Want a beautiful, full Christmas tree? Let me teach you my step-by-step tutorial on how to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon to get that designer look you’re after and add a pop of color to your tree!
In this tree decorating tutorial I’ll sharedesigner tricks and my secrets for using ribbon to decorate a Christmas tree. This easy step-by-step process of how to style your tree this holiday season. Regardless of your budget or color palette, you’ll have that professional Christmas tree look you’ve been after!
Watch this video to learn the start-to-finish, step-by-step method to decorate a Christmas tree.
Watch the Christmas Tree Decorating Video
In what order do you decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon?
If you’re new to adding ribbon to the Christmas tree you may be wondering “Do you put ribbon on a Christmas tree first or last?”
It is best to put the ribbon on the tree first. If you end up drowning it, you can always tuck in strands of ribbon at the end if you have a hole to fill.
What is the correct order to decorate a Christmas tree? Follow the guide below.
How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Step-by-step
Step 1- Tree Prep
- Organize your ornaments– Make piles of each color, shape, and size, and lastly a pile of ornaments that are special to you, were expensive, or you want to be noticed on the tree.
- Fluff the tree (if it is artificial), bending branches in all directions. If not pre-lit, add lights.
- Put on the tree topper– Use a smaller branch in front of the main stem to put the topper on, then wrap the larger main branch around the base of the topper. This will allow the tree topper to set into the tree, rather than awkwardly perched on top.
- Before beginning, if you are on a hard surface floor, put a blanket under the tree. This will help with dropped ornaments, and hopefully, prevent breaks!
Step 2– Ribbon
What type of ribbon is used when decorating a Christmas Tree?
There are many kinds of ribbons to choose from for decorating a Christmas tree. Wired ribbon is most common because it will keep its shape whether it is put on as a cascade down the tree or wrapped horizontally. There are ribbons with different textures- like mesh ribbon, velvet ribbon, or burlap ribbon, with different widths (the bigger the better 2-4″ in width), and a rainbow of different colors to choose from. Although traditionally gingham, plaid ribbon, and red ribbon are the most popular Christmas ribbons. Changing the style of ribbon or trying differnt ribbons is an inexpsive way to try out new trends without changing all your ornaments.
How To Decorate a Christmas Tree with Ribbon
*As a reference, the tree in this tutorial is 6.5 feet, decorated on 3 sides. I used a (1) 25-foot roll of ribbon and a half package of bobby pins.
- Cut arm lengths of ribbon. 1 spool will give you approx 8-10 strips of ribbon. By cutting strips you will save so much ribbon from one consistent piece.
- Cut one end of each strip into a fishtail. Fold the ribbon end in half and cut a diagonal line from the middle towards the outside edge.
- Begin at the top of the tree with one strip. Scrunch the blunt cut end of the ribbon together and attach it to a branch with a bobby pin.
- Allow the ribbon to naturally fall in place. Gather it approx 8-10″ down from the top, scrunch it together, but this time give it a bit of slack letting the ribbon loop out in a ‘C’ then use a bobby pin to attach it to a branch back approx 5″ from the tip, towards the stem of the tree.
- Repeat this process. Each strip of ribbon will be attached to the tree 3-4 times.
- Allow the fishtail end of the ribbon to hang.
This method of putting the pieces of ribbon on a Christmas tree can be used with both wired and non-wired ribbons. If you prefer, this same method can be used to go horizontal or diagonal as well.
Step 3- Decorative Picks
I am using faux flowers on this tree, but greenery stems, berries, pinecones, etc. all look beautiful. Depending on the type of picks you are using they may require a little fluffing before beginning.
Place the picks evenly throughout the tree filling any holes, ensuring they are evenly spaced and not too close to one another.
Step 4- Oversized Bulbs
Work oversized bulbs deep into the tree to fill large holes and disguise the trunk of the tree. Work them into the branches, placing them in an irregular pattern.
Step 5- Filler Ornaments
Filler ornaments are going to do just that, fill up the main body of the tree. Here I’d suggest using your not-so-special ornaments (I use a big tube of plastic ones). Start with the largest ones down to the smallest, filling in holes inside the tree, and saving the outer edges of the branches for the next step.
Don’t neglect the very bottom row of branches. Be sure to add a few ornaments that will dangle down below where the tree stops.
Step 6- Accent Color
Place the accent bulbs near the outer edge of the branches. This will really make the color pop! The accent color for this tree is… you guessed it, PINK! I have a variety of shades of pink in different shapes and sizes that I layer in. Again, irregular pattern and no two bulbs of the same color too close to one another.
It is ok to have more than one accent color, just be sure to mix up the cristmas decorations so they are evenly dispersed throughout the tree.
Step 7- Special Ornaments
Save the best for last! The final step in decorating your tree is to add on any ornaments that spark those Chritmas feels and give visula interest to the tree. Sentimental pieces, expensive glass bulbs, ornaments you may only have a few of, the ones that make you go awwww when you open the box each year.
Add in these christmas decorations throughout the entire tree.
You can use these techniques on any type of Christmas tree, real or artificial. See how to decorate a 12′ real Christmas tree using these steps. Additionally, you can see how I applied these designer tree decorating tips to a real and artificial tree in this post.
Still, looking for more Christmas tree decorating ideas? Check out The DIY Mommy’s step by step process where she shows her tree decorating techniques as well.
Do you have any tips on how to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon? Let me know in a comment below!
Dolores Fowler says
Thank you for your excellent tips. The video really helps however I can’t hear your instructions—but the music is SUPER loud when you are applying the ornaments.
This tree is stunning! That mint color paired with the pink is such an excellent combo!