Thursday, December 3, 2009

Easy-Peasy, Just-Looks-Like-A-Million-Bucks, Use-What-You-Have Garland!

This Christmas season I decided to decorate using things I already had.
Which, since we're living in a new house now, meant that I had to get creative and use old things in new ways!

That's just what I did when I made this garland below:

{wanna know how I did it & how you can make one too? keep reading!}

Looks all "fancy" now, doesn't it? I honestly can't believe how simple this was to do! It only took about 15 minutes to make! I knew I had to share this with you!!!

Well, this garland used to be a plain ol' thing that draped along our staircase banister.
Cute, but a bit "blah".

Since I now live in a split-level house, the stair banisters aren't nearly as long and wouldn't work well for garland. So I looked for a new spot for it, and....
....up on top of the bookshelves it went!

Step 1: Find a great place for your garland!

Step 2: Next, gather up some things you already own:

lights (if your garland isn't pre-lit)
something to attach the ornaments to the garland
(like floral wire, or green pipe cleaners, or if you're lazy like me: long wire ornament hooks)
something to fill it out a bit (feathers, branches, more fake greenery, decorative sprays...)

Now you're ready to get started "fluffing" your garland!

Step 3: If your garland is not pre-lit, go ahead and add lights to it now.....'s OK, we'll wait for you....


Time to make our super easy bow!
This is easiest if you have a long length of ribbon.

Starting near the middle of the ribbon start to loop it around several times.
Kind of like when you wind up a garden hose, or if you were a cowboy gathering up your rope!
Do it several times until you'll have 3 "loops" for each side of your finished bow.
You should have 2 "tails", one on each side of your bow.
Try to work your "loop" so that the "tails" are similar length.
But don't stress too much about it, it's gonna get tucked around anyway!

Next, take a short piece of the same ribbon and wrap it around the center of your "loops", tying in a little knot in the back side of the "loops". This will make your bow look like it is tied.
Be sure to leave the ends of this knot a little long, don't clip them!

Go ahead and fluff out your bow!

Step 4: Attach the bow to the garland.

Take the ends of your bows' knot and use them to attach the bow to your garland. Just knot it around the garland, then fluff the greenery around your knot a bit. No one will see!

Next, gently wind the ribbon "tails" about the greenery, play with it till it looks good to your eye. I added little fake ribbon loops by just making one little loop and using scotch tape to secure it. That's what I had on hand! A little florist's wire or even a garbage bag tie would work too!

Step 5: Attach ornaments to the garland.

Gather some small leftover ball ornaments together into groups of 3.
Using your floral wire or a green pipe cleaner, string a group of ornaments on, then twist the wire together by the ornaments to secure them on.
Add the ornaments to the garland by twisting the wire securely around several branches of greenery.

I added ornament groupings by my bow, near my "loops" of ribbon, and toward the end of my garland.

Step 5: Add in the pretty fillers!

I used pheasant feathers and pinecones to "fill in" my garland in a few spots and make it extra fluffy-full and pretty!

Use what you like. Maybe something that coordinates with your tree!
Feel free to adjust things around until you're satisfied with the look of your garland!

That's it!

Plug in the lights and enjoy it!

Now you know how to get an expensive, designer-store looking garland on a Use-What-You-Have budget!

How are you using what you have this year?


Audrey said...

I love the garland...beautiful. I also like your blog - ended up here from other blogs. Merry Christmas!!

southerninspiration said...

Looks great....mine looks strangely similar!!! :)
I just need to add the lights. I put mine on top of the antique desk we got from the inlaws....looks great.
How funny that ours looks so similar even down to the pheasant feathers! :)


Stacey said...

Looks great Stacey. I'm also enthralled by that gorgeous room divider. Beautiful!

I am sticking with the use what I have method of decorating this year too. Honestly, I didn't even unpack everything from the attic. Sometimes it feels better to have my opinion.

Shannon said...

It looks great! I'm thinking I might need to tuck a few ornaments in my mantle garland.... :)

~Kristen~ said...

I love it!!! Love love love!!! I am going to attempt to beef up the garland I use on my mantel. I did purchase a couple things for this purpose from Michael's but they were super cheap. Other than that I am totally on board with the use-what-you-have credo!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Love those feathers!!!

Shell in your Pocket said...

So very pretty! What is funny is I titled my post today "Easy Peasy Swag"...I guess that phrase is more popular than I thought...

Looks glad you are back to the blog world!

Sandy Toe

Darlene said...

Your garland turned out fabulous!!! LOVE IT!

cityfarmer said...

we must have been reading each others' mail er mind!!!
I swear we consulted together for the use what you have mantra!

YOU DO IT SO WELL ...pop over and read my mind er blog

~Donna @ Onesimplecountrygirl~ said...

Very nice!! Love your blog!

Janet said...

I love it! Thanks for the inspiration! You can check out my results at my blog:

Sonia said...

I just love your garland. The colors you choose and the feathers are just beautiful! Miss Bloomers/Sonia

mEET said...

i'm dutch! of course i did! ;) you did a nice job!