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How to Decorate Your Stairs for Christmas with Stunning Staircase Garland

Decorating your staircase for Christmas is a wonderful way to add timeless holiday cheer to your home. Whether you choose faux garland or fresh garland, it's a beautiful and festive addition to your staircase railing....

Decorating your staircase for Christmas is a wonderful way to add timeless holiday cheer to your home. Whether you choose faux garland or fresh garland, it's a beautiful and festive addition to your staircase railing. In this article, I'll share my tips on what type of garland to use, how to secure it on your staircase banister, my favorite accents, and even how to make simple bows. Get ready to be inspired and create a stunning staircase display that will impress your guests and bring the holiday spirit alive!

What Does Garland Symbolize?

You may wonder what garland symbolizes. In many cultures, garland represents beauty, love, purity, and peace. These attributes perfectly align with the spirit of Christmas, making garland an ideal addition to your holiday decorations.

mantel garland in living room. Figure: Mantel garland in a living room

Where Should Garland be Placed in a House?

There are numerous places in your home where you can hang garland during the Christmas season. The classic options include your mantel or stair banister. However, a new trend has emerged where you place the garland on your stair treads, off to the side, instead of the railing. This unique placement adds an eye-catching twist to your staircase décor. Additionally, you can drape garland around a door frame or use it as a centerpiece on your table. Remember, garland can be used all year round with different types to create stunning displays.

Garland in the center of a table with a Santa jar in the middle. Figure: Garland in the center of a table with a Santa jar in the middle

Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Garland is not limited to indoor decorations; it can also work wonders as an outdoor Christmas decoration. You can drape garland around your front door or side door, creating a warm and inviting entrance. If you have a railing, wrapping garland around it will add a festive touch to your outdoor space.

Garland over the door frame of a front porch. Figure: Garland over the door frame of a front porch

The Difference Between a Swag and Garland

Sometimes the terms "swag" and "garland" are used interchangeably, but there is a distinction between the two. Garland is generally consistent in width throughout, while a swag tends to be thicker in the middle and tapered at the ends. However, the term "swag" is also used for a handful of faux or real greenery tied together with ribbon. So, feel free to explore different options and get creative with your choices.

Christmas swag on a front door. Figure: Christmas swag on a front door

Making Cheap Garland Look Expensive

If you're using artificial pine garland and it looks a bit fake, there are several ways to make it look more expensive. First, spend some time fluffing the garland to give it a fuller and more realistic appearance. Then, add trimmings like pine cones, red berries, and ribbon to enhance its visual appeal. You can also insert branches with magnolia leaves or eucalyptus, add faux or fresh flowers, and incorporate real twigs or fairy lights. These simple additions can instantly elevate the look of your garland.

Christmas garland over a mantel with berries and dried oranges. Figure: Christmas garland over a mantel with berries and dried oranges

Making Your Garland Look More Full

If you want to make your garland look fuller, there are a few tricks you can try. First, twist two sections of garland together or use garland ties to secure them if the garland doesn't have a wire base. Additionally, layering different types of garland, such as cedar, fir, eucalyptus, pine, or evergreen, can create a lush and voluminous look. Don't forget to add elements of nature like pinecones, acorns, and berries to enhance the fullness of your garland.

Decorating Your Banister

Decorating your banister with garland can transform your staircase into a festive holiday display. To dress up your garland, you can add ornaments, bows, elements from nature, and twinkle lights. Consider using warm white lights for a cozy and inviting atmosphere that matches the rest of your home. Battery-operated twinkle lights are convenient and easy to use, allowing you to wrap them around the garland effortlessly. Remember, sometimes simplicity is key, so don't overthink it and let your creativity guide you.

Staircase garland with yellow flowers and white lights. Figure: Staircase garland with yellow flowers and white lights

Using Real Garland on Stair Railings

Although you can use real garland on your staircase, it can be messy. Real garland tends to dry up and shed pine needles, making artificial garland a more practical option. Artificial garland doesn't shed, is cost-effective, and provides a lasting and beautiful decoration for your stairs throughout the holiday season.

Hanging Staircase Garland

Now, let's dive into the steps of hanging and decorating your staircase garland.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

To get started, gather all the supplies you'll need for this project:

  • 2/4 strands of garland (depending on your staircase length, plus extra for swag)
  • Zip ties or other fastening options
  • Floral wire
  • Floral sheers
  • Any additional trimmings you want to include
  • Ribbon (wire ribbon is recommended)

Step 2: Hang Your Garland

First, determine where you want your garland to sit on your banister. Consider which angle you want it to be seen from and choose the placement accordingly. Typically, garland is hung on the outside of the handrail to make it visible from the entryway door.

Next, use command hooks or zip ties to secure the garland to the banister. Start by placing zip ties at the top and bottom of the stairs. Then, add one or two more zip ties along the railing, depending on how many swags you want to create.

Step 3: Add Your Trimmings

To attach trimmings to your garland, cut 6-inch pieces of floral wire and wrap them around the items you've chosen, placing them wherever you like. Pinecones and red berries are classic choices, but feel free to use whatever suits your taste. Antique holiday sheet music, tiny Christmas wreaths, or decorative lanterns can also add a unique touch to your garland.

Step 4: Make Your Bows

To create bows, cut the ribbon into two strands of your desired length. Tie one strand in the middle of the other strand to form a bow. It may not look perfect at first, but here's a tip to make it prettier. Take one of the small tails leftover from the bow and wrap it down and in between the long strands of ribbon, then bring it up through the middle of the bow. This will give your bow a polished and finished appearance. Finally, tie the two small tails on the back of the bow to secure everything in place. Remember to fluff and arrange the bow for the best presentation.

Step 5: Attach Your Bows and Trim the Ribbon Ends

Use floral wire to attach your bows to your banister. Cut 6-inch pieces of floral wire and thread them through the back of each bow, then twist and secure them around your stair rail or garland. You can attach bows to the posts on your staircase or at the start, middle, and end of the garland.

Finally, trim the two long tails of your ribbon. Slide your hand all the way to the bottom of one of the tails, fold it in half, and cut off a triangular portion at the bottom right corner. This technique will give your bows a beautiful and polished finish.

Staircase garland with bows and ribbon trimmings. Figure: Staircase garland with bows and ribbon trimmings

That's it! Your staircase garland is ready to impress. Take a moment to admire your beautiful creation and enjoy the festive ambiance it brings to your home.

Christmas Stair Decor Ideas

If you're looking for more inspiration for your stairs or other areas in your home, check out my blog. I have a variety of Christmas decor posts, including outdoor decorations. Even though my main content focuses on DIY and home renovations, preparing your home for Christmas is always a delightful topic worth exploring.

Fresh wreaths over windows in a living room. Figure: Fresh wreaths over windows in a living room

DIY Fresh Christmas Wreaths

Last year, I created fresh Christmas wreaths for all the windows in my home, and it added the perfect festive touch both inside and outside. I attached the wreaths to the center of each window frame, creating a beautiful display. If you're interested in making your own fresh wreaths, read my post on DIY Fresh Christmas Wreaths. It's a fairly simple project that will infuse your home with the holiday spirit.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on how to decorate your stairs for Christmas with stunning staircase garland. Merry Christmas and happy decorating!

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