- view all thumbnails
A garland that's layered offers incredible allure for your holiday decorating. Here, magnolia serves as the base, but cedar and lavender thistle are woven in for depth and texture, while lights add sparkle.
Editor's Tip: Take a walk around your yard or a nearby park and gather the last remnants of the growing season -- interesting leaves, dried flowers, for example -- to embellish your garland.
Evergreens generally complement any style of holiday decorating, and a garland is a great chance to accent your decor. Here, multiple needle types are intertwined along a long, curving banister. Ribbon-hung pinecones, dusted with a bit of white paint, offer a pretty end point.
Garlands are also a lovely way to add holiday messages, particularly in small spaces in your home. To re-create this look, print individual letters in a font of your choice on cardstock; cut out in an oval shape. Mat the ovals on a complementary color cardstock. Fold ribbon in a small ruffle and glue as a border for each letter. Punch two holes in each letter and string a ribbon to hang the garland.
Garlands used to be pretty basic holiday decor -- evergreens draped on mantels and stairwells. Now you can go bigger, like this room: Pretty evergreens add texture on top of the mantel, but a ribbon garland draped through miniature wreaths accents the large corner bank of windows for a festive pop of color.
There are probably more opportunities than you realize to add beautiful garlands to your holiday displays. For example, oversize artwork, cabinet drawers, and frames are spots that allow garland to naturally drape.
Editor's Tip: Choose pieces of evergreen in both light and dark greens to enhance the visual interest.
Try this faux magnolia garland: Metallic silver and gold spray paint transform a once-green magnolia swag into a sparkling holiday showpiece. Small votives and vases pick up the pretty tones, which in turn accent the mosaic fireplace front.
Learn how to wrap and swag your holiday garland without marring or scratching.
Here's a great idea to capture and display yearly holiday memories: a photo garland. Take snapshots during the season and mount them using photo corners onto pieces of cardstock; add scrapbooking label holders as IDs. Hang the photos from plain or colored twine using clothespins; use the garland to adorn a doorway, window, or mantel. The following year, tuck those photos into an album and display new pictures.
Garlands can be assembled in a variety of ways. They may be single, long pieces of evergreens, or they may be smaller pieces of various types that are wired or glued together. This daintier version is the latter; tiny groupings of pinecones -- also glued on -- add complementary color and texture.
In addition to adding pretty texture in unexpected spots, small pieces of garland are also a good way to tie together a house's holiday decorating scheme. Repeat the same greens but vary the accent colors or add different patterns with ribbon. Look for surprising opportunities, such as on top of tall clocks or around chandeliers.
Draping a garland just right can be difficult, but a wide, flat mantel allows you to simply lay short, flat pieces, one on top of the other, as casual garland. To create a pulled-together decorating scheme, pick up the color of the garland in other plants or flowers, such as the paperwhites shown here.
For an alternative to greenery garlands, swag ribbon along your banister and accent with small wreaths. Simply wrap a length of wire around each wreath and twist the ends together around the rail.
There's no reason to limit your use of garland -- however casual -- to just your living spaces. If you have extra pieces of evergreen boughs, add unexpected texture and rich color to bedside tables, bathroom shelves, and more. Here, a casual arrangement -- mini garland on the table, mini wreath hung from a frame -- creates a charming vignette in a spare bedroom.
A room doesn't need much to begin to look a lot like Christmas. This simple and elegant boxwood swag adds the holiday spirit to any neutral-tone room. Use the extra cuttings to create a stunning centerpiece for your Christmas table.
A garland doesn't have to drape in order to be a garland. Here, a variety of greens comes together in mounds and clumps, supplying movement to the mantel. Antique and vintage mercury-glass balls and new mercury-glass Christmas trees add sparkling contrast.
Instead of one large garland, consider hanging three or four smaller garlands together. Here, two slim lengths of tinsel are swagged at different depths and paired with a string of beads (and pom-poms) and a white feather wreath.
Customize a ready-made pinecone garland with ornaments that coordinate with the color of your front door to welcome your guests in traditional style. Position the Christmas garland outside the doorframe, and secure it at the top and along the sides with easy-to-remove self-adhesive hooks or brick clips.
An entryway can be simple yet stunning with a large, leafy garland. Here, orange ribbon adds a pop of color to a bay leaf garland and wreath.
Editor's Tip: Choose a ribbon color that coordinates with your other holiday decorations, and tie it around the garland before hanging.
Fashion a swag with flower power by stringing button-capped flowers and old-fashioned yarn pom-poms together. Hang the swag from a shelf or window to highlight its puffed-up blooms.
Editor's Tip: If your chandelier holds candles like the one shown, do not leave lit candles unattended at any time.
A parade of felt flowers is a sweet alternative to the usual ribbon and pinecones adorning evergreen boughs. To make the flowers, cut six 2-inch and six 1-1/2-inch felt circles. Layer a small and large circle, aligning the bottoms. Pinch the set of circles together at the bottom, run a threaded needle through the four layers, and knot the ends. Repeat for remaining five petals. Stitch the six petals together at the pinched ends to form a flower. Using a needle and thread, string the finished flowers together on the back side through the pinched centers to form a garland.
Editor's Tip: If you don't have enough felt flowers to line your banister, use them to decorate small spaces, such as bookshelves, windows, and mirrors.
Go easy on the garland and use just a few simple purchased swags in most-seen places, such as this wide kitchen window. Hang colorful, dangly ornaments in each window pane for additional holiday cheer.
Graceful bows with long tails dramatically enhance a simple evergreen garland. Cut extra-long strips of material, tie into bows, and attach to the stair railing about 3 feet apart.
Garlands go beyond greenery. Add modern flair to your stair railing with a snowflake garland handcrafted from wooden crafts sticks. Use two or three pieces of double-stick mounting tape per snowflake to hold the lacy patterns flat against the railings.
For a dose of fragrance and color, bring the outdoors to your front door with a garland made of boughs, berries, and ribbons. Purchase a long evergreen garland to serve as the base, then use florist's pins and hot glue to secure pinecones, berries, apples, magnolia leaves, and festive holiday ribbon.
Editor's Tip: Secure the Christmas cards to the garland by tucking them neatly into the boughs or hanging them on the branches with small pieces of twine.
Give any room a spirited lift with this bright and funky Christmas garland. Hot-glue 2-inch felt circles to string, then drape the string around a window. Add pops of interest by adhering felt-embellished medallions to some of the felt circles using hot glue.
For a twist on the traditional garland-dressed banister, try this accent. Wire double swags of green tinsel garland at intervals along the banister rail, then add ornaments dangling from silver ribbon. To add clusters of greenery and holly, tightly wrap wire around the railing for each cluster and tuck cuttings securely beneath the wire.
Create a simply stunning garland with ribbon and ornaments. Start with a piece of ribbon cut to the desired garland length. Cut shorter pieces of ribbon to thread through ornament hooks and tie around the ribbon garland, securing each one with a knot. Tie a cluster of ornaments topped with a wide, complementary-color ribbon to each end of the garland.
Dress a window with a basic pine garland for instant holiday cheer -- simple yet stunning. If you want a little extra decoration, hang a small wreath topped with a bright red bow inside the window frame.
Holiday garlands and swags don't have to be saved for the front door or the grand entry staircase -- small Christmas swags made from fresh greenery are festively tied to the back of dining chairs. Use florist's wire to bundle the greenery -- adding herbs, small flowers, or decorative branches -- to the bunch. Loop a ribbon around each chair back to tie the bouquet, adding the perfect finishing touch to your holiday table setting.