As much as I would love to have real garland in my home every single year, the price just gets to me. I thought about making some of my own this year, but unfortunately, even though we live in the middle of the woods, there are no pine trees in our yard.
Things to Look for in Faux Garland
Real look. Real feel. Right away, if a garland looks real AND feels real, it’s a winner! Unfortunately, many of these can be pretty pricey! But, there are a couple of “hacks” to get the garland of your dreams without spending tons of money! One of those is to look for sales and NEVER EVER pay full price. A second hack (and my absolute favorite) is to not be glued to the Christmas section at craft stores! We’ll talk more about this later.
If you aren’t ready to drop extra money on a garland that looks and feels real, you can always look for the inexpensive ones that have more than one type of needle. Recently, I found one at Michael’s for $6 (on major sale) that had two types of pine needles AND berries to top it off. When there are a couple different types of needles or even some extras like berries and pine cones, usually the garland looks fuller and not so blah.
But even if all you have is a $3 garland from Walmart, it is still possible to make it look awesome! Adding layers to your garland, whether it looks real or not, is where the secret lies!
Adding Layers to Your Faux Garland
Adding layers to any type of decorating is the key to making anything look "high end." What is layering? We understand layering clothes, right? You can make a simple sweater look more fashionable by adding layers—a scarf and vest for instance. It’s the same with decorating. Adding layers is just adding that extra something to spruce it up. In this instance we want to spruce up our garland. So what kind of layers should we add?
Any type of winter or Christmas foliage will add so much to our garlands. Common Christmas foliage includes any type of pine, cedar or spruce, holly, magnolia, and eucalyptus. Don’t feel like you have to buy it all either! REAL winter foliage works just as well as faux for layering. Throughout the year, I like to dry pretty foliage from flower arrangements and save it to add into my garland come Christmas. (My favorite foliage to dry is eucalyptus! I love to get it in the clearance floral section at Kroger.) You literally could make your own garland for free if you wanted to!
Think outside of the box when it comes to foliage! One thing to keep in mind if you are buying the “layers,” (and this is huge!): don’t be stuck on getting the pine or berry picks or even the garland in the Christmas section of your craft stores. Most of the time, winter-looking foliage can be bought in bunches in the greenery section of your store throughout the year. In fact, all of my garland this year is from the foliage section NOT the Christmas section! One thing is key here though: you must be willing to cut up the bunches in the way it will serve you (or your garland) best. Wire cutters are an inexpensive and an incredible investment if you are working with any kind of foliage at all. If you are too scared to cut up foliage, you will miss out on the best (and easiest) part of making your garland beautiful!
If you want to add something other than greenery, try white or red berries, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, or dried orange peels. And later, you can even add in ribbon and ornaments!
Recommended Supplies to Spruce Up Your Faux Garland
Floral Wire as needed
Now all you need to do is go for a walk with a pair of pruning shears, sift through your storage bins, or go shopping and see what you can find. Then you’ll be ready to create a beautiful faux garland!
Links to What I Used in My Faux Garland
Do not, I repeat DO NOT, ever every pay full price for anything, especially at Hobby Lobby. A worker at Hobby Lobby told me one time that most everything goes 50% off every other week. And from what I can tell, she was right. So if it's not on sale this week, wait till next week and check back...you'll most likely be in luck!
1. Light Green New Saw Grass Hanging Bush (My base layer: $20 on sale)
2. Springerii Fern Hanging Bush (Looks like Pine: $7 on sale)
3. Eucalyptus Bush ($10 on sale)
Other Pretty (Real Looking) Garland Sources
Just go to Hobby Lobby and wander around in the aisle pictured below. You'll get a ton of inspiration! And to top it off, you'll be the only one in this aisle because everyone else is in the Christmas section because they don't know the secret yet: this is where you get the garland that looks real!