Get in the Holiday Spirit with Festive and Inviting Winter Garlands

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The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to deck those halls! As soon as decorations start going up, everything instantly feels more magical. Twinkling lights, evergreen wreaths, Christmas trees, and poinsettias all have a way of immediately getting everyone into the holiday spirit. But one of the most classic winter decorations that never fails to make a space feel cozy and festive are garlands. Garlands are a timeless way to add instant charm and warmth to your home during the holiday season.

Garlands come in so many different styles, materials, colors and sizes – which is great for suiting any decoration theme or personal taste! But with so many options to choose from, it can also make selecting the perfect garland for your home a bit overwhelming. Do you go for a traditional fresh evergreen? Shimmery beaded garland? Full velvet ribbon swag? The possibilities are endless!

The key factors to keep in mind when picking out a holiday garland are assessing your space, determining the right size, and choosing a style that fits your existing decor and color scheme. By keeping these aspects in mind, you’ll be able to deck your halls with a beautiful garland that makes your space merry and bright!

Popular Styles of Festive Holiday Garlands

When it comes to holiday garlands, evergreen varieties are a true classic. Garlands made out of fresh pine, cedar, fir or other conifer branches instantly evoke that delightful Christmas tree smell. The real greenery also looks full and lush. However, they do require some maintenance and care. The needles can shed easily and be prickly to work with when hanging up.

For a lower maintenance option, faux greenery garlands offer variety in texture and come in different shades of green. They don’t shed their needles or require watering. Faux garlands are also safer for households with pets or small children. And if you live in a warmer climate without easy access to pine trees, artificial garlands allow you to still get that evergreen look!

For a sparkly, glitzy take on garlands, ornamental beaded or glittery garlands add shimmer and shine. The glittery tinsel effect catches the light beautifully. Opt for metallic or multi-colored beads for a festive jeweled garland. Just keep in mind that beaded garlands won’t appear as full and fluffy as other styles. They lay flatter when hanging. But they provide gorgeous pops of color!

Ribbon garlands are a stunning, graceful choice to adorn your holiday decor. Satin or velvet ribbons in luxurious winter colors like red, emerald, gold and burgundy drape elegantly along stair railings, mantels and door frames. The sumptuous fabrics add rich visual interest and texture. Go with wider ribbons for maximum impact!

Finally, for a handmade touch, garlands created from popcorn or cranberries add nostalgic, rustic charm. They are fun, inexpensive options to make with kids. You can alternate popcorn with cranberries or other dried fruits for bursts of color. Just be aware they won’t last as long as other styles. But they will infuse your decor with that delightful homemade holiday aroma!

Key Materials and Colors for Holiday Garlands

The materials used to make garlands impact their look, feel and durability. Natural pine, cedar, fir tree trimmings or plastic needles offer the classic evergreen branch effect. For shiny metallic garlands, tinsel, aluminum wire or beads in silver and gold add sparkle. Velvet or satin ribbons provide an elegant, sophisticated drape.

When it comes to color palettes, traditional holiday hues tend to dominate garland options. Combinations of red, green, gold and silver recall vintage Christmas colors. For winter white décor, snowy white or platinum garlands set a icy, glam mood. Plaids and tartan ribbons also evoke a traditional Christmas vibe.

But don’t be afraid to think outside the box with garland colors! Winter teal, rose gold, burgundy, turquoise or other cool tones can provide unique, stylish options beyond basic red and green. Mixing metallic colors like silver and gold or opting for an ombré fade effect are eye-catching choices as well.

Just be sure whatever color garland you select complements your existing holiday décor and aesthetic. You want it to feel cohesive. Gold beaded garlands probably won’t mesh well with a silver tinsel tree. But they would make your red and green tartan pillows pop! Coordinate garland colors with Christmas tree theme for a pulled together look.

Measure Carefully to Determine the Right Garland Size

One of the most important steps in selecting a garland is measuring to find the appropriate size and length. Nothing is more frustrating than excitedly unwrapping your gorgeous new garland only to discover it’s far too short or long for the space you want to decorate!

