I’m so excited to bring you today’s post. In response to many requests, last weekend I shared an impromptu Instagram story showing me as I was putting on my Christmas tree ribbon. Over 5000 people watched it, and dozens of you commented on its helpfulness. Thankfully, I was able to download that video and with a little reformatting, I’m sharing it with you today.

Christmas Tree Ribbon Tutorial - How to Add Ribbon to Your Tree

In addition, when I was putting ribbon on another tree, I snapped some photos so I could write a more detailed Christmas tree ribbon tutorial to accompany the video one.

I hope both of these tutorials are useful if you decide to add ribbon to your tree this year or in the future.

Also, If you’re interested in seeing this tree fully decorating, then click here.

Styling Christmas Tree Ribbon

First, let’s talk ribbon.

You’ll need more than you think. The narrow 7.5-foot tree pictured above took 12 yards of 2 1/2-inch ribbon. The tree in the video (which is a full 7.5-foot tree) took 30 yards of 1 1/2-inch ribbon.

I prefer to have ribbon left over for wrapping coordinating presents to place under the tree.

Wired ribbon works best. You can use other types, but you’ll probably find them more difficult to manage. As for the ribbon width, 2 1/2-inches is ideal, but you can use wider or narrower if that’s what you have. On a standard-sized tree, I wouldn’t go with less than 1 1/2-inches wide or more than 4-inches wide.

Once you have your ribbon, the next step is to make sure your tree is ready for ornaments. Whether your tree is artificial or real, all of the branches should be fluffy, full, and looking as good as possible. You’ll also want to put on your tree lights before adding the ribbon.

(This particular ribbon is from Lowe’s.)

Now, you’re ready to start. I like to begin at the top and work down and around the tree in a spiral.

Adding Ribbon to Your Christmas Tree - How To

Start by tucking the end piece of the ribbon into the back of the tree and then slowly start to work around. For some reason, I tend to work clockwise around the tree, but I’m not sure if that matters.

Tips and Tricks for Christmas Tree Ribbon

Christmas Ribbon Tips and Tricks

As you move around the tree, try to let the ribbon do its thing. The goal is for the ribbon to drape naturally and not appear forced. The ribbon should never look pulled or stretched. As you work around, you’ll want to tuck the ribbon into the tree, let it billow out, and then tuck it in again.

To keep this looking natural, you’ll want to vary the intervals at which you tuck the ribbon in and how much ribbon you let billow out.

Styling Christmas Tree Ribbon

You can also create curls in the ribbon by twisting it in your hands. This look is a bit harder to achieve but does add an interesting effect. I usually do this only 3 or 4 times per tree. Simply twist the ribbon as pictured below and then tuck it into the tree to secure.

Styling Christmas Tree Ribbon

Continue this process as you work around and around the tree.

Avoid working in a perfectly straight line. As you can see, my lines vary. Some are quite wavy; some are less so. You want to avoid sharp bands of ribbon that cut across the tree.

There’s nothing you need to do to secure your ribbon into the tree. It should stay in place as you work it in and around. If it’s not staying in place, it’s likely that you’re pulling on the ribbon, something you should avoid doing. The ribbon should have no tension. With that being said, certain ribbons are tricky to work with. So if the ribbon is not staying and you haven’t been pulling on it, you can gently curve a piece of the pine over the ribbon to hold it in place.

If you’re using multiple rolls of ribbon, just begin the new roll where the old one ended by tucking the two ends into the same spot in the tree.

This is what the tree looks like when I’m finished putting the ribbon on. The placement looks varied and loose, doesn’t it?

How To: Christmas Tree Ribbon

You can see this tree fully fully trimmed here. I also invite you to scroll through this post here.  It walks your through a lot of my trees so you can get a sense of how the ribbon looks once the ornaments are in place.

The goal is to have it all of the decor elements work together to form a cohesive whole. While the ribbon should certainly add to the decor of the tree, it shouldn’t stand out or be distracting.

How To: Christmas Tree Ribbon

How To: Christmas Tree Ribbon

And that’s it! If you’re curious to see this tree full decorated (lights, ribbons, ornaments, topper, etc.), you can check out it’s final look by clicking here.

Plaid Ornaments for Rustic Modern Christmas Tree

I realize that all of this advice on its own may not be very helpful. It’s a hard to explain this process with just text and pictures, which is why I haven’t done so before. However, now I also have a video to help!

As I mentioned I recorded this on a whim last weekend and shared it in clips via Instagram Stories. So although it’s not a professional recording, it seems to help many folks. I hope it does the same for you. You can watch that video below.

Christmas Tree Ribbon Tips and Tricks Video:

Finally, this is my go-to method for adding ribbon to trees. There are many other ways to do this, but this technique has never let me down. If you have questions or if something is confusing, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best to explain or update this post to clarify.

Happy tree trimming!

For more inspiration on Christmas tree Decorations, check out this post here where I share 10 of my favorite Christmas tree decoration ideas!

