How to Criss Cross Ribbons on a Christmas Tree
Criss cross ribbon Christmas trees are not only beautiful, but very elegant. The ribbon adds design, texture, and color to any tree, regardless of the theme. The criss-crossed ribbon creates a very full and densely decorated appearance for a lavish, designer look.
This idea works well with both expensive and inexpensive trees. The look works wonders on cheaper trees with a low tip count since the eyes are drawn to the decorations and ribbon, so the bare spots in the tree are not as noticeable. Since this technique is fairly new, it offers a unique approach for any decorator looking to create a beautiful and elegant looking tree.
This look is very simple. All you need is:
- A roll of wired ribbon
- Craft wire or bread tie
- Scissors, and
- About 20-30 minutes
You can use any color, style, or patterned ribbon as long as it is wired ribbon. I would suggest that you use ribbon that is 2-3 inches wide because it is easier to work with and it won't look like you went overboard.
Depending on the size of your tree, you will need 6 to 8 pieces of ribbon cut about twice the length of your tree.
- For example, if you have a 6 foot tree, you will want to cut 6 pieces of ribbon 12 feet long.
- If you have a slender tree, then 6 pieces will be plenty.
- If you have a very big Christmas tree that is very full and wide, you will want to do 8 pieces.
- Extremely large trees over 8 feet high and 3 feet wide will probably need 10 to 12 pieces of ribbon.
If you don't get it right at first, don't worry. You can easily add or take away ribbon as needed when you get to the first step.
How Much Ribbon Do You Need for Your Tree?
Pieces of Ribbon
Length of Ribbon
Slender or medium
How Do You Decorate Your Christmas Tree?
1. Prepare Your Ribbons by Securing Them at One End
- After cutting the ribbon into individual lengths, gather them and make sure that any patterns or designs are all going in the same direction.
- Once you have them in order, secure them using a rubber band, bread tie, or other method to keep them held together tightly.
- Leave 2 to 3 inches so that you can secure it to the tree.
2. Drape and Secure Your Ribbon to Your Tree
After securing the ends of the ribbon, it's time to drape them over the tree.
- Place the secured end on top of the tree and drape the ribbons evenly around it.
- Pull your ribbons straight and then secure the top to the tree by pinning, using wire or tucking it under the topper. I have a star topper that fits snugly on the tip of the tree so I hide the end of my ribbons under the base of the topper.
3. Make the First Cross
Now that you have the ribbons evenly distributed around the tree, it's time to make the first criss cross.
- Starting anywhere on the tree, select two ribbons that are next to each other and cross them. You want to make your cross about 12 inches from the top of the tree.
- Twist these two pieces together twice by pinching them where they intersect, and twisting it tightly and in a fashion so that the metal wraps kind of snugly to hold the cross in place. Continue doing this all the way around the tree until you have every ribbon paired up with the next and they are all crossed. (From here on, we will refer to the two pieces of ribbon crossing as "sections" and a round of sections will be referred to as "rows.")
- Once you have criss-crossed the ribbon on the first row, it will look weird. Don't worry — it will all come together shortly. It's normal for it to look too close together at the top and too wide between the sections. Just make sure your sections are even around the tree. If not, adjust and straighten them accordingly. Each section will be a guide for keeping your sections straight on each row.
Close Up: How to Criss Cross Ribbon on the Tree
Your twists should look something like this on each section of your criss-crossed ribbon Christmas tree.
4. The Next Step: Cross the Ribbons Again
On the second row, you will criss cross ribbons again but with different ribbons.
- Start with a section and cross the left ribbon with the first ribbon of the section to the left, and the right ribbon with the first ribbon in the right section.
- Criss cross the ribbons with their new mates and continue until the row is finished. Again, all the ribbons should be matched up on this row and there should not be any leftover ribbons that are not criss-crossed on any row.
- Once you have completed the second row, continue on to the next until you make it to the bottom of the tree. The sections of each row should cross in between the sections of the previous row, creating a webbed pattern.
- Try to keep the sections straight. The sections in the first, third and fifth row should line up evenly, while the second, fourth and sixth line up evenly, but are off-centered in the odd rows.
5. The Final Step
Once you have criss-crossed the ribbon to the bottom of your Christmas tree, you are almost finished.
- You can either cut the excess ribbon off and tuck the end into the tree or make a final criss cross between the sections, cut off the ends and tuck it neatly along the bottom branches to create a solid ring around the bottom of the tree. Work with the ends until you have it the way you like it.
- Once you have finished criss-crossing the ribbon on your Christmas tree, go back and adjust the sections, rows, and individual ribbons so that they are evenly lined up with ribbons nice and straight so that your tree has an overall nice and neat appearance.
What Do You Think of the Criss Crossed Ribbon Christmas Tree?
Share your thoughts, tips and ideas for decorating your own tree.