4 Quick Steps To Decorate Garland Like A Pro

close up garland with pink accents
close up garland with pink accents

Who else finds themselves swooning over beautiful magazine worthy garlands?  I’m glad I’m not alone here.  Garlands are so versatile and easier to decorate than you might imagine. 

After years and years of trial and error and reviewing professional resources, these are my definitive quick and easy steps to decorate garland like a pro! 

Fluff, Fluff, Fluff

  • The first step to achieving a festive look is to prep your base garland.  After being in a box or bag for most of the year it will need some TLC. This is my least favorite step and one I am often tempted to skip.  But don’t do that-this is what makes your garland come to life.  
  • Lay your garland on a flat surface. I recommend a separate space from where you will display or hang your garland.  Gently pull and position the branches and tips into place. 
  • Clean your garland during this step if needed. For complete details see How to Clean Artificial Garlands and Wreaths. 
  • Move your garland to its final location. Give it some additional fluffing to achieve your desired final look. 

Add a Second Garland or Stems

  • This step is optional. Bulk up that base garland with a second garland if you need more thickness. You can also add faux greenery stems for thickness.  Both will add dimension and depth giving more interest to the garland.  Stems can be greenery, florals, berries, etc. 
  • If you plan to add lights, or extra lights, do that during this step. I recommend adding a greenery garland, lights and then stems in that order.  
  • Don’t forget to give everything a final fluff once you put all the pieces together.  

Add Ribbon and Decorative Garlands

  • Add your ribbon(s) and decorative garlands here. Decorative garlands would be things like pom poms, beads, berries, pinecones, etc. Be sure to tuck the ribbons and garlands as you go to give a cascade. Basically you want to avoid just laying the ribbons or garlands on top. They need to intermix with the branches for depth. It will also give a chance to secure them along the garland and not just at the ends.  

Add Decorations

  • This is my favorite step-adding all those fun one-of-a-kind pieces and pretties!  Start with your largest items first and work your way to the smallest.  Keep in mind spacing to achieve your desired look.  
  • Be sure to secure your larger items with zip ties, floral wire or pipe cleaners for stability.  

Holiday Garland FAQs

Can you add more lights to a pre-lit garland?

Yes! IYou can never go wrong with more lights.  Go for similar lights or spice it up with a different color or shaped bulb. 

Can you clean artificial garland?

Yes. Cleaning garland is a cinch. Check out How to Clean Artificial Garlands and Wreaths.

How to hang a garland without a mantle?

Hanging garland without a mantle is no problem with removable adhesive hooks (Command hooks work great!). You can also use a more permanent hook if you plan to hang garland in the same place each year. 

Garland also looks great across a staircase bannister, across a head or footboard of a bed, across a door archway etc. There are lots of non-mantle options to consider. 

How many decorations do you need for a 7 foot garland?

This depends on if you want the decorations to be the focal point or the garland. If you want to focus on decorations a good rule of thumb is 5-10 pieces per foot of length. 

Middle of the road would be about 3-5 pieces and any less will really allow the garland to shine.  Of course this all depends on the size of the decorations as well-do what feels right. 

Best options to attach decorations to garland?

This depends on the weight of your decoration and if you want the attachment to be permanent or temporary.  Zip ties, floral ties, twine and even pipe cleaner are great temporary solutions. Zip ties and hot glue are great for permanent solutions.  

How do you make garland look more full? 

Layer-layer-layer some extra greenery! My favorite way to do this is with two strands of garland or to layer in some faux greenery stems.  Anything to give the base garland some dimension is what you are looking for here.  Layer an extra garland and a few stems for a show stopping garland!  

What is the best way to store garland?

There are a few options here.  My favorite way is to disassemble the decorations and pack them away in a separate container. 

Next,  I gently compress the branches and tips. I work in the natural direction of the garland assembly. I don’t want to fold branches in a way that is too forced. Gently make the garland smaller as you work from one end to the other. 

Then, I store the garland in a Christmas Tree storage bag with other garlands. You could use a plastic storage container too.  Look for a container that will protect your garland from moisture, heat, dust and bugs.  Excessive heat and moisture can cause permanent damage to your garlands.  

Lastly, place the container in a cool dark storage location. 

Now get to decorating! 

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