Lights and baubles alone may not be enough to make your Christmas tree stand out. Add lavish loops of garland to your Christmas tree to give it a rich, elegant look. Choose from hundreds of different types of garland, including homemade paper chains, thick tinsel ropes or delicate blown-glass beads. Whatever kind of garland you choose, wrap it around the tree with care. The symmetrical background you create gives your tree added depth, dimension and visual appeal.
Things You'll Need
Thin florist's wire, wire snips
Stool or stepladder
Pull the tree far enough away from any walls or furniture that you can walk around it unobstructed. Cut a 2-inch piece of florist wire, and set it within easy reach. Loop the garland loosely, and let it hang from your nondominant hand.
Place one end of the garland on the topmost branch at the back of the tree. Fasten the garland about 1 inch from the tip of the branch with the florist's wire; twist the wire firmly around the garland and the branch for one or two turns.
Unravel a bit of the garland from the loop, and swag it gently over the main tip of the next branch. Continue this way around the tree, unraveling garland as you go, until you have come back around to your starting point in the back. Adjust the garland so that all the swags are approximately the same width and depth.
Loop the garland down to the next level of branches, and swag it around the tree as above. Swag the garland so the high points of the new level fall under the lowest parts of the swags of the previous level. Continue spiraling the garland in this way, staggering the swags and dropping to lower levels at the back of the tree, until you have reached the back of the bottom level.
Adjust the garland so all the swags on any level are about the same size and hang freely. Fasten the garland to the tree where it loops over the branches, using twists of florist's wire about an inch from the branch tips.
For an average tree, plan for about 10 feet of garland per foot of height. Add more garland if the tree is exceptionally full or if you like deep swags. It is simpler to drape garland on a tree if you have a partner. Stand on opposite sides of the tree, and loop a row of garland on your side, then pass the unused garland to your partner to loop on his side. If you reach the end of one length of garland and need to add another, simply overlap the ends and twist them together or fasten them with a short length of florist's wire. You may choose to have the swags get gradually deeper and wider as you move down the tree or make them all the same size. For a different look, hang overlapping layers of different colors and types of garland. You can also loop several layers of garland together, separating them slightly where they sag between the branches.
If you want strings of lights on the tree, put them on before you hang the garland. Don't put ornaments on the tree until the garland is in place. Twist the florist wire firmly, but not tightly. Leave the ends long so you can remove the garland without damaging it when you are taking the tree down. Tuck the wire ends back to avoid scratches. Use the ladder or step stool if the top of the tree is out of your reach. Move the ladder with you as you move around the tree -- do not attempt to lean off the ladder to reach around the tree.