Christmas Garland Ideas For Homemade Decorations

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It might be easier to buy garlands for Christmas decorating, but then you would miss out on the fun of coming up with your own designs, tailoring your garland to your own decorating theme, and being able to proudly tell admiring visitors, "I made it!"

Garland is easy to make from simple supplies that you probably have around the house, or can easily purchase. It's also an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon crafting with your kids, and end the day with something new for your holiday decor.

Green Garlands

When you think of garland, you probably think of pine boughs winding around the door or mantel. Don't stop with pine though; there are plenty of other options for creating beautiful garlands with real or faux greenery.

Start with strong jute rope, 3/4-inch diameter is best. The length will depend on how long you want your garland to be. You will also need florist wire, or other thin wire that can be used to secure your greenery to the jute.

Juniper and Pepperberry

You will need:

  • Real or faux juniper stems
  • Pepperberry sprigs

1. Remove foliage from bottom third of juniper stems.

2. Starting at one end of your jute rope, hold juniper stem against rope, and use florist wire to hold in place, wrapping wire several times around the stem.

3. Add another juniper stem, overlapping the first slightly so the wire is concealed. Wrap in the same way as the first stem.

4. Wire a pepperberry sprig in place, overlapping the juniper slightly.

5. Continue to layer two juniper stems then one pepperberry sprig until you complete your length of garland. Be sure to turn the garland frequently so you will end up with a full, even appearance.

Ready for Planting Finished Product

Mistletoe and Holly

You will need:

  • Mistletoe bunches
  • Holly sprigs with berries
  • Small glass ball ornaments

1. Cut a piece of jute long enough for the area you want to decorate with garland.

2. Start with a small bunch of mistletoe. Hold the stem against the jute, then use florist wire to hold in place, wrapping the stem several times.

3. Overlap the mistletoe with a holly spray, then wire into place.

4. Slip a piece of wire through the hanger on a glass ball, and attach the ornament to the garland at the division between mistletoe and holly. Slide the wire under the greenery so it doesn't show.

5. Continue in this way until the entire garland is covered. Turn frequently for an even appearance.

Frosty Maple Leaves

You will need:

  • Faux maple leaf garland
  • Silver spray paint
  • String of small white Christmas lights
  • Pinecones

1. Lightly spray paint the maple leaf garland and the pinecones with silver or white paint. Let dry.

2. Wind the string of white lights along the maple leaf garland, tucking the lights between the leaves.

3. Use florist wire to attach pinecones to the garland, spacing them evenly and tucking the wire under leaves to keep it hidden.

Paper Garlands

You can create beautiful, delicate garlands from paper that will be lightweight enough to decorate the tree, or festively decorate the mantel or banisters.

Snowflake Garland

You will need:

  • Paper doilies in different sizes
  • Fishing line or heavy thread
  • Small scissors
  • Glue

1. Fold doily in half, then in half again. Fold one more time. Your doily should now be folded into a pie-slice shape.

2. Use sharp scissors to snip designs into the non-folded edge of the doily. Snip small triangles, circles or other delicate shapes.

3. Unfold the doily, and smooth out with your hand.

4. Repeat with enough doilies to form a chain long enough for your decorating needs.

5. Lay out several doilies, and put a small drop of glue on each near the top.

6. Cut a length of fishing line, and stretch over the doilies, pressing down into glue spots.

7. Continue until you have formed a garland of paper snowflakes. Let dry thoroughly before hanging.

Gift Box Garland

You will need:

  • Small Styrofoam squares (approximately 1 inch)
  • Large wooden beads in red and green
  • Fishing wire or heavy thread
  • Large sewing needle
  • Various gift-wrap papers
  • Gold metallic wire ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Thin invisible tape

1. Wrap each Styrofoam square with gift wrap, using small pieces of tape to seal.

2. Tie the gold ribbon around each box to create a bow.

3. Thread needle with fishing wire.

4. String fishing wire through Styrofoam box, tying the end of the fishing line around the box to hold it in place.

5. Slide a wooden bead onto the fishing line.

6. String another wrapped Styrofoam square onto the fishing line, then another bead.

7. Continue until you have the desired length of garland. Knot the end of the fishing line around the last Styrofoam box to keep it in place.

Weave your garland around your tree, across your fireplace mantel, or over the doorjambs for a touch of holiday interest. Making garland might become an annual tradition once you discover how easy and fun it can be!

Last Updated: December 19, 2011
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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