18 Christmas Garland Ideas

When it comes time to decorate your home for the holiday season, using Christmas garlands is one festive way to bring the season into your home.

Using classic evergreen garlands will add a traditional touch, but there are many other festive ways to make garlands for Christmas trees, staircases, mantels and more. Here are 18 creative garland making ideas to inspire you.

My Christmas decorations don’t have to be fancy or expensive, in fact I love when I see some innovative twists on basic holiday decorations, they inspire me to come up with something new for my Christmas tree each year.

Holiday garlands can be more fun to make as an adult than it was as a child making garlands out of construction paper. 

Making a homemade garland is pretty simple and can make for a fun Girls Night In.  All you have to do is gather a bunch of garland making supplies, a few bottles of wine, and girlfriends for a fun night of holiday cheer and creativity.  Some eggnog and Christmas cookies might help, too.

Christmas Garland Ideas You Can Make

Christmas tree with red plaid ribbon and red pom poms used as garland.

Rolls of Ribbon

The easiest Christmas tree garland to make is simply using festive ribbon. Wrap it around the tree pushing it into the tree every so often to create soft swags.

Kraft paper cut into garland Christmas tree shapes. Attached to the front edge of kitchen shelves.

Make a Christmas Tree Paper Garland Chain

This easy to make tree chain can be made with any paper and is a budget friendly way to decorate a home for Christmas.


Paper Holly Leaf Garland

Instead of a Christmas garland of greenery to drape a cabinet, make a garland out of French script paper and pages from an old book cut into the shape of holly leaves.  Both the leaf pattern and a the French script paper are free for you to download.

DIY Glitter-Snowball-Garland on Christmas tree

Styrofoam & Bead Snowball Garland

Thread Styrofoam balls, beads on a string or ribbon. Drape around a tree or swag it over a fireplace mantel or window frame.


Friends & Family Tree Garland

This garland uses recycled Christmas cards to make a Christmas tree garland or to drape over a mantel or doorway.

Sparkly Silver pipe cleaner garland and turquoise ornaments on Christmas tree.

Pipe Cleaner Garland

Glittered or sparkly chenille stems aka.. pipe cleaners from the craft store make a very pretty garland that you can use all one color or mix and match different colors to create a fun and colorful garland.

Christmas Staircase Decorating Idea using Garland Ties-

Christmas Staircase Garland in Minutes

No need to wrap long lengths of greenery garlands made of pine or cedar on a staircase when inexpensive garland ties make a quite a festive statement.

paper doily Christmas tree garland

Doily Snowflake Garland

Using a paper doily to make a snowflake creates an extra pretty snowflake, but stringing the snowflakes together will have you singing, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow… while you decorate your tree or mantel.

colorful ribbons vertically placed on a Christmas tree.

Ribbon as Garlands

Instead of weaving garlands horizontally around a Christmas tree, try adding colorful ribbons vertically using a handy little gadget.

Christmas tree garland made using mini wrapped presents

Mini Wrapped Gift Boxes

Look how cute this DIY garland made of little blocks of styrofoam and gift wrap is. Use a needle and string to create the garland. Use beads in between for a colorful present garland.

many options you can use to make Christmas tree garlands - beads and greeting cards

Necklaces & Game Cards

String vintage necklaces together to create a glamorous garland. You can find them in your grandmother’s jewelry box, thrift stores, flea markets, and on Ebay. No necklaces – how about a Christmas garland of playing or game cards

colorful scrap paper garland

Scrapbook Paper

A colorful take on the tried and true construction paper loop garland that we used to make as kids into a very stylish one using scrapbook paper or ribbon.

looking down on finished Christmas tree garlands made with gun drops, beads, and jingle bells

Odds & Ends

Use items from your craft stash and kitchen. Pretzels, pasta, jingle bells… the ideas any of these can be tweaked using your own color palette and style.

Mix and match the elements to see what you can come up with to trim your tree with this year. You can even weave a string of Christmas lights with the garland.

white button garland

Buttons & String

I am one of those people who cut the buttons off of every old or stained garment before I throw it away.
I have amassed quite a collection and think this button garland would look perfect in a room decorated in whites. Or use buttons in all colors for a multi-color garland.

peppermint starlight mint Christmas tree garland

Peppermint Candy

A sweet garland goes perfectly with the traditional red and green theme, plus it’s edible!  Use glue dots to connect them into a garland.

Christmas tree garland made using cupcake liners

Cupcake Liners

Make a garland out of cupcake liners.  It kind of has a Shabby Chic look. 

Cupcakes are so popular and you can buy liners in every color and pattern imaginable so you can color coordinate your tree.

Small Christmas ornaments on a silk string made to be a garland.

Ribbon & Shiny Ornaments

Combine a collection of your favorite tree ornaments into a garland using pretty ribbons. Tie each one on with ribbon to hang as a decorative garland over mantels and doorways – no tree needed.

