That garland of your dreams is not too far out of reach now! Whether you are using my hack from the previous post, or using a $3 garland from Walmart, we can make it look good by LAYERING! Today, I am going to specifically talk about dressing up a garland on a mantle, but the same idea can be used to put greenery on whatever your heart desires!
Gather All of Your Supplies
Put everything you'll need in one place. This step will save you from running around like a chicken with your head cut off when all you want to do is get your garland finished! Collect all of your layers, wire cutters, floral wire, and floral tape. Put it all in one spot, and have it ready to go!
Lay Down Your Base Garland
For your base, you’ll want a garland that is somewhat full so you will be able to stick the other “layers” or stems into it without them falling right out. Lay your base garland on your mantle and play with it a bit until you get it laying the way you like it. As much as possible, you want your garland to be all going in the same direction—it looks more natural that way. Depending on the type of garland you have, you may have to fluff and bend the stems a bit. Thankfully, this garland is extremely easy to work with and bonus points for being gorgeous! (Side note, don't pay full price for that! Wait till it goes 50% off...find out more about that here.) I wanted some strands of garland to be hanging off the mantle, so I hammered some clear push pins on the edge of the mantle to keep the whole garland from falling off and keep the hanging pieces in place.
Add in Base Layer Number Two
I’m calling this base layer number two because I wanted these stems to look like they were part of the base layer. This layer is basically the one that you have the most stems for—not really an accent layer, but not really the base layer either. In my case, I was adding in some hanging pine stems. Sometimes people will even add in a completely different garland. This is basically what I did here, but I didn’t have a garland. I cut up a hanging greenery bush. Honestly, this might even better because you can create the exact look you want. (Woohoo!!!) Add in your stems to look as natural as possible throughout the whole garland. Once you have it looking good, you are ready for the fun part!
Add in Your Accent Layers
Yay…the fun part! This is where your faux garland starts really coming together and looking gorgeous! You want to take your accent stems, one kind at a time (all the eucalyptus, then all the pinecones, then all the berries, etc.), and just start sticking them in. Don’t be too systematic. You want it to look completely natural. If you try too hard to make it look perfect, it will look fake. Stick a couple in. Stand back and take a look. Repeat until you have all the stems of the first kind in. Then take a step back and assess. Sometimes something may need adjusted, but don’t overthink it. You could be there a long, long, long time making tweaks…it won’t ever end if you just don’t make yourself stop!
After you’re done with your first accent layer (say eucalyptus), it’s time to move on to the next accent layer. I love using real and faux stems for accent layers. Mix a in a little of both if you can. Continue this process until all of your accent layers are added in. There is no rule to the number of layers you should have. In this case, “to each his own.” Some like lots and lots of layers, some like just a few. In my mantle garland, I have four—the base, the second base layer, and two different types of eucalyptus for my accent layers. On my mirror and chandelier, I have three. On my stair banister, I just have that base layer (because honestly it’s just gorgeous as is!).
And One More Layer That is Basically Required
You didn’t think you were going to get away from this post without talking about fairy lights, did you? Basically, fairy lights are the answer to any decorating problem. Ha! But really, they are beautiful. And they can really take a beautiful garland and add that one last layer of gorgeousness. It’s really the cherry on top…the icing on the cake…the best thing since sliced bread. You get it…fairy lights are AWESOME. Here are my favorite fairy lights…battery operated and come with a remote.
And that is it…so so easy! I want to encourage you not to be scared of a project like this. Sometimes, it’s easy to just write off a project because, “I know I can’t do that.” But if you never try, you won’t ever actually know what you are capable of. And I just know you are capable enough to make your mantle beautiful…your HOME beautiful.