbon
Photo – Bower Power

DIY Ribbon Bows

Although the other ways of decorating a with Christmas tree with ribbon are beautiful, maybe all you need is a pretty bow. Whether you want one to top the tree or some smaller ones dotted around, you can DIY them with wire edge ribbon.

Ribbon bow for christmas tree
Image from ThriftyFun

How to make a DIY ribbon for your Christmas tree:

  1. To start with you make a small loop with your ribbon.
  2. You follow it with bigger loops that you pinch in the middle.
  3. Keeping your thumb in the middle of the first loop and pinching up from there to keep the other loops equal and centred. 
  4. You then continue this until the bow is to your desired size.
  5. When it is, you secure the middle with some wire or string.
  6. Once this is done, you spread out the loops to make it look like a full and pretty bow. 

Depending on the width of the ribbon these bows can be as big or as small as you want.

This has been the different ways that you can decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon this year. These are all fun DIYs you can do with all the family or on your own. Ribbon tends to be a forgotten item when it comes to decorating so we hope you use it this Christmas.

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how to decorate christmas tree with ribbon