Adding ribbon garland to a Christmas tree is one of the most challenging parts to decorating a Christmas tree - but it doesn't have to be!
Here are a few tips, tricks, and ideas for how to add ribbon garland to a Christmas tree.
Barber Pole Method
Possibly the most common way of adding ribbon garland to a Christmas tree is to use the barber pole method.
To decorate your Christmas tree using the barber pole method, simply start at the top of your Christmas tree and attach one end of ribbon garland to your tree using floral wire or chenille sticks, also called pipe cleaners.
Run the ribbon garland around your Christmas tree in a circular pattern, going down slightly on each pass.
Try to tuck the ribbon slightly inside the tree, but not too far.
The photo to the right shows a 7-1/2 foot tall Christmas tree using approximately 50 feet of ribbon that is 2-1/2 inches wide (you can use several strands of ribbon if you don't have one that is 50 foot long.
The ribbon shown is wired ribbon, however standard ribbon will also work on a more casual Christmas tree.
Wired ribbon is a more rigid and can be bent into shape.
A more advanced way to add ribbon garland to your Christmas tree is to use the crisscross method.
This method will use twice the amount of ribbon as the barber pole method.
The crisscross method is the exact same as the barber pole method, except you run one barber pole going to the left of your Christmas tree and another to the right of your Christmas tree.
The difficult part of the crisscross method is trying to get the left and right side to be symmetrical and cross at the same point on the tree.
When using the crisscross method, consider putting an identical Christmas ornament at each intersection of the ribbon.
Some people like to tie the intersections together using floral wire to enure they stay in place.
Barber Pole Tuck Method
A slightly different way to add ribbon garland to a Christmas tree is the barber pole tuck method.
This method is the same as the barber pole method, except that the ribbon is tucked into the Christmas tree at a certain interval.
If you have an artificial Christmas tree, you can bend a limb to create the tuck.
For a real Christmas tree, you can use floral wire or chenille sticks to create the tuck.
This method works better using a wider ribbon.
In the photo to the right, the 7-1/2 foot tall tree is using approximately 50 foot of burlap ribbon that is 5-1/2 inches wide.
Some people prefer a more organic, casual, and free flowing Christmas tree decor.
These people might like to use the random method of adding ribbon garland to their Christmas tree.
To add ribbon garland to your Christmas tree using the random method, simply attach the end of the ribbon to the top of the Christmas tree, then tuck in a section at a random location on the tree.
Continue tucking left, right, up, down, and diagonally on your tree in equal sections.
Make sure to step back occasionally to look at your progress and make any modifications.
The photo on the right shows the random method.
Only part of the Christmas tree is decorated to show the coverage of one 15 foot long length of 5-1/2 inch wide burlap ribbon that is not wired.
You can add as many lengths of ribbon to your Christmas tree as you like, just make sure to leave room for ornaments.
The swag method was the most popular method for applying garland when popcorn and cranberry garland was primarily used, but it is still an option for ribbon garland.
To accomplish the swag method, simply do the same as the barber pole tuck method, but swag the ribbon garland in a loop pattern.
You may want to cut your ribbon into sections so you can go horizontally across your Christmas tree and complete the circle on the other side instead of keeping the ribbon in one piece and having to go diagonally down the tree.
The photo on the right shows wired ribbon, however unwired ribbon would probably work better for the swag method.
Vertical Tuck Method
The vertical tuck method is similar to the barber pole tuck method except the ribbon goes straight up and down instead of across the Christmas tree.
In the photo to the right, 2 different colored stacked ribbons (red on top of black) was used to create more dimension and color.
The black color on the bottom peaks out alternating left and right going down the tree.
In this method, start at the bottom instead of the top.
This 7-1/2 foot tall tree has 4 sections of ribbon on all sides of the tree.
Each ribbon is double stacked, so it used 4 rolls of 15 foot long red ribbon and 4 rolls of 15 foot long black ribbon.
There was about 2 feet of extra ribbon at the top that was looped using floral wire to create the tree topper.
Glitter Rope Tape
A garland that has recently become popular for decorating Christmas trees is glitter rope tape.
This is not a sticky tape, but a coiled glitter garland.
It can be applied to a Christmas tree in many different ways, but it is somewhat rigid and likes to stay in a curved shape.
Some designers like to have in applied randomly, curving left, right, up, down, and diagonally.
It does not like to be straightened or bent.
The photo on the right shows the glitter rope tape applied using the barber pole method using 2 strands of 15 foot long 1 inch wide glitter rope tape.
Several Methods Together
You don't have to use just one method for adding ribbon garland to a Christmas tree.
You can add 2 or more different colors or patterns of ribbons.
You can use bows as well as ribbon garland.
You can stack a thinner ribbon on top of a wider ribbon.
The options are endless.
The photo on the right uses the vertical tuck method with the barber pole glitter rope tape method applied underneath each loop tuck around the entire tree.
Three 15 foot long lengths of glitter rope tape was used as well as four 15 foot long lengths of red burlap ribbon and four 15 foot long lengths of black burlap ribbon.
You might also like the article Different Ways to Add Fabric Garland to a Christmas Tree.