How to Style Garland for the Christmas Holidays 


When flipping through holiday magazines or scrolling on social media, it can seem like a daunting task to decorate with garland. Despite how difficult it may seem, the trick to editorial quality garland is layers! Follow Fig & Dove’s tips on how to easily achieve that Pinterest-worthy garland look you’ve coveted for so long! 

Tip One: Measuring  for Garland

For a staircase: First, measure the length of the banister and double it. Then, measure the distance from the floor to the top of the banister and double it. Add the two measurements together for your total length. This method will ensure your garland is long enough to create beautiful swags.

For example, if your banister was 100  inches long and 40 inches from floor to top,  your garland should be 280 inches long. 

For a mantel: First, measure from the floor to the top of the mantle and double it. Next, measure the length of the mantle and add about 50% of that length. Add the two measurements together for your total length. This method will ensure your garland has beautiful swags but is not hanging precariously close to the fire. 

For example, if your mantle was 54 inches from floor to top and  56 inches long, your garland should be 192 inches long.

Tip Two: Layering greenery 

The first step to enhancing the base layer of your garland is layering in other elements of greenery. We recommend going to your local nursery to purchase greenery for this step. 

Why use more than one type of greenery in garland? It gives it depth and texture. 

When selecting your base greenery, remember that this is just a base layer. When you look at a picture in a magazine and the garland looks so beautiful and full, they have added layers, which you can easily do yourself with floral wire and greenery! 

For your layered greenery, we recommend adding greenery that looks indigenous to the area you are living in. This can be clippings from your yard, purchased at a nursery or artificial depending on the look you want to achieve. 

Generally, layering your greenery is easiest to do before hanging. Lay your garland on the ground or a large flat surface and evenly layer in your extra greenery, securing it to the garland with floral wire.

Once you hang the garland, you will likely have to adjust things a bit or maybe add another layer. It's much easier to do than you think and will give your garland that thick, sophisticated look you see in pictures. 

Tip Three: Adding personality with bows 

The two best types of ribbon to use when creating bows are satin or velvet. Both are very beautiful but create different styles of bows, so you should choose your ribbon type based on the look you want to create. 


Silk satin creates light and pliable bows. Using two pieces of ribbon will create a double ribbon bow with four beautiful legs and a long, graceful drop. When making a double ribbon, using two colors to can provide contrast and add a pop of color that is threaded throughout your home. 

Wired velvet ribbon creates bows with structure and volume which is very different from the look of satin ribbon. Velvet doesn’t tie well, so it is best to pre-make these bows and secure them with floral wire for a structured look.

To hear more of Colleen’s tips and tricks for styling holiday garland, watch our YouTube video

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