A Christmas tree garland is a favorite "go to" holiday decoration all around the world because it's so versatile. Use them to encircle the Christmas tree, festoon the doorway, frame a window, entwine the banister, twist around the stair railings or tumble into a clear glass container for a unique dining table center piece.
Making your own Christmas tree garland is a great way to get your children involved with the holiday preparations.
Here are a few tips for making your own Christmas tree garland:
- Remember the paper chains that were so popular in grade school? They're still fun to make. Just remember:
Cranberries or popcorn – although temporary – can make a lovely traditional Christmas tree garland. When the holidays are over, you can place your Christmas tree garland outside as a little treat for the birds and squirrels. Just remember, if you use dental floss as a stringer, remove it once the cranberries or popcorn is gone to protect the neighborhood critters. It may be better to just use heavy duty cotton thread.
- Long strips – when turned into a chain link – will elongate. Cut the strips shorter for a rounder, tighter link.
- To tape, to glue or to staple? Staplers make short work of a paper chain – if the kids are old enough to use one correctly. Tape in a heavy office-type dispenser is safe and economic. Paste or glue requires patience. The spring type clothes pins can help to hold the link while it's drying.
- Paper chains do not store particularly well. Even in a big plastic tote, their own weight tends to flatten them out.
If you're opting on cranberries for your Christmas tree garland, use the fresh or plain frozen berries. Cranberries are easy to find in the produce department of most grocery stores from mid-November on.
If you want to make a popcorn garland, make sure the popcorn is unbuttered and unsalted. Now is the perfect time to bust out the old air popper that's been sitting on a shelf since you discovered microwave popcorn. After popping, let the popcorn sit out for a few days and get a little stale. Once it's stale you can pierce it with a needle without the popcorn breaking.
When it's time to trim your Christmas tree, here are some helpful tips:
Make or purchase ten feet of Christmas tree garland per one foot of tree. Purchase plenty of garland because you can always snip off the excess providing it's not strung beads.
Once the tree is secured in the stand, install the lights first, and then follow with your Christmas tree garland, ornaments and finally the tinsel.
At one time fashion dictated that the Christmas tree garland be wrapped around the tree in regimented horizontal lines. Now days the trend is to gracefully drape the Christmas tree garland so it looks like icing oozing down the side of a cake.
Depending on the material, a Christmas tree garland can be quite heavy. As the Christmas tree ages, the branches tend to droop a little and the garland may slip off the tips of the branches. It's easier to just plan ahead and tie the Christmas tree garland to the branches with ribbon or with a little piece of wire. I save all my bread ties for this purpose.
My all time favorite Christmas tree garland is made of little fabric yoyos. They last forever, they store well, you can make them just as fancy or plain as you want, and they are light weight. They are unbreakable and the heat from being stored in an attic will not bother them.