In this post, I’ll show you how to make a festive bow Christmas tree topper. A ribbon tree topper is an easy and elegant solution that you can easily customize to coordinate with your tree decorations this year.
Have you ever noticed that it’s really hard to find just the right topper for your Christmas tree? I don’t think I’ve ever found one that I really love, and that works for me year after year, no matter what type of tree decor scheme I’m doing that year. I find that store-bought tree finials always seem just a little too cheesy, or a little too rustic, or a little too tacky. I’ve ended up using a whole bunch of berry picks from the floral section of the craft store, along with other interesting and unusual items to try to make my own, and that usually works quite well, but I picked up an extra roll of ribbon one year that I really wanted to use somewhere, so I decided to try my hand at a big, fluffy bow Christmas tree topper. It turns out that they’re pretty easy to whip up, and I’ve been making them for all of our trees for the last few years now.
Wired ribbon can get pretty expensive, but it also goes on sale quite a bit around this time of year, so if you still don’t have a topper for your tree, you can make one of these quite affordably. Also, keep in mind to search the after-Christmas sales for clearance ribbons that you might want to use for this project next year.
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Supplies Needed to Make a Christmas Bow Tree Topper
To make my bow this year, I used:
- 3″-4″ wide wired ribbon to match your Christmas ornaments and tree decoration plan. My roll was 25 feet long, and I used basically all of it for this one bow.
- Pipe cleaners (floral wire would work too, of course, I just used what I had when inspiration struck, which happened to be way too many pipe cleaners. I like the extra grip that you get with the textured pipe cleaners, too.)
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The thing that I love about this is that you can reuse all of the supplies that go into making this bow topper in a different way next year if you want a different color of ribbon for your next tree. Wired ribbon is great for so many different types of holiday decorations, from wreaths to Christmas stockings to stair railings, so you’ll always find a way to reuse your ribbon if you have it. Nothing will go to waste here, making these bows a very practical and economical choice when it comes to Christmas tree toppers.
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How to Make a Tree Topper Bow
The process for making the bow basically involves creating as many loops as you want and then securing them tightly at the bottom of your bow to hold the whole thing together.
To make your first loop, unravel about 12 inches of ribbon from your roll, and create a loop. Next, create another loop by pulling out more ribbon and creating kind of a figure 8, then pinch both loops together at their bases.
Continuing creating loops until you have the full, fluffy bow that you were hoping for. My bow has twelve loops for reference. I could have gone for more, but you do want to leave a little bit of extra ribbon so that you can create matching streamers to hang down from your bow topper over the top 1/3-1/2 of your tree, which really helps to balance the look.
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When you have all of your loops done, pinch them all tightly together at the base and wrap them tightly in floral wire or pipe cleaners. I used two pipe cleaners and twisted each together like a twist-tie to hold everything in place.
Place your bow on the top branches of your tree as the perfect finishing-touch after adding all your sparkling ball ornaments, tinsel, keepsake homemade Christmas ornaments, and any other natural elements you’d like to add to the main part of your tree, such as fresh greenery or your favorite type of pinecone.
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How to Make the Streamers for Your Tree Topper
Cut three to four lengths of ribbon that are about two feet long to use as your streamers. Cut the end that will be dangling down over your tree on an angle for a nice finished look. To secure my streamers, I just wrapped the top few inches of each right around the top of my tree. Since the ribbon is wired, it holds quite well and looks tidy.
Finish the topper by resting the bow on the top few branches of your tree. Feel free to make it even more spectacular by adding in some berry and floral picks or by using twigs and other natural elements that you gather from outside! I gathered some phragmites from the banks of our creek and tucked them in all over our tree for something a little different one year after seeing all the beautiful holiday displays in Old Montreal. Whether you gravitate towards a natural tree, or flocked artificial trees with sparkle, creativity is always encouraged, so try a few different things out and see how they look.
Another Christmas Ribbon Tutorial: How to Add Vertical Ribbon to a Christmas Tree
Do you create your own tree toppers or have you found a store-bought one that you absolutely love?
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.