With six kids you know Christmas is a big deal at our house. From finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list to traditions like eating 7 kinds of fish on Christmas eve, December is always busy. Make this easy DIY Christmas garland to make your home more inviting and festive this season!
Traditional Christmas Decorations
Christmas greenery goes back way before Christmas even started. Wreaths and laurels were popular in Egyptian times. Ancient countries worldwide used garlands on statues of gods, to commemorate their dead, and celebrate their victors and heroes.
In early Britain, the English enjoyed decorating with “kissing boughs.” to welcome holiday guests. Over the years these garlands and Christmas wreaths were decorated with fruit, berries, ribbons, and ornaments. Kissing boughs were the early version of the infamous mistletoe decorations.
No one really knows who first started decorating with Christmas garlands, but it’s a fun tradition to continue!
How to Make Homemade Christmas Garland
There are lots of different options available to make your own DIY Christmas garlands. Ancient Egyptians and Tudor England may not have had the dollar store, but today you can use anything from crochet DIY projects to candy canes. You’ll find tutorials that use pom-poms, snowflakes, and Christmas lights. While I’m not too big on Christmas crafts (or crafts in general), some festive DIY really helps make a house look homey.
I prefer home decor that looks natural so I’m sticking with fruits, evergreen garlands, and similar items. It really depends on what you like and what’s on hand. Here are a few ideas for items to use in your DIY Christmas garland.
Decorating Ideas for the DIY Christmas Garland
- Dried orange or lemon slices
- Cinnamon sticks
- Pine or fir branches
- Christmas lights
- Bay leaves
- Eucalyptus leaves
- Dried flowers
- Christmas ornaments
DIY Christmas Garland Ideas
If you want to expand your Christmas decor ideas this holiday season, here are some other garland ideas. Nothing says Merry Christmas like DIY Christmas decorations!
- Hang Christmas ornaments onto a pine garland or burlap garland.
- Cut Christmas trees, bells, Santa hats, or other shapes out of felt. String them together to make a felt garland.
- For a kids activity help your little ones cut out paper snowflakes and hang them up with some string or twine for a snowflake garland. You can use also use Christmas colors and make the snowflakes out of red and green construction paper instead of white.
- Paint some pine cones white, silver, and/or gold. Once they’re dry tie them onto some twine for a pinecone garland.
- If you get a lot of Christmas cards each year, put them to good use! Punch a hole in the top of the cards and hang them from an evergreen garland with some red ribbon.
- Make a leaf garland with green crepe paper like this one.
Where to Put Your Homemade Garland
Once you’ve made a DIY Christmas garland, what to do with it? This depends on the layout of your home, but here are a few ideas for where to hang the garland.
- Above the fireplace mantel
- On the banister or staircase
- Above a doorway
- Table centerpiece
- As an accent piece on an open wall in the living room
- Above a window
- On the headboard above your bed
- On a large mirror (like an entryway or bedroom)
- Around the Christmas tree
- Drape it over a shelf
- On the front door
Putting It All Together
Garland materials? Check. A place to hang it? Check. The next step is assembly. Some items work best if they’re tied on with twine or jute string, while others need to be threaded on with fishing line. Hot glue and ribbon are also options.
Cranberries, cinnamon sticks, leaves, and dried citrus slices do well with the fishing line and needle method. Pine cones can be tied on with string or fishing line, or whip out the hot glue gun. It’s easy to come up with unique combinations!
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here is an easy DIY Christmas garland to make. This is a fun family project and a good way to get the kids involved.
Fresh vs Premade Pine Branches
While fresh pine branches are gorgeous and smell amazing, they do shed over time. Something to keep in mind if you plan on hanging it someplace like over your bed. If you want something that will last longer and not be as messy, then opt for an artificial pine garland.
DIY Christmas Garland
- 3 oranges or lemons
- 10 cinnamon sticks
- pine branches real or artificial
- 1 cup fresh cranberries or more
- Slice the oranges into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Dehydrate in a dehydrator or in the oven on the lowest setting for several hours until dry. I dehydrated mine at 170 degrees in the oven for 9 hours.
- Thread the needle with the fishing line, knot the end, and pull it through the orange slices, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks. Create your own pattern here! I made a holiday garland with just cranberries as well. You could also make an orange garland without the cranberries.
- Tie a secure know at the end of your garland. The fruit and spices can be hung as is, or you can combine them with the pine branches for a fuller look.
- If using real pine branches, arrange the branches so they're overlapping each other some.
- Use wire pieces (about 3 inches long) to attach the branches to each other. You can make this as thick and as long as you want, depending on your preferences.
Have you ever made a garland before? What kinds of items would you include? Let us know in the comments!