How to decorateWe’ve all probably been a little intimidated about decorating our Christmas trees – especially if you want it to be really full and decorative. Have no fear though! The ribbon trick I did this year is really easy and anyone can do it! Just follow the steps below and feel free to alter them to make it your own too! Make sure to leave your lights on the tree before beginning to add ribbon or ornaments.  It makes the placement of everything easier and will be easier to visualize what your tree will eventually look like!

Here is a picture of our tree before…its a 9′ pre-lit tree from Costco so I had A LOTTTT of real estate to cover with ribbon and ornaments!


 Step 1:  Pick Your Ribbon

I choose three different ribbons of different textures and sizes.  I wanted them all to be relatively similar in color so I did a textured white and gold burlap, a solid satin ivory, and a thin gold.  Two of my ribbon selections were wired so that I could form them once on the tree.  The small ivory roll of ribbon was naturally curly so I didn’t have to worry about forming it necessarily.

Pick ribbonStep 2:  Cut Ribbon

Once you have the ribbon selected, you will need to cut all three ribbons into similar length pieces.  Because I had a 9′ tree to cover, I used about 2 feet pieces.  If you have a smaller tree, I would probably do 1.5′ pieces.

Cut RibbonStep 3:  Twist Floral Wire around Ribbon

Hold the middle of your cut ribbon, and twist floral wire around the ribbon to secure it.  I only twisted the base so that you leave the two ends available to tie the ribbon onto the tree. I used floral wire because it is very thin and easily manageable.

twist wire around ribbonStep 4:  Attach Ribbon to Tree Using Wire

Using the two ends, put your ribbon in any of the holes in your tree and tie onto a branch securely but loosely. You don’t want the ribbon falling out but you also don’t want to perform surgery on the tree whenever you are taking it down after Christmas! :)

Attach to treeRepeat those steps until you feel like you have enough ribbon on your tree…

Progress tree ribbon 2


Step 5:  Cut the Edges on the Bottom of Ribbon

Once you have all of your ribbon on the tree, if you feel like cutting the edges of the ribbon, this is the time to do so.  Here is an example of one way to cut the ribbon but you really could do multiple ways (i.e. diagonal,  point in middle, two-pointed end).  I actually ended up just trimming some of the ends that needed it but left most of them straight.

Cut end of ribbonCut ribbon diff ways

Step 6:  Form Ribbon in Tree

Once you have the ribbon in the tree, feel free to form it into curls, push it more into the tree, etc. Place it exactly as you’d like.  If you get frustrated, step back and look at it from a big picture point of view.  If you get really really frustrated, go get a glass of wine and come back at night with the lights on.  All Christmas trees look better at night and after a glass of wine :)

Form ribbon in tree

Step 7:  Place Over-sized Large Ornaments on Tree

One of my best pieces of advice is to pick a few graphic, over-sized ornaments to really pull your tree together.  They can be in an accent color or in the same color as the ribbon depending on what look you are going for.  Just make sure they demand attention so that people notice them and overlook some of the home made ornaments! These red stars were actually from the Dollar Store if you can believe it!

Oversized ornaments

Step 8: Place your Tree Topper On

This year I decided to do floral picks as the tree topper.  I used two gold picks that are sparkly gold and glitter bombs (as Shawn likes to call them).  Then on the outside of the gold picks, I used red feather picks to give it texture and color contrast.  It is kind of WILD but I think it adds some personality.  Of course any topper will work though!

progress after ribbon and star

Step 9: Add any other Filler to Your Tree for Added Interest

I used floral gold leaf and pine cone sticks that I cut up into multiple pieces to fill the tree out.  You really can get creative with this step! I used wire cutters to make one floral stick into about 3 or 4 filler groupings.

Tree fillerI just put the filler in any holes I saw.  You can use the floral wire to attach it to the tree.

Tree filler after

Step 10:  Place the Remainder of Your Ornaments on the Tree

I placed all of my large red bulbs on the tree first to make sure I balanced them out.  Since they are smaller than my red stars but larger than my homemade ornaments, I wanted to make sure they were spaced well.

Here is a picture of the tree after these steps…but before the homemade ornaments…

Progress after all red ornamentsAnd here is an after as compared to the same tree last year with no ribbon or filler!  What a difference!


Click here to see the full Marlowe Lane holiday tour!


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