How To Decorate a Christmas Tree with Ribbon

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Decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon is both a classic and traditional style to choose for your festive decor this year. 

Something about the way the ribbon glistens against the tree gives the room an old-fashioned or classic Christmas feel. Ribbons are often seen adorning gifts and we reckon that presents wrapped into a bow are delightful. But ribbons aren’t just for gifts, let’s use them to decorate the whole house! And for that reason, we will show you how to decorate a Christmas tree with a 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 it’s 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

Choose your favourite ribbon

There are so many styles of ribbon out there. We have endless choices of colours, fabric, patterns, sizes. Some come with wire edging to help with shaping. And others add drape and elegance.

These are some different ribbons styles to try:


Satin has a beautiful sheen that captures the sparkle of the Christmas tree lights.


Velvet adds texture and feels luxurious on the Christmas tree.

Wired Organza

Wired Organza looks delicate and pretty yet the wired edges to the ribbon to make it great for styling and holding shape.


Burlap is great for the rustic neutral Christmas vibe.

Burlap with lace

Burlap with Lace offers a pretty neutral touch.


Lace is a super pretty option for Christmas ribbon that is delicate and soft.


Plaid is a great traditional option especially if you opt for classic Christmas colourways.


Tartan is a similar option to plaid but opt more for a super traditional look the cosy Christmas decor.


Jute is another similar option to the burlap with it’s natural textures and neutral colour.

Organza Fabric

Organza Fabric. is a good option if you want to opt for more of a draped look than neat or formal ribbon. You can easily cut to size and even create bows.


Stripe ribbon is a nice choice to mix with other patterns of fabrics to add interest to the Christmas tree.


Tulle is lightweight and almost sheer so great for allowing the Christmas lights to shine through.

How to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon vertically

decorating a tree with ribbon
Image by Creek Line House
Curled ribbon decoration
Image from Love Happens Mag

The vertical ribbon on a Christmas tree look can be achieved in two ways:

  1. Make the ribbon looking like a waterfall drifting down the branches of the tree.
  2. Arrange the ribbon into ringlets, curling as they come down the tree.

To achieve the curled look with your Christmas tree ribbons:

You will need the following things:


  1. Dampen the ribbon, wrap it around a skewer and place it in the oven at medium heat until dry to achieve a curled look.
  2. 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.
  3. Then 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 a florist’s wire or ornament hooks to hook the ribbon to a real tree branch.
  4. 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 is not visible.
how to tie ribbon on christmas tree
Image from The Blue Eyed Dove

To achieve the waterfall look with Christmas tree ribbon:

You can either cut smaller strips or work with a long stretch of ribbon.

  1. If you are using a long stretch of ribbon you need to secure the top by hooking the ribbon to a branch.
  2. 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. 
  3. Then repeat until you’re happy with how it looks.

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

How to use short ribbon strips for Christmas tree decoration

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

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

  1. You take the ends of the strips and attach them to sections of the tree.
  2. You use the same technique as you do for attaching and securing the ends of the ribbon in the other styles – either wrap around the branches, secure with florist’s wire or use ornament hooks.

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, you can create a striking Christmas tree look.

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.

How to style horizontal ribbon decoration for the Christmas Tree

Ribbon on tree diagonal
Image from Brittany Williams on Pinterest



Wrapping a ribbon horizontally around the Christmas tree is a classic draping garland style of decorating. One of the easiest ways to do this is to drape the ribbon over the branches

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

DIY Christmas tree bows made with ribbon

Christmas tree bows are another beautiful way to decorate a Christmas tree using the ribbon to make bows. You can add the ribbon bows throughout the Christmas tree or have a few large standout bows in key spots. You could even tie a ribbon bow to the top of the Christmas tree instead of a star or an angel. 

Whether you want one to top the tree or some smaller ones dotted around, you can make the Christmas tree bow at home with wire edge ribbon.

Ribbon bow for christmas tree
Image from ThriftyFun

How to make a Christmas tree bows with ribbon:

  1. First, make a small loop with your ribbon.
  2. You follow it with bigger loops that you pinch in the middle.
  3. Keep your thumb in the middle of the first loop and pinch 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.

christmas tree bows
Image by Cedric Angeles

Another simpler way to incorporate ribbon bows onto your Christmas tree would be to cut a small length of thin ribbon and tie a simple bow on the end of the branches.

More Christmas tree ribbon ideas and inspiration

To help inspire you on how to decorate your Christmas tree this year, here are some stunning ideas to help you.

Decorate a tree with ribbon
Photo – Bower Power
ribbon on christmas tree
Photo – A Pop of Pretty
vertical ribbon on christmas tree
Image from From My Front Porch To Yours


Plaid Christmas Tree Ribbon
Image by Ellen McDermott

We love ribbons on Christmas trees. They offer elegance and flow to the decorations that make for something that looks really special.

Ribbon tends to be a forgotten item when it comes to decorating so we hope you use it this Christmas.

Top tips for decorating with ribbon

Coordinate with your overall Christmas decor theme

When planning out your Christmas tree decorations think about your overall theme for the room, and even your home. This will help with choosing the correct colour, fabric, and even style of tying the ribbon to the tree.

Prepare the Christmas tree first

Put the Christmas tree lights onto the tree first before draping and tying the ribbon garlands onto the branches. The tree ornaments are to go on afterwards.

Choose the right ribbon for your tree

There are all kinds of ribbon fabric (as we mentioned above).

How much ribbon and what size do you need?

Likewise, there is a huge range of ribbon widths to choose from. For decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon we would recommend choosing a ribbon with a width of between 5cm to 12cm wide (roughly 2.5 inches to 5 inches). Depending on your decor style it might be nice to decorate with a few different widths of ribbon, or use some ribbon as bows as well as draping.

In terms of length, you probably want approximately 5-7.5 metres of ribbon per 1 metre of tree height. This is of course, down to personal preference and how full you want the tree to look with ribbon.

Mix fabrics

Have fun with colours, textures, and patterns. Choose fabrics from the same colour family but mix the fabrics to add stylish interest. Or choose similar fabrics but contrast the colours for something fun and festive.

Have fun decorating your Christmas tree with ribbon this year!

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how to decorate christmas tree with ribbon