How to Put Ribbon Garland on a Christmas Tree

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Decorating the Christmas tree marks the beginning of the holiday season — and whether you're going for a minimalist Scandi vibe or packing your tree to the max with decorations, ribbon garlands can serve as the perfect solution to concealing those bare spots on your holiday centerpiece, while also adding a touch of color and texture. Though there are no set rules to placing ribbon garland, positioning it incorrectly can make your tree look too busy.

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Ready to trim your tree with a ribbon garland? Follow these steps for a gorgeous design.

Things You'll Need

Tip

Using ribbons of varying size and shape will add interest and texture to your tree.

Step 1: Assemble the Tree

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

If you're using an artificial tree, assemble the tree according to the manufacturer's instructions, and "fluff" each branch to fill out any gaps.

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Step 2: Install Tree Lights

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

If your tree is not pre-lit, string lights around the tree.

Step 3: Prepare the Garland

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Cut some garland into several 1-foot pieces. Gather any other faux greenery you might want to use. These will serve as fillers in the tree and help fill in any gaps.

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Step 4: Fill any Gaps

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Insert garland and greenery to cover noticeable gaps.

Tip

Each time after inserting a few pieces of garland and/or greenery, step away from the tree to ensure you are "filling" the tree evenly, and assess where the remaining gaps may be.

Step 5: Ready Your Pipe Cleaners

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Cut several 6-inch pieces of green pipe cleaners.

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Step 6: Start Your Garland

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Wrap the end of your ribbon with a pipe cleaner, leaving some excess open at the ends (which will serve to anchor to the tree).

Step 7: Secure the Garland Ties

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Continue tying the pipe cleaners approximately 1 1/2 feet apart along the ribbon.

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Tip

Feel free to cut your ribbon every 6 feet or so to make wrapping it around the tree a little easier and more manageable.

Step 8: Secure the Top of the Garland

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Starting at the very top of the tree, tie the end of the ribbon to the back of the tree by twisting the excess pipe cleaner stem around a branch.

Step 9: Wrap the Garland

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Bring the ribbon around and tie the next pipe cleaner onto a branch of the tree.

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Step 10: Work the Garland Around the Tree

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Keep going around and tie the third pipe cleaner to the side of the tree. Allow the ribbon to hang a bit loosely in between each tie as opposed to being pulled taut.

Tip

You can also use the tree branches to secure the ribbon onto the tree as pictured below.

Step 11: Finish Wrapping the Tree

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Continue the tree wrapping process in a zigzag manner, leaving even spaces in between layers.

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Step 12: Make Your Garland Longer

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Once your ribbon runs out, tie a second ribbon to the back of the tree (as outlined in Step 8).

Step 13: Keep on Wrapping

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Continue wrapping and tying ribbon, leaving even spaces in between layers.

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Step 14: Proceed to the Bottom

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Proceed all the way to the bottom of the tree, making the loops of the ribbon a little looser towards the bottom, and following the triangular shape of the tree.

Step 15: Change Up the Garland

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

For a little more interest, use a different size and shape of ribbon. Tie a pipe cleaner to the end.

Step 16: Wrap the Tree in the New Garland

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Loosely wrap the second type of ribbon around the tree in alternating rows, allowing organic movement.

Step 17: Sort Your Ornaments

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Sort ornaments from smallest to largest and lightest to heaviest.

Step 18: Place the Ornaments on the Tree

Starting at the top of the tree, begin placing your small/light ornaments, followed by medium and then largest/heaviest as you proceed down the tree. Add any interesting and unusually shaped ornaments last.

Step 19: Make a Tree Topper

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

To make the topper, tie a simple bow with your main ribbon and thread a piece of green pipe cleaner to the back of the bow.

Step 20: Place the Tree Topper

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Attach the bow to the very top of the tree.

Step 21: Shape the Tree

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Tuck the excess ribbon from the bow into the sides of the tree, ensuring you do not alter the shape of the tree.

Step 22: Make Any Adjustments

Image Credit: Lucy Akins

Stand back and adjust any ornaments or ribbon as you see fit, and enjoy the magical glow of your newly decorated Christmas tree.

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