How to Put Ribbon on Your Christmas Tree

Part 4 of a 5-part series about how to decorate your Christmas tree

How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree: Part 1 (Getting started, choosing a theme, adding lights and floral accents)

How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree: Part 2 (Putting up large and specialty ornaments)

How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree: Part 3 (Putting up the ball ornaments)

How to decorate your Christmas tree

How to put ribbon on your tree

How you deal with the ribbon/garland can seriously make or break the tree. And I know I’m a tree snob, but I’m totally serious.

The most common mistakes with the ribbon/garland are 1) putting it on before anything else, and 2) just wrapping it around the tree.

We’ve already discussed the order of things thus far, and obviously ribbon is almost last, so let’s discuss how we get it on the tree.


This is my ribbon. The larger, gold roll is un-wired craft ribbon I bought at Costco several years ago. The whole thing easily does my entire tree (all rolled up it maybe has an 8″ diameter?). The other five rolls of ribbon are wired craft ribbon that I bought in 1999! They’re all still in amazingly great shape, which is good, because I love the pattern.

I use both types of ribbon differently, so let’s start with the gold ribbon.


Use the curl of the ribbon to your benefit

See how it kind of curls if you let it unroll by itself? You want to capitalize on this curliness!

Start at the top of your tree, secure one end of the ribbon somewhere in the branches (I like to do this in the back of the tree where it can’t be seen) and let it naturally unroll as you wind it around the tree. Resist the urge to pull it tight and “wrap” the tree, and just let it kind of cascade down. Tuck it into the branches every now and then so it is secure.

I am thinking I should have shot a video, because that wasn’t so easy to explain. Here’s another picture:

Overstuffed Tree

Just keep going around the tree, letting the ribbon fall where it may, and gently tucking it in here and there. I admit to pulling it tight in the back if I feel like I am going to run out of ribbon before I get to the entire bottom of the tree.

If you use beads or another type of garland which won’t curl by itself like the ribbon does, just kind of drape them generously. I used to use gold beads and I had a lot of fun dripping them all over the tree randomly. Random is always the key.

Cascade some ribbon from the top instead of wrapping it around

After I do the gold ribbon, I do my patterned ribbon. It’s wired, so it’s a little bit different to work with, but I still use its own curl from being rolled up in the box for a year.

Balsam Hill

For this ribbon, I secure a piece at the very tippy top of the tree (where the topper will eventually hide it) and cascade it straight down, tucking it in every so often. Like so:


I continue doing this with all five ribbons until my tree kind of starts to remind me of a wedding cake. It doesn’t matter how messy the top gets with all the ribbon ends because the topper will hide it. But only you know what your topper is capable of hiding, so do your ribbon accordingly. Mine is an angel with a full skirt that can hide quite a bit of ribbon.

Here is what our tree is looking like now:

So close...

(I added the birds after all the ribbon was put on—they are some of the ornaments saved for very, very last.)

Only one more part to go…just a few finishing touches, and then you can sit back with some hot cocoa and enjoy your masterpiece.

Click here for Part 5: Finishing Touches

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So Pretty! I need to give ribbon a try again. Never been good at that but after you explained it all I think I will be able to do it. I look forward to getting a new tree for my new house next year and starting from step 1 and ending with a masterpiece. Thanks for all the great tips! I have really enjoyed reading these posts.

The Atomic Mom

For years my mom wrapped a white ribbon around her tree. My dad always said it looked like some one TP'd the tree. We could not convince her otherwise. Now it's a red ribbon though. I have to admit after not putting up a tree for 2 years, I have no idea the state of my decos, or what awaits me when I pull the box out of the man cave. I'm a bit scared truthfully.


Your tree could beat up my tree.


My cats would really love it at your house they loves watching me throw the ribbon on the tree or at least have in the past. It just gets really old after a while chasing down the decorations they have decided are toys. This year I'm thinking the built in lighted tree looks great all on its own. Shrugs