3 ways we'll be tying off our holiday décor with bows this year

By Josefin Forsberg

Photo: Susan Törnqvist (@susantornqvist)

No longer is ribbon exclusive to gift wrapping. Instead, we're planning to tie bows around every festive fixture this holiday season

Taking over most of our lives – including our hair-dos and our accessories – it comes as no surprise that bows have also become the holiday decor of 2023. Scroll any social media feed, and these low-effort DIY adornments will undoubtedly crop up en masse. They are the decoration ‘du jour’ on Christmas wreaths and trees, not to mention less conventional placements.


Speaking to one such ribbon purveyor, content creator Lisa Tellbe, she shares that it is the undone ease that attracts her to put a bow on her Christmas this year. “I think it is very personal, but to me it is the simplicity that attracts me about bows,” she says. “The aesthetic is very home-made, a little bit off-the-cuff. But it still looks put together.”

Tellbe's best tips on making bows work for you is to be conscious about your choice of materials. “Personally, I like satin. It reflects candlelight beautifully,” she says. Her second tip is to not be too neat when tying of your ribbons. "Let it be a bit messy and leave the tails of the bows longer than you think you should."

Here, we tap Tellbe and other bow-savvy tastemakers on how to have ribbons rocking around the Christmas tree – and beyond –as part of our festive flair this year.


Decorating the Christmas tree

Stylist Trine Kjær opted for lace when decorating her winter white Christmas tree. Photo: Trine Kjær (@trinekjaer)

& Other Storie's designer Frida Billegren showed that there's no need for other decorations if you have enough ribbon. Photo: Frida Billegren (@fridabillegren)

Bows are an easy way to fill out the sparse spaces in your Christmas tree – just look at Susan Törnqvist's tree. Photo: Susan Törnqvist (@susantornqvist)

When you think about bows as part of holiday decor, Christmas wreaths and Christmas trees are probably what first comes to mind. These traditional canvases offer vast possibilities, where each stem and branch beckons for a bow.

The best part about using bows as part of your Christmas decor is how adaptable they are. Are you a tactile minimalist who prefer to sparsely decorate your tree? Take your cue from Trine Kjær's creamy lace ribbons dispersed throughout her bushy Christmas tree. Not enough baubles to fill out your fir? Do as Susan Törnqvist does and use bows to artfully plug any gaps. Or why not make use of the various stubs of ribbon you no doubt have tucked in a box somewhere? We find designer Frida Billegren's maximalist tree both charming and sustainable.


As part of table décor

Photo: Matilda Djerf (@matildadjerf)

If you're hosting a holiday shindig, a festive tablescape offers another opportunity to incorporate bows into your décor. Infinite colour palettes can be considered, but when tying off your glassware or napkins, one thing to pay heed to is the width of your ribbon.

While a slimmer ribbon offers functionality (and easier access to sip on your bubbly), wider varieties offer a more impactful presence – almost eliminating the need for other table décor entirely. Our advice? The more guests, the slimmer the ribbon.


Tied around candlesticks

Photo: Susan Törnqvist (@susantornqvist)

Photo: Lisa Telbe (@lisatelbe)

A trend with the potential to endure well past the holiday season is ribbons around candelabras – an undeniably sweet and simply way to add some tactile softness to our homes.

Again, the width of the bow is the key consideration, determining the overall look of the decoration. That said, when it comes to candlesticks you need to also take the actual candle into question. A case in point, Tellbe takes a coordinated route by matching red ribbons with tapered red candles, as does Törnqvist with a white-on-white theme.

Another note here is to consider the bow/s placement. If you have a busy night of hosting ahead and cannot commit to regular candle checks, make sure the positioning of the ribbon won't cause an unfortunate accident.