How to Add Ribbon to Your Christmas Tree

Years ago when I was a mama of only one, I remember visiting a doctors office and being struck by the ribbon that was on their waiting room Christmas tree. I immediately thought, “I want to do that!”

What can I say… inspiration strikes me in the most unexpected places.

Adding ribbon to our Christmas tree wasn’t a part of our holiday decor growing-up and I loved how it added a little something extra to the display. I swung by the craft store and came home with a new family tradition.

Christmas Tree Ribbon |

After almost two decades, I still love the look of ribbon on our Christmas tree. Many designers add ribbon as a cascading waterfall, but I’ve always wrapped the ribbon around the tree horizontally. If you want to achieve the same look, here are my tips for adding holiday ribbon to your tree.

Choose Your Ribbon

Gold Christmas Ribbon |

We have a lot going on with our tree. It’s an eclectic mix of our life and includes not only ornaments from my husbands childhood, but all kinds of memories from our kiddos. It’s our ultimate holiday Storypiece with lots of color and texture.

Because of that, I prefer a neutral ribbon and white lights. I’ve experimented with colored ribbon, but by far the gold has been my favorite.

Divide & Conquer

Tips for Decorating Your Christmas Tree |

Our tree is seven feet tall and four feet wide at the base so I usually run 5 bands of ribbon around it. It follows the rule of decorating in odd numbers and allows for fairly even spacing.

Go with the Flow

Tricks for Decorating Your Christmas Tree |

This step is critical. Your ribbon needs to flow around the tree; weaving in and out of the branches. If it’s too taut your tree is going to look bound and ready for Christian Grey. Have plenty of ribbon so that it can wind over and under the branches.

How Much is “Plenty”?

Gold Christmas Ribbon |

That depends on the size of your Christmas tree. Buy extra and return unopened spools if necessary. We use about 100 feet, but the key is to read how much is on the spool. When I purchased the gold ribbon, I failed to do that. I bought 5 spools because that was what we had previously and I ended up with 400 extra feet.

Lesson learned… Not all spools are created equal.

Business in the Front and Party in the Back

How to Add Ribbon to a Christmas Tree |

The back of the tree that no one sees is the most forgiving. Start in the back of the tree and tuck the end of ribbon deep into the branches. For this photo, I’ve pulled the ends apart for reference.

Once the ribbon is on the tree you can adjust it among the branches to get it “just so”.

Decorative Christmas Tree Ribbon |

Do you add ribbon to your Christmas tree? If so, do you wrap it horizontally or cascade it vertically? What holiday traditions have you adopted as an adult?