Friday, December 7, 2012

How to make garland

I mentioned a week or so ago that I would re-post my garland making technique. I did this post in 2009 and I haven't really changed the way I do it. In fact, I'll be sitting down this weekend to whip out 30 or 40 feet of this stuff for my mantel, stair railing and front door. I'll also be making 2 or 3 sizes of wreaths for above the fireplace, on the front door, and for the dining room bay window. All count I will make 5 wreaths minimum but since I've become the wreath master they shouldn't take near as long as 40 feet of garland. I'll post next week on how I make wreaths out of coat hangers.

Here is the post with my beloved Tripper who died last year at this time. I titled it a Meatless Monday recipe.

A Recipe for Garland - Meatless Monday

I realize that some people think that vegetarians eat nothing but leaves and twigs but no I'm not going to make you eat the pine boughs.

See a recipe doesn't have to be about food. According to a recipe is:


1. a set of instructions for making or preparing something, esp. a food dish: a recipe for a cake.
2. a medical prescription.
3. a method to attain a desired end: a recipe for success.

See, instructions for making something. And, the something I'm going to show you how to make is garland. I made 30 feet of garland for our staircase, mantel, and gallery railing this weekend. This is a fun, cheap and easy project.

I made all my garland out of a shopping buggy full of cuttings from Home Depot and a package of garden twist ties. The cuttings were free and the twist ties cost all of about $2. If bread bags still came with twist ties or I would have had enough foresight to collect them, this would have been a free project.

Get your stuff together.
You'll need:
a pair of clippers, a tape measure, a pile of clippings, twist ties or flexible wire, and someplace to sit.
A dog friend helps.
The tree clipping are the parts that are cut off from the Christmas tree that they sell. Sometime people don't quite want the tree as high as it is so the store cuts it off and tosses it away.
Think of this as recycling.

Big pieces.

You'll need to cut your cuttings into big pieces and small pieces depending on the clipping.
See what you can get out of each one.
You should get some of each.

Small pieces.

The trees that places like Home Depot sells have been sheared.
This makes it so that there will be lots of pieces that are forked like the one above.
You'll need to place short pieces on top to fill it out.

This is my beginning piece.
I used it because it was fluffy on top
and long and thick on the bottom.

Put a couple of cuttings together.
Over lap them so that one is not matched up.
The tail of the top piece should stick beyond tail of the bottom piece.
You are going to take the third piece and lay it over the second piece then tie them together.
You know, make a rope type thing.
Put a twist tie over top of the cuttings leaving a tail on the underside.
Wrap around as many times as you can leaving as much of an ending tail as you need to tie the beginning tail to the ending tail.

It will look like this on the underside.
Continue overlapping, wrapping and tying until you get the length that you need.
If you want it fluffier just keep adding to the same place until you get it the way you want it.
Don't make it too long. I'd say 80 inches is the longest if you have a friend to help you hang it. 50 inches if it is just you.

Tie onto your banister with the twist ties or lay across your mantel.


Now that's a holiday recipe that won't make you fat.

I'm calling this my recipe spin for the week. According to Jen we were to find our favorite holiday treat. This is a holiday treat that isn't any more difficult than making a batch of cookies or candy, lasts longer and won't add to the waistline. And it's meatless and good for the environment. (yeah, it counts. Doesn't it Joey?). What a nice way to reuse and recycle.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe.



  1. I bet your place smells divine!!!!

  2. Dear god but the German genes are coming out in spades with this display. And give the devil his due but the Germans really 'do' Christmas exceedingly well.
    At teh moment the German discounters have and had for the past month so much Xmas decorations that the Irish are truly bemused. We do a tree, tinsel and a bit of lighting outside.

    1. I was just talking to someone at work yesterday about the Germans and their Over the top Christmas decorations. It seems I would fit right in.