How to Decorate a Banister for Christmas

Banisters are sometimes forgotten in the overall plan when decorating your home for Christmas. A decorated banister sets a festive atmosphere that can radiate throughout your home. Start by selecting a theme. Decide on a color scheme; tap into your creativity to assemble and attach the decorations. A well-decorated banister provides a warm welcome to all who enter your home at Christmas.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pre-lit garland
  • Plastic ties
  • 3-inch-wide ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape
  • Large bows
  • Stapler
  • Clear fishing line
  • Plastic icicles
  • Candy canes
  • Wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pine cones
  • Pliers
  • Small artificial white poinsettias
  • Small Christmas embellishments


    • 1

      Measure and add together the length of the handrail and the height of the front newel. The newel is the vertical post at the bottom of the staircase. If your staircase has more than one handrail and front newel and you plan to decorate them, be sure to include these measurements. Purchase enough pre-lit garland to drape along the handrail in a swag fashion and run up the front of the newel.

    • 2

      Wrap one end of the garland around the base of the newel and use a plastic tie to attach the end to the garland strand. Run the garland up the newel and loop it around the top of the newel. Attach the loop together with a plastic tie.

    • 3

      Count the number of balusters, or spindles, from the bottom newel to the top of the staircase. Determine the number of swags you want along the handrail. Divide the number of spindles by the number of swags to determine where along the handrail the garland will be attached. For example, a short staircase with 16 spindles and two swags will have the garland attached to the handrail above the eighth spindle. Space the swags evenly along longer staircases using the same method.

    • 4

      Cut two pieces of 3-inch-wide ribbon with scissors to equal the height of the newel. Attach the end of each piece to the newel with tape. Use a plastic tie and attach a large matching bow to the loop of garland around the top of the newel so that it covers the top of the ribbon. As you receive Christmas cards, staple them to the ribbon for display. Attach several matching large bows along the handrail where the garland is already attached.

    • 5

      Tie clear fishing line to plastic icicles and small candy canes. Using tape, alternate and attach them to the underneath side of handrail between the spindles. The length of the line can vary, or you may choose to use the same length for a more uniform look.

    • 6

      Cut 6-inch pieces of wire with wire cutters. Use pliers and wrap one end of the wire around the bottom or around the interior of several small pine cones. To finish, attach the pine cones and several small embellishments, such as small artificial white poinsettias, small red apples, gold berries and a variety of small tree ornaments, randomly along the garland.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plug the pre-lit garland in before attaching it to the staircase. Check to see that all the lights work.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

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