Home & Garden

Style at Home: Greens, ribbons make holiday displays beautiful

Gorgeous greenery take your displays to the next level, and holiday ribbons give them character and charm.
Gorgeous greenery take your displays to the next level, and holiday ribbons give them character and charm. TNS

Whether it’s your Christmas tree, bannister, mantel or a tabletop display, the best way to make your holiday decor stunning is to start with my two favorite tools: greens and ribbons. Gorgeous greens take your displays to the next level, and holiday ribbons give them character and charm.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Add picks to your tree to make it more lifelike

The secret to a sensational Christmas tree is to pop it up with greenery picks. Think of your undecorated tree as the base of your display, that “little black dress” just waiting for the right accents.

Before you add the ornaments, tuck in a mix of greenery picks. When you add variations in colors, textures and sizes, you give your tree added dimension. For more drama, use long picks that extend out from the cone of the tree and ascend from the tree’s top.

Make your mantels lush

Give your mantel display more visual punch by including some long, strong picks that overhang the sides and front of the fireplace. Work in picks that contrast with the base garland on your mantel to bring in more pizzazz, like red berries, silver leaves, bare sticks and pine cones.

Thread greens into displays around your home

A great way to add a splash of holiday cheer to your home without putting in tons of time is to simply add some greens to your existing displays.

I’m over the moon about birch logs, and we’re having a heyday. You'll see them on top of book shelves, on table displays and even zip-tied into Christmas trees. We rested a few on top of a bookcase, then filled in with faux pine greens. It’s a great way to give that empty space above your tall cabinets some seasonal charm, and it just takes minutes.

Mix up your ribbons

Long strips of wired fabric can take a space from meh to marvelous. A lot of times, your wreath, your tree, your mantel or bannister is more about the ribbon than anything else. Just changing out the accent ribbons you use on your tree will give it new life.

Using ribbons can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. First, pick a mix of several ribbons for your displays, pulling together different weights, widths, colors and patterns. .

Work with manageable lengths of ribbon

Cut the ribbon into lengths of about three yards each so you can work with it more easily. You can finish the ends in a straight cut or a traditional dart. Twist the ribbon sections into loose, lazy loops. When using ribbon on a Christmas tree, gently pokes the sections of ribbon into the branches of the tree, starting top down, side to side. Never wind the ribbon strips all the way around the tree, but instead tucks them in, section by section, because it’s easier to work with the ribbon that way.

Make mock bows

I could not tie a beautiful bow to save my life, and I’m guessing a lot of you are in the same predicament. So we use a cheater technique you might like to try, too. Just create loops with your ribbon until it forms a bow you like, then secure them in place at the bottom, using wire or a zip tie. That’s it!

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.