christmas tree decorations

Using Ribbon to Create Jaw-Dropping Christmas Tree Looks

Are you ready to impress your family and friends with a gorgeous Christmas tree that looks like it was created by an interior designer? If so, ribbon is your key to success. Although there are countless types of Christmas ornaments, accents and garlands, ribbon is a timeless choice due to its charm and versatility. With so many types of ribbon available and so many ways to use it, the possibilities are almost endless. Here are a few great ideas for using ribbon to decorate your Christmas tree.

Cascade From the Top

Before adding any ribbons or other decorations, shape your tree and place your lights. When you're ready to create your cascade ribbon tree, start at the top. Choose four to six rolled ribbons in contrasting textures, widths and colors. To decorate an average six-foot tree, cut about five feet of ribbon from each roll. Using green pipe cleaners or wire ties, bind the ends of the ribbons together, and secure them to the backside of the tree's top branch. Separate the ribbons so that they are equally spaced, and allow them to cascade down the sides of the tree. Tuck each ribbon gently towards the trunk at various points to create dimension and maintain the overall shape of the tree.

Top It Off With a Bow

If you're confident with your bow-tying abilities, use the most dominant ribbon color to accent your ribbon cascade with a large tree-topper bow. Once you've placed your ribbons and topper, add your hanging ornaments. For an even more dramatic look, create multiple bundles of ribbon in one- or two-foot lengths, and secure them onto various branches; this provides more even coverage and eliminates the need for additional garland.

Use Ribbon as Garland

Instead of traditional garland, use large, wide ribbons. You can combine several colors and fabric types into a single strand or use them separately. Start placing your ribbon garland at the top of your tree; as you work your way around, create gentle loops that fill out the tree's profile. For a professional look, randomize loop placement and size; let the ribbon drape naturally, but don't allow it to take over the shape of the tree. If you have a large tree or a long piece of ribbon seems hard to manage, cut your ribbon into shorter lengths. As you place the shorter ribbons, secure the ends near the trunk so that it looks as if the ribbon grows out of the tree.

Use Ribbon to Hide Empty Gaps

Use ribbon pieces or simple bows to fill in large spaces or gaps. Simply tie the ribbon around the branch to leave it free-from, or create a bow. Be sure to place matching bows or ribbons in random spots on the tree to maintain consistency.

Spruce Up Plain Ornaments With Ribbon

Wide ribbons add more drama, but narrow ones can add detail. If you have a set of plain, solid-color ornaments that could use a makeover, tie narrow fabric ribbons around their tops to transform them into art. You can make bows or simply let the ribbons drape over the ornaments randomly. Add character by mixing colors and textures. For example, pair a narrow red satin ribbon with a slighter wider white lace one on the same ornament.

Choosing Christmas Tree Ribbon Types

The characteristics of your ribbons will create your overall look. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best Christmas tree ribbons for your needs. Bendable wired ribbons are easy to control, so they're ideal for use as garland, and they're available in a variety of textures and styles. Wide sheer and mesh ribbon styles create a diffuse glow when they're placed in front of Christmas tree lights. Choose gold, silver, white or light colors to create an ethereal, angelic effect. Plaid ribbons in red and green patterns are iconic. They look best with natural elements. Consider cascading wide plaid ribbons from the top of your tree and tying narrow ones around the tops of pine cone ornaments for an earthy, warm look. Metallic ribbons complement popular gold and silver Christmas themes, and they'll go with almost any other type of decor. They're especially useful for tying in non-traditional colors such as purple or turquoise. Burlap ribbon is perfect for a rustic, country-style tree. Pair it with deep red velvet ribbon to bring out its character. Raffia adds interesting texture and color to less formal trees. It looks great with wood ornaments and natural elements. Lace ribbon evokes images of Christmas angels and sophisticated holiday decor. However, it can also be used to add a warm or feminine element to a rustic or kid-themed tree.

Put Leftover Christmas Ribbons to Work

If you have a few ribbon scraps left over after decorating your tree, don't throw them out; these odds and ends are extremely useful. Use them to decorate Christmas gifts, tie them around serving ware or stemware for holiday parties, or tuck them into your Christmas wreath to fill in gaps. Once you start making ribbon a big part of your Christmas decor, you'll wonder how you ever got through the season with it.