How to tie bows & vertical ribbons for a Christmas tree

Written by michelle watson
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How to tie bows & vertical ribbons for a Christmas tree
Use wired ribbon in holiday colours to design a custom tree topper. (Getty Thinkstock)

Christmas ribbon is traditionally used for wrapping gifts, but you can also use it to make bows and garlands for your tree. Mingled with the ornaments and lights, ribbon adds a distinct colour and texture to a Christmas tree. Top your tree with a large home-made bow that has long streamers extending vertically down the tree. Fashioning home made bows saves money on shop bought or special order bows, and it allows you to create a design that has the exact colours and shape you desire.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 2 colours of wired ribbon, at least 5 cm (2 inches) wide and 10 metres (10 yards) long
  • Floral wire or chenille wire
  • Scissors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut a 6 metre (6-yard) length of ribbon in one colour, and then cut another in a coordinating colour. Holding both strands together, tie a small piece of floral wire at the midpoint. Cut another 30 cm (12-inch) length of floral wire, and fold it in half slightly. Set the ribbons and the folded wire aside for later.

  2. 2

    Hold the ends of the two different coloured ribbons together, right sides facing you. You will work the two ribbons together as one. Measure a 1 to 2 metre (1 to 2 yard) tail, and cinch the ribbons between your thumb and forefinger. The end of the ribbons that hasn't yet been used is called the working ribbon.

  3. 3

    Make a 25 cm (10-inch) long loop with the ribbon so that the working ribbon arcs back, behind and below the loop. Twist the working ribbon at the base of the loop so that the right side faces you.

  4. 4

    Make another 25 cm (10-inch) long loop, similar to the loop you just made, extending in the opposite direction of the first loop. Twist the working ribbon at the base of the loop so that the right side faces you. The two loops together should resemble a large bow tie. Throughout, maintain a firm grasp on the centre of the bow tie.

  5. 5

    Make a slightly larger loop directly below the loop you made in Step 3. Twist the working ribbon at the base of the loop so that the right side faces you.

  6. 6

    Make a slightly larger loop directly below the loop you made in Step 4. Twist the working ribbon at the base of the loop so that the right side faces you.

  7. 7

    Repeat Steps 5 and 6 two more times, adding layers to your bow. For a larger bow, add several extra layers until the bow has the desired fullness.

  8. 8

    Find the 30 cm (12-inch) piece of folded floral wire from Step 1. Place the right-facing centre of the bow tie in the wire's fold and twist the wire tightly around the back of the bow tie to secure the middle in place.

  9. 9

    Fluff out the loops of ribbon in all directions to make a round bow. Each loop is made from two strands of ribbon. Pull the two strands of each loop apart so each colour can be seen.

  10. 10

    Cut the working ribbon, leaving a 1 to 2 metre (1 to 2 yard) tail that matches the other tail you measured in Step 2.

  11. 11

    Find the two 6 metre (6 yard) streamers from Step 1. Untie the small length of floral wire from the middle. Attach the streamers to the bow by twisting the bow's wire around the middle of the streamers.

  12. 12

    Finish off the ends of each loose vertical streamer by cutting a V-shape into each end.

  13. 13

    Attach the bow to the top branch of your Christmas tree by twisting the remaining ends of the bow's floral wire around the branch. Let the vertical streamers flow down the sides of your tree.

  14. 14

    Arrange the vertical streamers nicely by twisting them into spirals, nestling each strand between the tips of the nearby branches.

Tips and warnings

  • This is a one-sided bow. If your tree can be viewed from 360-degrees, make another bow and tie it to the other side of the top branch.

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