3 Steps to Renovate Old Garland

Are you like me?  Do you have ancient garland you use year after year in your Christmas decorations?

After buying the house HH and I thought would be our “forever” home, I purchased garland that was a better quality so it would last a long time.  Well, I’m here to tell you – it worked.  It pays to buy good quality basics and add to your greenery, garland, and wreath collection as you can afford it.

Garland Renovation in 3 Simple Steps

Every few years, I create a new look by changing embellishments to my basic greenery.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, as you will see here.  After-Christmas clearance is a perfect time to buy your basics at a bargain – and a few “new” embellishments that will still be in style the following Christmas.

Six Christmases ago, I purchased red netting on a roll to mix with my garland for a grand garland/netting/ornament decoration for our staircase.  After Christmas, the garland, netting, and ornaments were carefully placed inside a large box for storage.  The next year, it didn’t look so good.  Over time the netting looked horrible, but I wasn’t motivated to undo it all – too much trouble.

Last year, I didn’t get it out of the box because the netting was so disfigured.  The matching front door wreath’s warped netting was simpler to disguise, as you may have seen in Christmas Wreath “Freshener” – an easy temporary fix, and it bought me an additional year.

This year, the netting found its proper place – in the trash.

Discarding Netting

The old ornaments probably should be thrown away, too, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it – yet.  How long before they’re considered vintage?

My garland stilled looked nice and full, so it didn’t require much fluffing (another benefit of better quality greenery).

Here’s my tip to have nice, full garland:

Wrap two strands around one another in a soft twist.  If you have an area that separates, grab a stem from each strand and wrap them together.  I realize this doubles your cost, so you can skip this step the first year or two and double-wrap as you add to your collection.

Don’t worry about matching exactly every time you buy garland.  If you purchase strands that have a different look than what you already have, it will look wonderful mixed together!

Add New Bows

After hanging my now-bare greenery, I made four bows to place at the ends and up-swing points of the garland.  I used two rolls of burlap, a cream and a tan, from Wal-Mart ($5 each).  I also had a large roll ($5 Hob Lob clearance) of netting ribbon (not that wide stuff – never again!) that I bought last year and hadn’t  used.

To make these big bows, visit my post Make a Decorative Bow to see how to start with a single bow.  I made the large bows by stacking three singles together.  Here are the first two colors stacked together.  Notice I only have the small front loop in my ribbon that will be on the front of the bow.

2-color Ribbon Stack

After you add the final ribbon, tie it off with wire.

To mix things up a little, I made the two end bows identical (tan color in front) and the two up-swing bows with the cream color in front.  I don’t like match-y, y’all.

Ribbon Stack Complete

Wire your wreath into the garland and form your loops in the direction you like.

Bows Complete

I’m in a simplify mode this year.  I learned a lesson from the netting experience!  Think of the removal required for any Christmas decorations you design – and act accordingly. 😉

My adornments this year, besides lights, are two Merry Christmas banners I bought several years ago.  I pinned them to a few garland stems.  So simple!

Adding Lights

This revived garland was way easier than my previous version!  When I pack the garland this year, I’ll quickly remove the bows and banners but leave the lights strung with the garland.  Very easy!

Less is more – my new motto!

Are you doing it up big this year?  Or, are you simplifying?  I’d love to know how you’re feeling on the subject.

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Thanks, y’all.

Comments

  1. Rhonda Allred says

    Apparently simplifying as I haven’t hung, strung, tweaked or even gotten a tree up yet. Thanksgiving being late, the Egg Bowl (due to getting home in the a.m. hours on Friday after Thanksgiving, house guests Mon thru Wed morning, work and Christmas parties have added up to no time to decorate and now a sinus infection……! What’s a Southern Christmas loving girl to do????? AND weeks ago I volunteered our house for the church choir party on the 18th. YIKES!!! I keep telling myself they won’t know that I don’t have all my decorations out or up—-they’ll just enjoy what I do have up. BUT, I will know what all I wanted to do but probably won’t get done and feel guilty. Oh, the pressure we put on ourselves!!!!

    • Kim Hood says

      Well, this hasn’t been your year for decorating, that’s for sure! It seems too hard to catch up once we get behind. Give yourself a break and just do a little this year. It really will be OK! The choir will have fun being together, and they won’t know the difference. Christmas shouldn’t be about stress, so take a bubble bath, relax, read a book, and let some of those decorations stay in the box this year. (Now, I need to take my own advice…) 🙂

  2. says

    Making greenery look great year after year is surely a challenge. I know that is one of the things I dread every year. I seem to come through, but not without losing sleep first! 🙂

    You did a fabulous job with the bows!!!!!!! I love that you used multiple colors!!!

  3. Heather says

    I am taking your advice on paying a little more for quality garland. I am throwing out my less expensive garland at the end of Christmas, and I’m going to check end of Christmas sales for more quality garland. My garland looks pretty shabby. I masked it this year by adding to it with other greenery. Yours looks very pretty! I adore your burlap bows!
    Happy Holidays!
    Heather

    • Kim Hood says

      Thank you, Heather! I think you’ll be happy with your decision in the long run. After Christmas clearance should get you some pretty good deals, too. Good luck!