10 Ideas for Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorations

Inspired By Charm Paint Colors
Comments

  • April was in CA now MA at

    I have always wanted my tree to look like this and it never comes out quite right. Thank you so much for the visuals and the video, very helpful and I can’t wait to try it with my tree! I have a more whimsical tree with ornaments collected over the years instead of a theme and I’ve got some adorable winter blue ribbon with snowmen on them that I’ve been saving for years for…something? lol I think I may have just enough to achieve this look on my tree.

  • Arli at

    Your trees are alway so beautiful, Michae!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much, Arli!

      xo Michael

  • Calypso in the Country at

    Great tips…I always struggle with this! Your tree looks beautiful!
    Shelley

  • Marlis at

    I really am going to try this now! I keep buying ribbons – my favorite is ribbonbazaar.com, but have never had the nerve to put them on the tree because when I tried, it came out like crud….
    Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Lisa at

    Thanks for the tutorial, you make everything look great! I was very inspired by the trees you’ve done in previous years when I just put ours up last weekend. Where is this pretty red ribbon from?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks Lisa! So glad to hear I’ve helped provided a little inspiration. The ribbon in this post is from Lowe’s.

      xo Michael

  • Jolie at

    Thanks for this tutorial. Your tree looks beautiful. I will definitely be trying it this year!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You’re so welcome! Hope it helps.

      xo Michael

  • Alice G at

    Hi Michael,
    Just when I had talked myself into a tiny little tree!! I love the look of the ribbon on your tree, so now I’m back to the big tree in the living room. You always make things look both easy to do and elegant.

    I love your blog and always find something that to make or try here at home.

    Thanks for the inspiration and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Donna via Funky Junk Interiors at

    LOVED this Michael! The video was super helpful. I will try your method this year as soon as I land what I’m after ribbon-wise!

  • Janet Mayer at

    The video was super helpful, Michael! Now I know to “tuck” and not “wind” in a spiral fashion! I can’t wait to try this technique. Thank you for showing it to us. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Cindy Richter at

    THANK YOU for the tutorial and vid. It was perfect. I never thought I’d need that much ribbon either. Great tip!

  • GinaE at

    Your ribbon technique is the prettiest placement I’ve ever seen! Many thanks for the pics and video of how to do it. Happy Holidays, Michael!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      So happy it was helpful!

      xo Michael

  • Kim at

    What I love about this process is that the ribbon “almost” disappears after you add the ornaments. It just simply fills in the gaps and makes the tree seem so much fuller. Your gradient tree has beautiful gold ribbon that I had never even noticed until I watched your process. So beautifully done! Keep up the good work, I love your blog and searched high & low to get the BGH Christmas edition with your feature.

  • Chenoa at

    YES! This post was so needed in my life. EVERY year I want to do ribbon on my tree and feel like I can’t get it right. This year being one of those years. haha!

    Your tree looks beautiful even with nothing else on it! Can’t wait to see more tree design posts!

  • Pam Krugman at

    Beautiful ribbon wrapped tree Michael! I’ve used a beautiful sheer cranberry colored, unwired 2″ ribbon. It is so easy to work with, twisting and curling itself and the tiny white lights glimmer through it.

  • Ian Bilinowich at

    Hi Michael,

    I love your ribbon! I’ve been putting ribbon on our trees for quite a while. It is such a simple, yet beautiful addition. Thanks for sharing.

    Ian

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You’re so welcome!

      xo Michael

  • Vanessa at

    Michael,
    Great tips! Now can you create a video on how you fill your tree with ornaments, please. LOL, Every year I enjoy seeing your Christmas trees, they are stunning and not over the top. Thank you for sharing. Your amazing.

  • Jennifer Lind Morrow at

    I just found this blog and I’m in love! Can you tell us where you find your Christmas decorations? I see you mentioned Lowe’s, anywhere else?

  • CJ at

    This Christmas tree ribbon tutorial was so, so enlightening! I tried the technique on my tree tonight, and while it doesn’t look as good as yours, I definitely have the idea of letting the ribbon take a free-form trip around the tree! I think I will get better with practice. (Also, I couldn’t find a 2+ inch ribbon I liked, so I was working with a narrower ribbon which may be more difficult for novices like me.) 🙂

    I love your blog!!!

  • Mabel at

    I looove this tutorial… I had no idea how to make my ribbon work on the tree but here looks simple and super easy. THANKS!

  • Laura C. at

    Hello! Just discovered your blog and would like to shout out a huge THANK YOU for this fantastic Christmas tree ribbon tutorial. Also, what type of camera do you own, and what functions did you use for taking the beautiful photos? I love your blog!

  • Laura C. at

    I’m back! Michael, a quick note to say, I read your “A bloggers guide to CAMERA GEAR and this answered my previous question I posted for December 3rd. Thanks again for taking time to post this information.

  • Arlene Baughman at

    Hello Michael,
    where can I purchase the lovely candy cane striped ribbon on this December’s issue of BH&G Christmas magazine. Please advise. Thank you so much!

    Arlene
    Vancouver, Washington

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I found it at HomeGoods last year. 🙂

      xo Michael

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