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How to Make Cheap Garland Look Expensive

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 hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday

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.

How to attach additional items to holiday garland with wire | Building Bluebird #holidaydecor

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.

How to hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday

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!

Centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner with magnolia branches | Building Bluebird

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.

How to use faux flowers to create festive holiday garland | Building Bluebird

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.

How to hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday

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.

How to hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday

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.

How to hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday

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.

How to hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday
How to hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday
How to hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday
How to hang garland on your staircase for $20 with this DIY | Building Bluebird #christmasdecor #vintage #holiday

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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Mary

Monday 6th of December 2021

So smart! I wouldn’t think to look at the Christmas decor at estate sales!

lindseymahoney

Tuesday 7th of December 2021

Thanks! There is a lot of junk there too, but you can definitely find some goodies :)