For years, I would flip through holiday catalogues and see insanely gorgeous fireplace displays. My jealousy would boil over considering my outdated fireplace from the 80’s was hopeless – not to mention last year when we didn’t have a fireplace thanks to construction. So, this year I wanted something special.
I love the asymmetrical garlands I’ve been seeing in catalogues, but I didn’t want to pay the high price tag for them. Luckily, thanks to the wreath making workshop I go to every year, I knew how to do it on the cheap.
First, I picked up a $4 fake garland strand at a local craft shop. This will serve as my “base” layer and allow for shaping. I made sure it was the right length to start at the left side of my fireplace and then spill down the right side.
Then, I picked up several bunches of live greenery from a local nursery. The best to get a mixture of sturdy branches and wild floppy ones (cedar is my FAVORITE). These cost me about 7 dollars a bunch. I used about 4-5 bunches for this project.
For the beautiful finishing touches, I bought some fresh seeded eucalyptus and baby’s breath from a high end grocery store. The seeded eucalyptus is gorgeous for any wreath or holiday decor because of the way it drapes and adds a touch of earthy color. The baby’s breath dries really well and gives the feel of bursts of snow.
Then it’s time to construct! (Directions and supplies below)
You will need: garden sheers, a simple wire cutter and green wreath wire that you can get at any craft store.
- Stretch out the faux garland base layer. Starting at one end, take one of your sturdy branches and wrap the wire around the faux garland and the base stem of the real branch. There’s no need to cut the wire after attaching every branch and don’t worry about hiding the wire. Keep wrapping the wire continuously as you add more of your sturdy branches.
- Once you have the sturdy branches attached in a single layer, add your Cedar branches the same way. The best advice I got: the wilder, the better. Wrap the base of the stem around both the faux garland and sturdy branch layer. The more wire wrapped around, the better everything will stay in place! If you use Cedar, check both sides of the branch. Sometimes there’s a variation of color. Using both the front and back will give your garland more depth. When you finish this layer “tie” the wire in any way that doesn’t leave it hanging loose.
- At this point, you probably have a lot of wire wrapped around your garland. It should be easy to stick the eucalyptus stem into a space (almost like you’re adding flowers to a flower arrangement). For my project, I hung the garland over the fireplace at this point using temporary hooks. I wanted to see how the shape was coming along and where the eucalyptus would have the most impact for texture and color.
- At this point, it’s all bonus decor! Like I said, I used a simple baby’s breath. But you can use faux berries, glittered branches, dried flowers or anything with a stem to finish off the look. You probably won’t need to wrap it with any wire. By sticking the stems in between branches, you should be able to achieve your desired look.
Not to brag, but I can’t stop staring at the fresh garland over the fireplace! My only warning here: it dried out faster hanging over the fireplace. We have a gas fireplace, so there isn’t a fire hazard. If you have wood burning fireplace, make sure the garland is far enough away from the opening.
This method can be used for any garland in any space in your home and for wreaths! Not to mention, is significantly cheaper than buying one online.