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Decorating with the Christmas Garland

Decorating with the Christmas Garland

Front door with Christmas garland and sign art and Christmas decor
Written by Hannah Strandberg
Photography by Mel Willis

The Christmas garland is the great equalizer of holiday décor. It creates wonderful Christmas magic in the hands of both beginner and professional decorators alike, and you can use them in a variety of ways throughout your home this Christmas season. We’ve gleaned some garland advice from homeowner and Instagrammer Astra Spanbauer on how to use these fresh greens in your home this year!

For a full tour of Astra’s home at Christmas, get our December 2020 issue!

Staircase with Christmas garland and red bow
If you have an open staircase in your home, it’s the perfect place for dramatic Christmas decorations with a garland! Keep them simple like Astra did here, or deck them out fully with ornaments and other embellishments.

Choosing Your Garland

First, should you use fresh or faux greens? Either will work, and there are pros and cons to each choice. Fresh pieces will provide more depth and richness to the look in your home, and give off that heavenly pine smell. But they’ll also drop their needles periodically, and if you’re allergic to fresh plants, faux will be the way to go.

Like many of us, Astra is a self-proclaimed plant killer, so she always opts for artificial garlands that she can pull out year after year. However, if you’ll settle for nothing less than the real deal, keep fresh vines in cool areas and spritz them with water every 2-3 days to extend their longevity.

Kitchen with open shelves and Christmas decor
Garlands come in various lengths, so use smaller garlands for areas such as open shelves in the kitchen or over a piece of sign art.

Where to Put Your Greens

The most common places to use garlands are on the mantel and going up the staircase. These are easy and visible areas, but you can also think outside the box and use them to frame doorways, along your dining room table or anywhere else that could use a little pizzaz.

Fireplace and mantel with Christmas decor and garland
A mantel is the obvious place to add a garland during Christmas. If you have room, add other items as well, such as Astra did here on her mantel.

Astra has a few favorite spots for her Christmas greens. “I always put a garland on the living room mantel,” she says. “Sometimes I like to hang a garland on my signs and I always do them outside—I have two French doors that flank my main door, so I always do them around all three of those doors.”

See Also
A dining room with a wood floor and a vintage style rug under a table and set of chairs. Above the table is a chandelier made with lights strung through a flea market painter’s ladder.

Placing garlands at entry points like doors, archways and staircases creates a welcoming atmosphere. And don’t forget how marvelous they look as a dinner table centerpiece.

Dining table with Christmas garland, sign art and set table
You can even add a garland to your dining table during the Christmas season!

How to Use Your Garland

Now it’s time to decorate your Christmas greens. Use extra tree ornaments, ribbons, lights and faux snow to beautify your garland. Looking to level up? Tie in some dried orange slices, cranberries and cinnamon sticks to make the piece smell like pure joy.


Looking for what type of garland or Christmas tree to get? Check out our Christmas tree guide here! Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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