Christmas Tree Ribbon Tips and Tricks

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I’m so excited to bring you today’s post: How to Put Ribbon on a Christmas Tree! Its my step-by-step easy guide to adding ribbon to your Christmas tree.

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

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 Tips and Tricks:

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.

The Ultimate Christmas Idea and Recipe Resource List:

Styling Christmas Tree Ribbon

What’s the best ribbon for a Christmas tree?

First, let’s talk ribbon. This particular ribbon is from Lowe’s back in 2017. As far as I can tell, it has been discontinued. 

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.

How to Put Ribbon on a Christmas Tree:

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.


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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

You’re ready to decorate!

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.

For more inspiration on Christmas tree Decorations, check out this post here where I share 20+ of my favorite Christmas tree decoration ideas!

10 Ideas for Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorations

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:

Happy tree trimming!

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.

I hope I helped you learn how to put ribbon on a Christmas Tree!

Want to see more of my Christmas trees? Start here:

Want more festive inspiration? You got it!

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  1. Your trees are always so beautiful, Michael. I think the green tree (with green chairs) was my favorite. You tips have been very helpful in decorating my house, including this ribbon trick. But I’m not sure that ribbons ever look ‘natural” in a tree. Trees look natural with flowers, fruit, birds, snow and maybe nests, but not ribbons.But I love ribbons, so I won’t be leaving them off!

  2. Have you ever used two typed of ribbon on a tree? If so, how? I’ve been thinking about using a velvet ribbon and a metallic mesh, but I’d rather not just layer them to create one….

  3. Love, love your style and your patient-sounding way of explaining “how-to”s! Normally, I dont feel unaccomplished in this area but I cant get the hang of your beautiful bubble ribbon effect to save my life. 🙁 I’d attach a pic of my results but it’s too laughable. Mine are not too taut, they’re just sloppy looking. Do you tuck into the tree to the center pole ? My ribbon is 4” wide max – is there a special technique to add at this max width? Also, I saw your post that explained step-by-step of putting ornaments on tree also, but I cant locate it.
    Any advice is very appreciated.

  4. I usually use a simple silver beaded garland on my tree (which I love). I also love this ribbon technique … wondering if it would look “weird”? Thoughts?

  5. Thank you for the great video! Question: When you start a new role of ribbon, do you continue where you left off the prior roll or go back up and start from the top?

  6. Your Christmas trees are beautiful and timeless! I really like the candles on the trees I have not seen them in Ca. Where can I find them? aThank you very much for sharing your talent.

  7. Oh my goodness, you are The Ribbon Whisperer! I have been trying to add ribbon garland to my tree for years, and it has never turned out right no matter what tutorials I watched, until this year! It’s still not quite as nice as yours, but definitely a thousand times better than before! Thank you so much for your tutorial. You are able to describe things in a way that make sense. I am so glad I found you!

  8. I just received my Dec. issue of BH&G and was so excited to see you featured in its pages! I didn’t realize that you would be in the regular magazine as well as the special Christmas edition.

  9. I love how this tree turned out!! I watched your garland tutorial last year and it changed my life and my tree! I have a 9 ft Balsam Hill tree with 38 years of collected ornaments on it and now my garland is on point. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Thank you so much for showing us your decorating techniques Michael. Your photos, directions and videos helped me create such a beautiful and welcoming Christmas tree and home last year, we didn’t want to take our decorations down! Now I’m absolutely giddy – It’s time to start decorating now! Thanks again!

  11. I love this technique and plan to try it this year, aka next week when I decorate lol, would it look good with 3 different coordinating ribbons?

  12. 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!

    Vancouver, Washington

  13. 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.