Take measurements of where you plan to hang the garland – above a door, along a stair railing, over a mantel, etc. Standard garland lengths are often 9 feet, but you can find longer custom sizes as needed.

For mantels, a general rule of thumb is to use a garland that’s about 2 to 3 times the length of the mantel itself. This allows for ample draping at each end. Measure your mantel length and multiply by two or three to determine the size you need.

For staircases, carefully measure the length of the full railing along the stairs. To allow for draping ends, add an extra foot or two to each side depending on stair width.

For doorways, measure across the top of the door frame from one side to the other. Then double the length and add a few extra feet on each end to reach the floor. You want the garland to drape gracefully down both sides.

Keep in mind garlands almost always appear shorter when hanging up than when measured lying flat. Allow for a few extra feet to create that lush, full festive effect. Don’t skimp or your garland may end up sparse!

Pre-Lit or Unlit? Pros and Cons of Each

Another key decision in choosing a holiday garland is whether to go with a pre-lit versus unlit style. Pre-lit garlands have string lights already woven in place along the greenery, ribbons or beads. This makes installation easy and instant – just plug it in! The ambient lighting also helps set a magical holiday mood.

However, there are some downsides to pre-lit garlands. Since the lights are already preset, you have less flexibility in placement. It also makes replacing any burnt out bulbs tricky. If one light along the string goes out, it can be hard to find and fix among all the garland materials. The wiring along the back can also be visible and limit where you hang the garland.

For maximum control over decorating with lights, unlit garlands paired with string lights are ideal. You can purchase a strand of LED or mini Christmas lights separately and weave them exactly where you want within the garland. This takes more effort but provides ultimate customization. Unlit garlands also allow you to easily replace any burnt out bulbs.

Pre-lit garlands tend to work better for outdoor use, where connection to an outlet is simple. For indoor use along a mantel or railing, opt for an unlit garland so you can achieve that perfect placement of lights within the garland greenery or ribbons.

Techniques for Hanging and Decorating Garlands

Once you’ve selected the perfect garland, it’s time for the fun part – decorating with it! After measuring your space, determine the ideal garland length and decide on your desired draping style.

For hanging garlands above mantels and door frames, center the garland then secure in place using hammered nails or garland hooks. Place hooks evenly spaced every few feet. Make sure to gently hammer nails into mortar between bricks to avoid cracks.

For stair railings, use small tacks, Command hooks or zip ties to attach the garland ends then wrap it going down the railing. Start in the middle and work your way outward to avoid gaps.

Begin hanging the garland in the middle, then work outward to the ends. This helps keep things even and centered. You can go for a neat, tight hanging style or loose draping – either looks great! Play around with different draping techniques like swagging or crisscrossing for visual interest.

Incorporate extra holiday decorations into the garland to amp up the festive cheer. Weave in sprigs of holly, magnolia leaves or faux red berries. Wire in pine cones, tiny ornaments or clusters of ribbon. Accent with big beautiful bows or lush floral blooms using florist wire to attach.

For outdoor use, stick with garland materials that can withstand the weather. Evergreen garlands, pine cones, metals and sturdy ornamental balls work well. Make sure any ribbons, fabrics or beads won’t fade or disintegrate when exposed to the elements.

Rather than nails, use clips or ties to secure outdoor garlands to avoid damaging siding. Wrap garlands around porch columns, railings or frames. Outline entryways, doors and walkways to welcome in the season!

‘Tis the Season for Festive Garlands

Hanging a holiday garland is one of the quickest ways to infuse your home with cozy joy for the season. Take the time to carefully measure your space, select a size and style that fits your decor, and use creative draping techniques. In no time, your home will shimmer and shine with holiday spirit!

As you trim the tree, wrap gifts, bake cookies, and spend time with loved ones this season, may your days be merry and bright. Let gorgeous garlands enhance your space and fill it with the magical feeling of the holidays. Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy winter season and prosperous New Year!

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