How To Make Christmas Garland Like a Pro

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make a gorgeous, professional-looking Christmas garland to decorate your home for the holidays this year.

Christmas Garland

Garland is one of my favorite ways to decorate for Christmas. A pretty garland on the fireplace mantel is such a classic look. Today I’m going to show you how to create beautiful holiday garland. I’ll teach you all the tips and tricks to making it look professional and expensive and awesome. Christmas garland is something you can definitely DIY, so let’s do this!!

Watch this quick video tutorial to see exactly how I put my garland together.

Christmas Garland Video Tutorial

And here are the step-by-step written instructions for creating stunning, expensive-looking DIY Christmas garland.
1. Double up the greenery. Most pine garlands are too thin to look expensive. It’s a simple fix… just wind two or three together for a luxe look and spend plenty of time fluffing out all of the branches.
2. Add lights. String them on thick and try to tuck the wires into the branches as much as possible. If your garland came with lights, you still might want to add more so it’s extra bright and twinkly at night. And I love the look of using two different types of lights— like mixing standard lights with larger bulb lights or star-shaped lights. It adds dimension and interest to the finished garland. One other thing to consider with lights is whether your garland will be near a plug. If not, there are lots of battery-operated light strings that will work.
3. Add ribbon. The trick to getting ribbon to look great on a garland is to buy wired ribbon and to use florist wire. Prep your ribbon by twisting an eight inch piece of wire around the ribbon every 12 inches.
Christmas Garland Tutorial
Then use the florist wire to attach the ribbon to the greenery. See how it makes the ribbon poof? So pretty!
How to add ribbon to garland
4. Add a second, contrasting ribbon. Since I used a wide printed ribbon, I chose a transparent solid ribbon as my second. I love transparent ribbon on garland because it catches the lights and makes things sparkle at night.

Garland Tutorial

5. Add details. This is the fun part! Now you get to add all of the cute ornaments, floral picks and other accessories that take your garland to the next level and really make it special. You can use anything you’d like for this part. Just make sure to attach anything breakable securely with florist wire. I usually put my garland in it’s home before adding the details so I make sure the placement looks right.
diy christmas garland ideas

I already had the greenery, but I bought the ribbon and all of the cute ornaments and floral picks at Big Lots. They have awesome Christmas decorations in a variety of styles… and good prices too!

My other favorite stores for Christmas decor are Hobby Lobby, Joann and Michaels, especially when their stuff goes on sale. Hobby Lobby has the best price on ball ornaments, Joann has the best ribbon selection, and Michael’s has the best floral picks.

Here’s how the finished mantel looks:
Christmas garland with lights
And another little close up. The antler garland is my favorite.


christmas fireplace garland
I’ll share another holiday decorating tip with you. That amazing wreath is actually two wreaths layered together!
Christmas garland tutorial
I loved the look of this rustic wood wreath, but it was a little small for my space, so I wired it on top of a plain pine wreath. It makes it into so much more of a show piece and I love the look of the two together.
Christmas Wreath Ideas
Christmas decorating ideas
Don’t you just love that buffalo check ribbon? I’m mad for plaid again this year. It’s just so cozy!
Christmas Decor Ideas
I also found this awesome cone tree at Big Lots. I love the French script burlap fabric and even though I know how to make these, sometimes you just gotta give in and buy it instead.
Christmas decorations
I love how the mantel turned out (this is my mom’s house, by the way). It’s just what I had hoped for.
Here’s another mantel I decorated a different year using the same garland technique.
Totally different look just by changing up the color scheme. 
I hope this post helps you get your home ready for the holidays. Merry Christmas!
Don’t miss my Christmas Home Tour for more holiday decorating inspiration.
Like this project? Pin it so you don’t forget it!
How to make a Christmas garland


  1. Your mantel is so pretty. Thanks for the tutorial on making the garland mantel. I am wanting to do the buffalo check/lodge look this year too. Where did you find the check ribbon?

  2. I always wondered how to get my garland to look like that! It will adorn my fireplace this Christmas.
    I have a question though and would appreciate any ideas. I decorate my outdoor flower boxes under the windows. I live in a cold and snowy state and wondered if you have any tips about putting garland outside or if you know of any waterproof type ribbon?
    Thanks much.

  3. Jennifer, I love your fireplace and décor! We are trying to build a new mantel/surround. Is your fireplace gas or electric? Is that painted wood between the opening of the insert and the tile? I want to copy the whole look. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hey Lisa! This is actually my parents fireplace. My husband built the surround for them. The fireplace is gas and the black trim around it is part of the metal fireplace insert. Then there is black granite tile surround and the mantel is made of oak with a cherry stain. Hope that helps!

  4. I found your mantle on pinterest & i just fell in love!! It was exactly what I was looking for! I love the cork reindeer & thought there was no way I'll find them, but I took a chance at my local Big Lots & they had them! I was over the moon excited! My mantle turned out just as beautiful. Thank you so much!!

  5. The garland is beautiful. I am going shopping this afternoon and will certainly pick up some cheap garland and accessories. I have looked for years at different places for garland and they want $40.00 or more for a 9 foot string. I just couldn’t justify the cost. Thank you so much for the ideas. Love it!! Merry Christmas.

  6. Can anyone tell me how much ribbon, picks, sprays, & ornaments are normally used for a heavily decorated garland? I am replacing all of mine this year which were predecorated & I’m doing it myself an I’m totally lost of how much decor I actually need per 9ft

    • No rules – you just add as much as you think it needs. I use at least 10 yards of each ribbon and depending on size of ornaments – large 3″ balls I add every 12-18 inches, smaller 1-1.5 inch ones are added wherever they fit. It’s personal preference….. Just keep adding until you get the look you want.


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