Decorate Christmas Garland for Stairs
It really is the most wonderful time of the year! And decorating for the holidays can be a joy in itself. Your home can come alive with the holiday spirit without putting a huge dent in your time and budget.
It is useful to simplify things. The tips given here are fun and easy to do – you don’t have to be a professional interior decorator to have a beautiful vacation home!
If you have a staircase or balustrade in the house or on the porch, you can easily make it festive. Start by choosing pine garland. You can use real or fake, and both choices have advantages: the real thing has that Christmas tree pine scent that excites our senses, while the fake garland can be reused year after year and poses no fire hazard.
Once your pendulum is suspended from the banister at even gently curved intervals, you can add your own personal touch. Use the following suggestions to get your creative holiday juices flowing.
You can choose to string cranberries or popcorn like you used to. Or you can paint the edges of pinecones white to suggest snow (or leave them natural). Now add these charming cuties to your greenery by tying them with bright ribbons in white, green, red, blue, gold or silver.
If an outlet is handy, string indoor and outdoor Christmas lights on your garland. Make sure they burn cool and don’t leave them unattended when they are on.
If your staircase or balustrade is long enough, you may want to hang Christmas wreaths at equal intervals.
If you have a landing at the bottom or center of your stairs, group poinsettias or small pine trees in a corner or two. Decorate with ornaments, ribbons and bows. Or you can fill decorative baskets or containers with scented potpourri for an interesting display.
Experiment to see what works for you. Once your staircase or balustrade is pleasing to the eye, you know you’re done!
Give your banister the holiday treatment
Chances are, you’ll be decorating your front door and windows during the holiday season. If you have a mantel, you will definitely use it to hang up your stockings and show off your Christmas collectibles. So don’t pass up the chance to decorate one of the greatest architectural features of a home: the banister! If you have it, show it off!
Measure your stairs from top to bottom and plan your materials accordingly. If you are draping ribbon, you should use at least double the length of the railing. The same goes for lamps and garlands. It’s always better to have more than less, so a little surplus can just be used elsewhere in your home!
Instead of the usual evergreen garland and red ribbon or bows, try a bright citrus color like orange or a regal color like fuchsia. Lay a translucent ribbon in the same shade to add depth. A great evergreen alternative is thick wire ribbon draped in loops on the handrail. Add large pine cones (we always seem to forget these great accents!) and berry, flower or holly bushes at the top of the loops to make it festive yet natural.
Everyone puts wreaths on their doors, but what about wreaths side by side on the banister? What a great way to display them! You can get more creative with the wreath accents than with accents on a garland and create a handrail that is simply stunning.
Sometimes simple equals elegant. One way to add more floral accent to a simple evergreen garland is to attach white, pink, or red silk poinsettias. These beautiful and traditional Christmas plants are often arranged in a pot or silk arrangement. Not anymore! Add large bows and berry/pearl sprays in matching colors to the top and bottom of the stairs to complete the creation.
Another great take on the Christmas tree is to collect large evergreen branches and spread them on the railing. Then take large round ornaments on satin ribbons and hang them on the branches at different lengths.
A Christmas tree garland – fun, fast and festive
A Christmas tree garland is a favorite “go to” holiday decoration around the world because it is so versatile. Use them to circle the Christmas tree, decorate the doorway, frame a window, braid the banister, twist around the banisters, or tumble into a clear glass container for a unique dining table centerpiece.
Making your own Christmas tree garland is a great way to get your kids involved in the holiday preparations.
Here are a few tips for making your own Christmas tree garland:
- Do you remember the paper necklaces that were so popular in elementary school? They are still fun to make. Remember:
Long strips – when converted to a chain link – will lengthen. Cut the strips shorter for a rounder, tighter link.
- Tape, glue or staple? Staplers make short work of a paper chain – when the kids are old enough to use one correctly. Tape in a heavy duty office type dispenser is safe and economical. Pasting or gluing requires patience. The spring type clothespins can help to hold the link while drying.
Paper chains don’t store particularly well. Even in a large plastic carrier bag, their own weight tends to flatten them.
- Cranberries or popcorn — though temporary — can make a lovely traditional Christmas tree garland. When the holidays are over, you can place your Christmas tree garland outside as a little treat for the birds and squirrels. Remember, if you’re using dental floss as a stringer, remove it once the cranberries or popcorn are gone to protect the critters nearby. It might be better to just use heavy cotton thread.
- If you choose cranberries for your Christmas tree garland, use the fresh or plain frozen berries. Cranberries are easy to find in the fresh produce section of most supermarkets from mid-November.
- If you want to make a popcorn garland, make sure the popcorn is unbuttered and unsalted. Now’s the perfect time to take out the old air popper that’s been sitting on a shelf since you discovered microwave popcorn. After popping, let the popcorn sit for a few days and it will get a little stale. If it’s stale, you can pierce it with a needle without breaking the popcorn.
When it’s time to prune your Christmas tree, here are some helpful tips:
- Make or buy ten feet of Christmas tree garland per one foot of tree. Buy lots of garlands, as you can always trim off the excess, provided they aren’t strung beads.
Once the tree is secured in the stand, install the lights first, then your Christmas tree garland, ornaments, and finally the tinsel.
- At one time, fashion dictated that the Christmas tree garland should be wrapped around the tree in ordered horizontal lines. Today, the trend is to drape the Christmas tree garland gracefully so that it looks like icing dripping down the side of a cake.
- Depending on the material, a Christmas tree garland can be quite heavy. As the Christmas tree ages, the branches tend to droop a bit and the garland can slide off the tops of the branches. It’s easier to just plan ahead and tie the Christmas tree garland to the branches with ribbon or a small piece of wire. I keep all my ties for this purpose.
My all-time favorite Christmas tree garland is made from little fabric yo-yos. They last forever, they store well, you can make them as fancy or simple as you want, and they are lightweight. They are unbreakable and the heat from the attic storage does not bother them.
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