This year we did something a little different with our cedar garland! We made it look extra full and festive with a few simple additions. I LOVE IT! While I also really like the simplicity of cedar or pine garland alone (or with ribbon), you can easily make one strand look more full, customized, pretty and expensive than it was by layering and embellishing it.
Why I Decorate for Christmas Early
In case you’re wondering why we are decorating our railing already, we started bit early to be ready for our family to arrive for Thanksgiving. I know it’s a controversial idea but years ago we decided at our house we can be very thankful and our home can feel festive at the same time. We often have Thanksgiving dinner by the Christmas tree!
Decorating early is more fun for me, too. Plus the best part is it gets all the stress of the mess out of the way before the holidays so we can fully relax and focus on the people we love and all we have to be grateful for. And instead of rushing, we can just enjoy it all through the holidays!
How Faux Garland Helps Keep Christmas Decorating Simple!
When you use faux garland, you can decorate as early as you want because you don’t have to worry about crunchy branches crumbling all over the floor. I love fresh cedar and usually have some of that too, but we will add that later. Last year (and this year we will as well) hung fresh garland on our porch because I don’t want to have so much to store!
Make Garland Look Fuller by Using Two or More Strands
I got out the cedar garland I bought last year as well as an older garland that was already embellished with pine cones and blue berries. That’s when an idea struck! What would it look like if we hung them together this time? Courtney was at our house so we thought we might as well give it a try! Four hands are better than two when it comes to hanging garland (although I’ve done it many times all by myself, it is just a bit easier to have extra hands).
Lucky for me our railing is not very big so it’s quick and easy peasy to decorate! Another perk I love about a smaller home, you can have fun decorating without tons of money, supplies or effort.
To give any garland a more festive or fuller look, you can use two (or more) different garlands, or really even two or more of the same if you just want a fuller look! You could also just use one strand and add elements to it. So many ways you could make it extra pretty!
How to Hang Two Garland Strands Together On a Stair Railing
First we hung the cedar and tied it to the railing with twine. I didn’t worry about trimming all the twine yet. I save that part until the end, so we could easily re-tie if we needed to adjust it.
Then we took the garland with the pinecones and hung it right over the top of the cedar one, also tying it to the railing. In a couple of spots we used twine to tie them together. The twine isn’t fancy, but it does the job and gives it a homey touch (and it really isn’t going to be in focus anyway).
How to Add Dried Oranges to Your Garland
Once we got the garland layered together on the staircase, we stepped back and though that’s CUTE! But what if we added one more bit of embellishment? I had bought these dried blood oranges awhile back, but of course you can also make them yourself. I thought it would be pretty to see a pop of citrus on the green, so I took a needle and poked a small hole in each dried orange, threaded fishing wire through them and tied them to the garland in a few places.
Add Nautical Rope and Bells for Extra Charm
After we stepped back again to admire our handiwork we thought ohhh, that’s BEAUTIFUL! But now what? Should we add ribbon? We could! Maybe we will …. but then I pulled out the nautical rope I had bought for another project. Rather than tying it around the garland, Courtney made some fancy knots (with phone help from her husband) and voila, we had a custom DIY nautical rope and an antique set of bells to finish off the railing! Oh so coastal for our beach house! The ends will fray, but you can pull the strands apart to make them look like the fringe on tassels!
How to Keep Christmas Decorating Simple
We could certainly keep adding more if we want to, but we are pleased with it as it is for now. That’s how I keep Christmas decorating SIMPLE! Everything doesn’t have to be “over the top” to make your home festive. I’ve found that if I do something simple for our staircase or a mantel, I can let it be enough. If I’m inspired to add more to it later, I can! But even if that’s all I got around to, I will enjoy it and am pleased I got it DONE early!
More Ideas for Embellishing Christmas Garland
What other items could you add to garland? Look around your home and see what you can find. Add items that reflect your hobbies, family or personality!
If you want to add an extra festive touch to your garland this year, here are some ideas!
small framed photos
have your family make lists of things their grateful for, roll them up and tie them on!
dried lime slices
faux / frosted apples
sprigs of whatever foliage you can find
faux frosted branches
or anything else that inspires you!
Hmmm, that brainstorming sesh gave me another idea for mine …. :) …
What do you think of embellished garland?
Related posts and resources:
7 Simple Pieces I Love for Christmas Decorating (and why they make so much sense!)
How I Made My Covered Porch Feel Magical at Christmas (Simple Decorating Idea)