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Decorate a Tree How-To

Photography: Andrew Bordwin

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2002


 Eric Pike makes adjustable ribbon and wire hangers for his vintage ornaments. With its boughs pruned, this Norway spruce can accommodate twice as many ornaments. Ribbon attached to wire lets ornaments hang securely from branches while unifying the color scheme.




  • Ribbon

  • Card stock

  • Scissors

  • Floral wire

  • Wire cutter


  1. Tie ribbon lengthwise around a credit-card-size piece of stiff paper; knot at bottom. Trim ends with scissors. Slip ribbon loop off card. Attach wire: pull one end through top of ribbon loop; twist it around itself several times to secure. Thread wire and ribbon loop through ornament's metal ring. Make a slipknot by threading the wire back through the two sides of the ribbon loop. Pull ribbon taut.

  2. To hang an ornament, hold top of loop against branch, and wrap the wire around the branch to hold it in place. If you want ornaments to hang closer to branch, shorten ribbon by wrapping a bit around the bough before securing wire.

    Glittery pinecones and glass icicles are fastened with wire directly to the branches -- without ribbon -- to appear as if they naturally hang from the tree. The other ornaments seem to be suspended from gold ribbon alone, but they are affixed with wire to prevent them from slipping off should the tree get jostled.

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