Decorating a Christmas Tree With Ribbon

Sally Painter
red sash ribbon

Red Sash Ribbons

Ribbons can give your Christmas tree a festive and colorful touch. Let the ribbons determine your Christmas tree color scheme and unify your design.

This tree is a gold glow of lights highlighted by a wide red ribbon used in a sash style. Buy wide ribbon or make your own out of satin or silk. Cut yard long lengths that are 20" to 30" wide. Fold raw edges together with fabric glue so they can be hidden within the tree. Drape through the branches for a gorgeous look!

ribbons and berries tree

Ribbons and Red Berries

A bounty of gold bows fill this tree. A red patterned fabric bow with long twists of ribbons and garlands of red berries cascade down the length of the tree. Tie gold bows from 18" to 24" lengths of ribbon.

  • For the long streamers, you may need to use an entire spool of ribbon for each streamer, depending on tree height and ribbon length. Determine the height of your tree and check ribbon length before purchasing.
  • For shorter ribbon lengths, consider using fabric glue to piece together into longer streamers. Be sure that the seam doesn't show when you place streamers on the tree.
pink ribbon Christmas tree

Pink Taffeta Ribbons

Elegant bows are easy to make from pink wired taffeta ribbons.

  1. Simply measure out the return loop size ribbon you want (8" - 12").
  2. Unspool and begin looping the ribbon upon itself. Secure about 3" from end with green pipe cleaner.
  3. Snip short end loops at an angle. Be sure to leave enough pipe cleaner length so you can tie the ribbon to tree.
red ribbon and gold tree

Red Flocked Scrolled Ribbon

This stunning design uses wired gold ribbon with a red flocked scroll design. The ribbon is cut into 12" - 18" lengths and placed in strips in a downward slope, forming free-style V-shapes. The wire allows it to be molded in place by simply bending the ribbon into position, which makes for easy placement. A variety of red and gold ornaments complete this look.

red tree with golden glow

Double-Tied Bows

A double tied red bow is simple and elegant. With four loops in the bow, the look is consistent and simplistic enough to give an elegant finish to the star lights and tinsel garland. Space them evenly around the tree at the end of branches for best results.

poinsettias and ribbons

Ribbons Highlight Poinsettias

A traditional look is never out of style. Using shimmering satin bows with brilliant red poinsettias and plain gold ball ornaments conjures memories of Christmases past. Leave the bows fluffy and have the ends trail in the branches for a beautiful look.

country ribbons

Country Ribbon Style

A touch of the whimsical is created with this wide gold deco mesh ribbon wrapped around the tree. Red gingham heart, tree, and star ornaments are brought to life with long red gingham, solid red, and gold ribbon streamers. The vertical streamers from the ornaments adds another dimension to this country style.

 Gold Cascading Ribbon

Cascading Streamers

A gold ribbon tree topper streams down the length of the tree. This effect is especially nice for this one-color schemed Christmas tree. The use of ribbon unifies the overall design. Add a few small twists if desired.

Accent ribbon

Ribbon Accents

Individual ribbons can be used to highlight special ornaments on the tree. This popular way of displaying sentimental or unique ornaments makes them highly visible so they stand out from the other ornaments. Arrange these so they are balanced within the overall tree design.

Tree with ribbons

Simple Plaid Style

Not all Christmas trees need lights and ornaments. If you have a country, Celtic, rustic, or casual theme, this might be the ideal ribbon for your tree. This tabletop tree is adorable with a plaid bow topper and long ribbon streamers. Add a few clusters of red berries to keep the decorations simple.

Ribbon topper

Bow Tree Toppers

Going with a bow tree topper doesn't mean you're limited to using just one color or ribbon texture. This festive bow is made from several colors of sheer ribbons in stripe, polka dot, and textured fabrics.

  1. Gather end of each ribbon in one hand, stacking ribbons evenly on top of each other.
  2. Create a loop the length desired.
  3. Make a second loop opposite the first and scrunch center together.
  4. Continue to add loops on each end, pressing the center together after each loop.
  5. Always keep top color on each loop by twisting into place.
  6. Once you have fullness desired, secure by twisting pipe cleaner around center.

Separate and twist the loops to form bow. Next cut streamer lengths and tie to bow. Attach the bow to treetop with pipe cleaner or wire.

Ribbon garland

Basic Garland Wrap

Another way to use ribbon is to wrap it around your tree in a classic angled style. This old-fashioned way of decorating a tree is beautiful in its simplistic approach and is a great alternative to a traditional tinsel garland. If one ribbon is too plain for your tree design, use two or three in different colors.

one bow made with two ribbons

One Bow With Two Ribbons

Give your tree a whimsical touch with peppermint striped and green mesh bows. The two ribbons are combined to form large full bows with long flowing streamers. Add Christmas decorations and toss in some elves, fairies, and candy canes to complete this whimsical design.

waterfall effect with ribbon

White Ribbon Waterfall

If you're dreaming of a white Christmas this year, deck out your tree to show it. Wide sheer white ribbon is wrapped around this tree by bunching it into a waterfall loop. You can use other fabrics, such as satin, silk, or lace, depending on the look you want.

To create this waterfall effect use a work garland available at most craft stores. Gather the ribbon to form puffs of ribbon and secure with garland chenille tie. Be sure to slightly overlap the ribbon/fabric. Continue to work along the length of the garland (typically 9'). You may need to create several garland lengths to completely wrap your tree.

purple bow

Magenta and Purple Explosion

Go for a unique and colorful approach to your Christmas tree decorating. This purple ribbon with gold glitter edging makes this a brilliant and lovely addition to the pink, purple, gold and silver ornaments. The wire ribbon is bent to form a ripple effect that cascades over the tree.

rickrack with wreaths

Wow With Rickrack

This unique design gives your Christmas tree the "wow" factor. Recreate it by using miniature wreaths with ball garlands to anchor rickrack ribbon strands. Work in rows of two. Space second row wreaths between upper wreaths. Attach ball garland from one wreath to next working in rows.

Hot glue rickrack ribbon to bottom of first row wreath. Bring ribbon down to second row wreath and attach to top underside of wreath. Next, carry ribbon to top row and next wreath and attach to underside of wreath bottom. Continue this pattern throughout the two rows of garland. Create as many garlands as needed.

For best results, hot glue hooks onto back of wreaths to hang securely from tree branches. However, only use this tip when decorating an artificial tree. Hot gluing a live one would be a fire hazard.

curly ribbons

Gold Bows and Curly Ribbons

This tree design takes advantage of the natural curling of ribbon. Wire mesh ribbons work best for this display. Cut ribbon lengths at least 3.5' long. Tie a simple bow in the center of the ribbon length and wrap the ribbon around a broom handle to form the curls. You can also use a cool curling iron if you prefer - just be sure it isn't plugged in. Use florist wire to attach bows to the tree and space out evenly for the best effect.

These are just a few of the many ways you can use ribbons to decorate your Christmas tree this year! Pull out your favorite ribbons and give one of the styles a try.

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Decorating a Christmas Tree With Ribbon