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Decorate your home for the holidays with these festive Christmas garland and swag ideas. We have the classic garlands for banisters, mantels, windows, and doorways, but we give you a little modern twist and add them to dining chairs and chandeliers to transform your everyday spaces into a winter wonderland.
Beautiful red cranberries have long been a symbol of a Christmas. Create a sugared cranberry garland by tossing berries in a bag filled with crafts glue. Then, add a handful of white sanding sugar and toss to coat. Lay out the berries on wax paper to dry, and finish by threading the berries onto baker's twine using a tapestry needle.
(image credit: Leah Bergman)
These cheeky Christmas lights give the pops of color you crave without running up an electric bill. Get the look by screwing pilot holes in the ends of wooden lightbulbs (available at the crafts store). Twist in eyehooks. Dilute watercolor paint in a bowl and submerge the wooden bulbs halfway into the pigment. Let dry upside down in florist's foam. String the bulbs onto twine and wrap around your tree.
(image credit: Stephanie Haass)
Succulents might not be a traditional Christmas garland material, but they have increasingly earned a spotlight. We created a swag by overlapping Portulacaria afra branch cuttings and lightly wrapping them together with short pieces of wire. Continue adding cuttings and wrapping the branches until you achieve your desired length; we doubled the effort for a two-strand swag effect. For the center, lightly wire an assortment of succulents to your swag. Wire them on one at a time, paying attention the total weight of the garland. To hang on your mantel, use more wire and removable hooks. To keep it lasting longer, lightly mist the garland every few days.
(image credit: Cassidy Tuttle)
One of the very best parts about the Christmas season is the collection of packages that gather beneath the tree. Carry the package theme all the way through the house with this whimsical shipping tag garland. Use stencils and red paint to add letters to plain paper tags. Set the tags aside to dry before stringing them onto twine to finish.
(image credit: Design Improvised)
Pinecones and rope are the critical supplies in this hearty outdoor garland that can stand up to any state's wintry blast.
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.
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.
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 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.
Decorate on the cheap by repurposing cupcake liners as a grand garland for your doorway.
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.
Make your own gorgeous Christmas garland with vellum and pearlescent cardstock. Our pattern and scoring template (available, below), helps lead you through the cutting and folding of each leaf. A few red cardstock circles serve as berries to offset the all-white look.
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.
This must-watch video shares designer secrets for securing garlands without damaging your mantel.
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.
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.
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.
Learn how to wrap and swag your holiday garland without marring or scratching.
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.
Deck out your mantel with a swag of sweet surprises. Fill 24 small envelopes with tiny toys or pieces of candy and seal with numbered stickers. Hang envelopes across mantel with miniature clothespins. Kids will love waking up to a new treat each morning!
Adorn chair backs with cute and creative holly garland. Cut out holly leaves from shades of green felt. Punch two holes in leaf tops. String with matching paper straws (cut to 6 inches) to make a chair-back swag. For berries, hot-glue wool felt balls in desired colors to leaves. Pin or tie garlands to back of chairs.
Add some star power to your Christmas decor. Cut star shapes from sweater fabric using our free pattern. Iron on heavy fusible interfacing to the backs of stars and trim. Hot-flue a large silver sequin to the center of each star. Glue backs of stars to yarn and hang.
White faux doves are a great way to spread a peaceful message during the holidays. That doesn't have to mean boring -- punch up green garland with a jewel-toned ornament scheme and beautiful ribbon bows.
Layer wild, un-manicured greenery with garlands made of natural fibers. This unexpected combination of textures mixes to create an interesting mantel display.
Have 30 minutes to spare? That's all it takes to create this beautiful natural garland. Plus: you only need three supplies!
Utilizing greenery at Christmastime will always be classic, but trying out other materials can be refreshing too. Here, a French-inspired fabric garland drapes beautifully over a basket bursting with fresh green cuttings.
A few simple steps and supplies and you'll have a shimmering icicle garland for your mantel or windows. It's a cheap way to make a look with lots of impact.