Monday, January 9, 2012

How To: Make a Live Christmas Garland


As you may have seen in this post, we hosted our family for Christmas this year.   Judd and I really enjoyed decorating our home to celebrate the birth of our savior with the ones we love.  I made several live fir (yes, Charles, “fir” not “fur.”  LOL) garlands, wreaths, and swags in the process.  This post explains how to make a live garland. 

(Note: I was snapping pictures on the iPhone while working.  I apologize in advance for the photo quality).

Here are the things that you will need.

  • Wire Cutters
  • Floral Wire
  • Fresh greenery
  • Pruning Shears
  • Measuring Tape


I highly recommend making your garland outside or on your porch because the fir tends to shed.

First, measure the length of the area you wish to cover.  I didn’t have a measuring tape handy; so, I measured using an extension cord I already had out for Christmas lights.  Use your pruning shears to cut the tree branches in lots of straight pieces.  Make a pile of straight pieces as you cut.  Keep the wooden stem ends all going the same direction.  This makes it easier for you as you are piecing the garland together.


Next, bundle together approximately three stems of the straight pieces that you cut.  Wire the stems together. Cut the excess wire with your wire cutters.


Take two bundled pieces and join them with wire where the first bundle’s brown stems are underneath the second bundle’s green branches.


Continue this layering process until you reach half of your desired length.  Make a second long strand that is also half of the length you want to cover.  You will then join the two strands together with the exposed brown stem ends facing each other.  Wire in a way that only a minimal amount of the stems are visible.  The two strands will be joined together in the middle so that both outside edges have nice finished end points.


Next, gather a separate bundle that has greenery going in both directions. Wire it together in the middle were there is no stem showing.11


Place this smaller bundle over any exposed stems that are showing on the center of the garland where the large half strands were joined.  Wire it in place.


Your garland should now be one long piece with two nice green branch ends.  Wire leftover greenery on top of any other exposed stems.  Add a few extra pieces of wire where needed for support to keep your garland together as you move it to its desired location.


We placed our garland over our mantel.  It took two of us to carry it in the house. 



Once the garland was in place, we added white lights and tucked in white and red nandina berries, holly, and silver ball ornaments.


What do you think?  You could decorate your garland to be in keeping with your own home or Christmas decor.  Greenery looks nice with pretty much anything or any color scheme.

I have no training or real expertise in flower arranging or garland making.  That should show you that anybody is capable of making a garland on his or her own.  You can do it!


  1. It turned out beautifully! I can attest to that since I saw it in person! By the way your house looked, we'd think you had real expertise in flower arranging. You have your mom's talent!