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Garland Tips for Christmas Trees


Ribbon Garland
Glenna J. Morton
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Garlands add a unifying element to Christmas tree decor.

Find out ways to use garland on your tree, how much to use, and when to place it on the tree. Then go on to Page 2 and find out how to make your own garland inexpensively.

How Much? - How much garland you need depends on the size of your tree, how deeply the garland is swagged, and how many times around the tree it is placed. For an approximate guide, figure on at least 9 feet of garland per foot of tree (so a 7 foot tree will need about 63 feet of garland). Buy more to be safe, and use any extra on the mantle or wreaths.

Placement Tips - Gently swagged garland looks more graceful than straight or diagonal lines across the tree. Deeply swagged garland is beautiful but can only be used on large trees with open space between branches.

When to Put it On - Garland should be placed on the tree after the lights are installed. Once the garland is in place the ornaments and other decorations can be added.

Double or Triple It - For added interest use 2 or 3 types of garland swagged together. Use design principles of size variation and repetition when choosing garlands to use together. For instance, use a wide navy velvet ribbon with a small silver beaded garland and a medium sized blue and silver icicle garland. Attaching It - Garland will generally stay where you put it. However, when tree branches are delicate and drooping, garlands may tend to slip off. Some flexible garlands can be wound around a branch to hold them in place. In the alternative a garland can be secured with a small piece of wire, a ribbon, or a small green twist tie.

Vertical Garland - Garlands can be attached to the top of your tree (behind the tree topper), then looped down vertically. Be sure to add some twists and turns, wiring to branches if necessary, in order to add interest and graceful curves. This technique is especially suited to ribbon.

Ribbon - Ribbon is a great material to use for garlands and comes in wide and narrow widths, patterned and plain styles. Wired edges will help you arrange it on the tree. If the ribbon has no wire, then twist and turn it occasionally, fastening into place with small wires.

Cut It Up- Beaded garlands can sometimes be cut up into lengths and used as tinsel to drape over branches. Be sure that cutting the garland won't cause all of the beads to fall off of the string. Strings knotted between each bead or styles where beads are glued in place will work for this technique. Cut garland pieces about 16 inches long, fold in half and set on a branch. Vary the lengths to get a more interesting look. This works best with garland that is very flexible and will fold easily over branches.

More Tips: Page 2: Innovative Ideas for Tree Garlands

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