Outdoor evergreen garlands with red ribbon bows over a front door of a brick house.

Outdoor Garland Tips

When using faux garlands bought at the craft store, in this post you will learn how to make them look fluffier and fuller.

Garland Hanging Tips and Tricks

  • To store garland tangle-free, carefully wind them around cardboard wrapping paper tubes or cut off a side of a cardboard box and wrap the garland evenly around it.
  • Garland has more impact when it is doubled up.
  • There are so many ways to hang garland on a tree, but I find I always go with the traditional way of draping it.
How to put garland on a Christmas Tree

I have had this picture of the traditional placement of garland in my idea file for a very long time. I still pull it out every Christmas as a handy guide.

  • A few years ago I used dried hydrangeas instead of ribbon bows at each peak of the draped garland.  You can use anything, the important thing is that whatever you use is spaced evenly around the tree.

Have you decorated your Christmas tree, staircase or mantel yet?  Do you add garland or have any clever garland decorating ideas?  I would love to hear all about it.  Do share.

More DIY Christmas Decorating Ideas You May Like:

18 + Christmas garlands to make showing 6 of the ideas.

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  1. I use the technique shown in the old picture you have in your ideas file. My tweek is that I use ornament hooks “at the peaks” to secure the garland. I leave the ornament hooks on when I pack things away. The next year it is easy to adjust the location of the hooks to adapt to that year’s tree. It even helps in the storage, I use the hooks to hook the garland swags spread out onto a piece of cardboard. No tangles! (well less than without that technique, haha)
    Thanks for the inspiration for new garland ideas! I am definitely trying the dried hydrangeas in place of bows next year!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gina – Such a great idea to use the ornament hooks to secure the garland. Both for keeping the garland in place and even better for ease of placement for next year! Love this and will be doing it from now on. Thanks :-)

  2. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    I have always loved the paper garlands. They make such an I impact for such a small price. And Dollar Tree always has beautiful wrapping paper for only. $1.00.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – I agree… paper garlands are the best. Fun and affordable to make. What would we do without the dollar store? :-)

  3. Every year my grandmother saved the beautiful Christmas cards she received to make bowls. She cut off the corners of two, turned back to back, so that she had a five sided scene for a bottom, punching several evenly spaced holes with a hole punch through both layers. Trim 10 others back to back in pairs to match each of the sides (slightly wider at the tops of each side). With a hole punch, make matching holes for the bottom and right and left sides of each of the 5 sides. She then crocheted the bowl together with a single crochet or other simple, short stitch. She used black thread, which makes the colors in the bowl really pop, but I suspect the color was really all she had most times. She gave them as gifts to family since she had very little money. They are unique, colorful and useful for pot pourri, or candy.

  4. Thank you for the great idea. I have been looking for an idea to repurpose my late mother’s necklaces. My son just bought his first home and I plan on making the garland with some of the beads, alternating them with the styrofoam wrapped presents. I think it will be nice for him to use every year at Christmas to decorate his tree and remember his grandma.

    1. Hi Cristin – Thanks so much :) I will come visit.

  5. Christine says:

    instead of garland, my mom used to put sprigs of baby’s breath in the tree. I loved this look!

  6. Madigan at madiganmade says:

    Such clever and cute ideas! I love the idea of using cards… and all the food ideas. Thanks!

  7. Stephanie@cre8tive says:

    These are great tips! What I love about Christmas decorating is that there are no rules, anything goes. Every year I use my decorations in different ways to change it up. My fantasy is to have a tree in every room of different styles, but I never seem to have the energy or time to do that, oh well.

    1. Hi Stephanie-

      I agree with you that anything goes and it is fun to mix it up a bit and change from year to year. I have a friend who decorates 6 trees in her home every year – each with a different theme. This is the first year that she is re-thinking the number as it does take a lot of time and effort not only to put them all up , but to take them all down and packed away, too. I am a one tree girl!

  8. Susan @ Some Kind of Wonderful says:

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing them ;o)

  9. The Polka Dot Closet says:

    I have my tree decorated, but know that I have read this I am going to use a few of my pearl necklaces to spice it up just a little! Thanks you


  10. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Lots of great ideas, Diane! I love those beaded necklaces. I’d even use those in a bowl with some ornaments.

  11. simpledaisy says:

    What super cute ideas:):)

  12. I am going to set my tree up tonight (providing I can get MrReluctant to help drag it up the steps)! I love all types of garland…beaded…feather boas..you name it. I had popcorn for years along with strands of cranberries on a kitchen tree. The popcorn I sprayed with matte sealer and it lasted at least 15 years. Thanks for all the lovely ideas. Would you believe I still have that book!? I keep ALL my old Christmas decorating books…it’s a sickness! Hugs-Diana

    1. Hi Diana

      Wow – you still have the book. I am impressed. Great idea to spray sealer on the popcorn. I will have to file that idea away.