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Step by Step Christmas Tree Ribbon Tutorial

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Adding ribbon to a Christmas tree is pretty easy once you know a couple of tricks. You can wrap a tree with ribbon around the tree going down the layers and I often do that, but today I am sharing the easiest way I know to add ribbon to a tree, and if I had to choose I think its my favorite.  I hope you find this step by step Christmas tree ribbon tutorial helpful.  If you still have questions please just ask.

How to add ribbon to a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree decorated with red and buffalo check ribbon.

There are all kinds of different tutorials on how to decorate a Christmas tree professionally with ribbon. The one you use depends on the look you are trying to achieve. This beginners method is the one I chose for this year.  This method allows you to add volume and easily fill in any spaces you have in your tree while preventing the tree from looking wrapped or divided into sections.

Some Common Christmas Tree Errors

I often see on ribboned Christmas trees is the ribbon stands out too much. The ribbon shouldn’t be the star of your tree, its meant to provide a cohesive backdrop that blends into your tree.

The second error I often see when people ribbon trees hanging the ribbon on the outside of the tree.  The ribbon ends up precariously strung along the outside of the tree, looking like its about to fall off.   Your ribbon is not garland and can’t be added the same way.  This super simple step by step tutorial will show you how to decorate your tree with ribbon and easily avoid these two errors.

Buying the Ribbon

As a minimum you need to purchase two coordinating ribbons like I did. For this tree I used a 2 inch buffalo check and a 3 inch red ribbon. Make sure the ribbon is wired, its impossible to decorate a Christmas tree with unwired ribbon, it just does not hold its shape.

Your will need several spools of ribbon, a general rule is ten feet per foot of Christmas tree.  For a 7.5 foot tree you will want at least 75 feet of each kind,but  this tree has 100 feet of each ribbon. For a larger tree you need more.

When to Add the Ribbon to your Christmas Tree

Put the lights on your tree and then the ribbon. (then the inside ornaments, large ornaments then finally small ornaments)

Cutting the Ribbon

This is the hardest part. Grab a big glass of wine or take several deep wreaths and decide its okay to cut your ribbon. I understand, I too have the hardest time cutting the beautiful ribbon. I promise, once you give yourself permission to cut the ribbon, you will find its worth it because it make decorating your Christmas tree much easier. Don’t cut all your ribbon to start, just cut three or four at a time.  That way you don’t cut ribbon you don’t end up using.

Cut ribbon strips about four feet for the top of the tree, 5 feet for the middle and bottom sections of the tree. It doesn’t need to be accurate.

Make the Ribbon Bundles

Lay the two strips of ribbon on top of one and other. Fold the top section of the ribbon over to make a loop  secure with wire, or a  branch of the tree.

Making a starting loop on Christmas tree ribbon. How to wrap and place ribbon onto a Christmas Tree

How to add ribbon to a Christmas tree the right way.

Attaching Ribbon Bundles to the Christmas Tree

Place the loop deep inside the tree, I like to wrap one of the back branches around the loop to secure it.   Placing the loop in the back of the tree keeps the ribbon as a backdrop to the ornaments.

Then allow the rest of the ribbon to cascade down the tree. Tucking it in about half way down and allowing just the tails to stick out.

Attaching and tucking ribbon into a Christmas tree

Fold the end of the ribbons in half lengthwise and cut at a 45 degree angle to get those pretty fish tail ends.

How to snip the end of a ribbon when adding ribbon to a Christmas tree.


Add the ribbon in a staggered pattern.  Don’t have two adjacent ribbons starting at the same level, and don’t have on ribbon starting directly below another one.  Having a casual staggered pattern allows you to fill in any gaps, and prevents the sectioned look.

Decorating a Christmas tree with ribbon how to.

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