The foyer in our house is very grand with vaulted ceilings and a winding staircase. It was my favorite feature of the house and I immediately envisioned it decked out for the holidays. Because I couldn’t stomach paying full price for Christmas garland, I am excited to show you how to make cheap garland look expensive.
Buying holiday garland brand new would easily cost me over $200, and I do NOT have that kind of budget! One of the best places to find Christmas decor is at estate sales and that is exactly where I found some old green garland!
When I found the box of old garland at the sale, I was on the fence because it looked to be in rough shape. I decided that I could spruce it up and with the price at $10, it was a low-risk purchase.
How to Make Cheap Garland Look Expensive
1 | Hang the Green Garland
I used the green garland as the starting point for the traditional holiday garland I envisioned hanging on our staircase. To create a traditional look, I made the garland drape over the banister so it hung low at a few spots on the staircase. I attached the garland to the banister using galvanized wire, but floral wire works just as well.
Once it was attached, I spent some time reshaping the branches to make them look as full as possible.
2 | Add Tree Trimmings
Our family buys a real Christmas tree every year and we always have leftover tree branches that need to be cut off the bottom of the tree. I took the leftover tree trimmings and attached them sporadically to the garland using floral wire. The fresh tree branches helped to fill out the garland and give it dimension with a different type of texture.
If you don’t buy real trees, you can often take the scraps at hardware stores like Home Depot. Or you can cut some branches off of a pine tree outside!
3 | Attach Magnolia Branches
The garland was hung right after Thanksgiving and I still had the fresh flower arrangements I put together for the dinner table. I pulled out the magnolia branches used in the arrangements and added those to the garland as well! The brown and green add a richness that makes the garland look more expensive.
Check out our complete dining room makeover from the One Room Challenge!
4 | Include Twigs
Twigs add an unexpected and fun element to floral arrangements. The addition of twigs to the garland gives it a custom and high-end look.
I had leftover twigs/branches in my closet that I broke apart and used throughout the garland. Look for twigs that fit your color palette. For example, I found branches with a reddish tint. When you walk around your yard, you will be surprised by how many natural elements you can use to decorate your home!
5 | Faux Flowers & Greenery
Next, I went into my decor closet and pulled out all of the faux flowers I owned. I found three branches of faux eucalyptus which worked great! You can see the branches below from our laundry room makeover.
In my storage closet, I found a few cream-colored flowers that were old decor for my daughter’s nursery. You can see the faux flowers from the nursery in the image below. Adding a variety of flowers creates dimension and a touch of whimsy when they hang from the garland in a variety of ways.
Check out the recent makeover of my daughters bedroom!
I did purchase one bunch of the round eucalyptus leaves and snipped off each branch. This gave me 5 stems of the eucalyptus to add throughout the garland.
Finally, I went through our Christmas bins and found a few red berry twigs and branch arrangements. I attached all of these faux branches to the garland, doing my best to fill in any thin areas and give it a consistent look throughout.
6 | Ribbon
There are so many great ways to add ribbon to garland on your staircase, but I decided to keep it simple with red bows at each attachment on the banister. I used 2.5 inch ribbon with wired edges. The wire gives the bow more shape instead of flopping over. I left the tails longer (almost to the ground) for added drama.
REVEAL | Cheap Garland Now Looks Expensive
It is amazing how different an old ball of garland can look with a little love and attention! I absolutely love the look of festive garland on a staircase during the holidays. This is the perfect traditional look for a traditional-style home.
Materials & Cost for Garland on the Staircase
- Green Garland – $7 (total cost was $10 but I. did not use all of the garland I purchased for the staircase)
- Tree Trimmings – Free
- Magnolia Branches – Free (reused from Thanksgiving table arrangement)
- Faux Flowers & Greenery – Free
- Branches & Twigs – Free
- Faux Eucalyptus Branch – $8
- Faux Red Berries & Pine – Free (Christmas decor already owned)
- Ribbon – $5 (Actual cost was about $9 but I only used a small portion of the ribbon for this project)
- Galvanized Wire – Owned
- Floral Wire – Owned
TOTAL COST = $20
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