How to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon

Written by kate lee
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How to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon
Use ribbon to add flair to your holiday tree. (Getty creative)

Many fabric stores sell holiday ribbons in a variety of patterns, colours and styles. You can use holiday ribbons as garlands and as a substitute for tinsel, and you can even use a ribbon bow to top the Christmas tree instead of a star. Garlands add a festive look to a tree, and help fill in gaps between the branches. Wide ribbon, with or without wire, works best for garlands. You'll need enough of this type of ribbon to wrap around the tree several times, plus extra if you want to make a matching bow topper.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 5 to 8 cm (2- to 3-inch) wide ribbon
  • 3 mm (1/8-inch) wide shiny ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard (optional)

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    Ribbon garland

  1. 1

    Unroll a spool of 5 to 8 cm (2- to 3-inch) wide holiday ribbon. Cut the ends of the ribbon at a 45-degree angle to help prevent unravelling.

  2. 2

    Begin at the back of the tree near the bottom and secure the end of the ribbon in the branches. Drape the ribbon over the branches of the Christmas tree like a garland, beginning at the back of the tree. Let the ribbon hang softly over the branches in a gentle wavelike pattern.

  3. 3

    Wrap the ribbon all the way around the tree. Cut the end of the ribbon at a 45-degree angle.

  4. 4

    Drape another garland or ribbon around the next layer of branches, several cm (inches) away from the first layer of ribbon.

  5. 5

    Continue adding garlands of ribbon until the Christmas tree looks well balanced.

    Ribbon tinsel

  1. 1

    Choose a narrow ribbon, about 3 mm (1/8 inch) wide. A metre of ribbon will be enough for three pieces of tinsel, so you may need several spools to decorate a large Christmas tree.

  2. 2

    Choose a ribbon that sparkles and catches the light, such as silver or gold, or a ribbon colour that contrasts with the Christmas tree, such as white or red.

  3. 3

    Cut the ribbon into strands about 30 cm (12 inches) long.

  4. 4

    Drape the centre of each ribbon strand over the end of a Christmas tree branch, so that the ends of the ribbon hang evenly over the branch.

  5. 5

    Continue adding ribbon tinsel to the Christmas tree branches until the tree is as decorated with ribbon tinsel as you like.

    Ribbon bow topper

  1. 1

    Cut a piece of cardboard about as wide as you would like the finished bow.

  2. 2

    Wrap the ribbon around the cardboard about 12 times, with the loops on top of each other. Leave extra ribbon on the ends of the loops to make tails.

  3. 3

    Remove the loops of ribbon from the cardboard, being careful to keep the loops neat.

  4. 4

    Fold the loops of ribbon in half. Cut off the corners of the folded area, making sure you don't cut the loops apart, then unfold the loops.

  5. 5

    Cut a short piece of matching ribbon and tie it tightly around the centre of the loops.

  6. 6

    Fluff out the ribbon loops so that the bow looks full and even.

  7. 7

    Tie the ribbon bow to the top of the Christmas tree.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use holiday ribbon to make loops to hang Christmas ornaments.
  • Make your tinsel stand out by using curling ribbon and curling each end before draping the strand over a branch.
  • Watch out for paper cuts -- the edges of ribbon can be sharp.

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