I love Christmas garlands; I drape them on doorways, my fireplace, and even my staircase banister. A few years ago, I decided to buy all fresh evergreen garlands, and I worked hard to drape them everywhere, following all the instructions to make sure they'd last. But two weeks later ... my garlands were dead and done.
The heater vents and the heat from our fireplace fires killed that greenery dead. Everyone told I should have waited until two weeks before Christmas before hanging real greenery, but I want my home to be decorated all Christmas season! I needed something a little more permanent, and the custom "fake" options where not cheap, ranging from $80-$300. So my solution was to take an inexpensive garland and make it look full, expensive, and as "real" as fake could possibly look.
First things first, find an inspiration photo for this project.
I wanted a mixture between the above garland...
... and this garland with Magnolia leaves.
Here's how I made it happen:
- 1-2 Magnolia leaf florals
- 1-2 Evergreen/ Pine Christmas floral
- 1-2 Eucalyptus leaf florals
- Inexpensive Christmas garland (I got mine at Wal-mart for less than $2. Only sold in stores.)
- Wire clippers (not pictured)
- Hot glue and gun (not pictured) You might not need this if your garland is only going to rest on top of your mantel and not on drape on the sides.
The inexpensive Christmas garland will be your base. You need at least two because really cheap garland is typically very skinny (you'll be twisting them together). I happen to have a huge fireplace mantel so I needed 4 garlands for my base, which cost a total of eight dollars!
I purchased two of each of the floral stems.
Total Cost of my 18 Ft. Garland: $25.00 ....and some change
Unwrap your garlands and lay them side by side. Twist your garlands together. Begin and end your garland by twisting, but to keep the middle together, you can switch to using a single wired pine stem from one garland and wrapping it around the base wire of the other garland. Once your two garlands become one, fluff the garland.
Here was my 18-foot garland after Step 1. Please excuse my unfinished wood floor in dire need of refinishing ... someday.
Clip apart your stems. I did this randomly, keeping some in a cluster and some as singles. This all depends on how your garland rest; you'll have to play with it a little to get it just right.
First add your draping evergreen. I added it in the places I wanted it to go along just the top of my mantel first. Save some for your sides.
Next, cut bunches off your magnolia leaves from the stem and slip them into the greenery where you have placed your draping evergreen. You can secure them with hot glue. I just simply wrapped the excess stem of the magnolia bunch around the middle wire of the garland then fluffed the pine stems to hide it.
Do this for the entire garland.
Add a little sprig of the Eucalyptus floral.
This was what each of my "bunches" looked like. Some were bigger and some were smaller.
To make use of the single leaves I took off from a larger bunch, I glued them together in twos or threes.
After gluing, I would add them into the garland. If they are not staying in place you could add a little dab of hot glue to your base garland.
Now it's time to add to the hanging part of the garland. For the draping evergreen and the Magnolia leaves, I simply wrapped a single pine stem around the cut stem of the floral. Fluff around the twisted stem to hide it. (Has anyone counted how many times I have used the word "fluff" in this post?)
To keep the Eucalyptus stem in place you will have to add a little dab of hot glue.
I love the way my garland turned out. It is unique and inexpensive.
Yes, it is fake, but adding in the layered stems really helps to make it look real.
When Christmas is over, I will deconstruct it (what is not glued) and store it all together. I might even add to it next year. I think these paper magnolia flowers would be a pretty addition.
Have you had better experiences than I have with making real garland greenery last in a heated home? Please comment your tips below!