DIY Christmas Garland for the Mantle

A few weeks ago my mom and I went to Hobby Lobby. We were looking at the Christmas decor and oohing and awing over the giant beautiful garlands. These were not rinky dink garlands, these were massive, 6 foot long, covered in decorations, and 200 dollars. Um. Excuse me? $200!!!!! Even with a half off special, there was no way I was going to be able to get one. I told Mom, I could probably make one, but who has the time?

Well, thanks to a surprise ice storm granting me a day off I did.

Materials Needed:

  • Lighted garland (I recommend a battery operated one and will explain why)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Decorative balls
  • Additional decorative accents (I used butterflies, pine cones, and snowflakes)
  • A large clear work area (I recommend the floor!)
Our tree has been silver, gold, bronze, and white for the past 5 years. What can I say....However, this year and last I started moving away from butterflies and towards deer. I also purchased two sets of larger white snowflakes in place of the previous years' smaller gold and silver ones. So, with the accumulation of snowflakes, glitter balls, and deer I found that I had snowflakes and glitter balls to spare, plus all the butterflies left over. I also already had a 6 foot lighted garland. In the past I put it up on my mantle as is, but I found myself with the perfect opportunity to try and jazz it up. I also already had red and green smaller balls on hand (sadly my beautiful hurricanes that held them last year did not survive 2013). So really all I bought for this was one more set of a lighter gold/silver mix and the pine cones. Total cost--$10 thanks to re-purposing things I already had. I'm not a math teacher, but I do understand the huge savings in the situation!!

So now, on to the process.

  • Step 1: lay out the garland.
    • You will probably need to fluff and rearrange the branches of your garland, especially if you do buy a cheaper one, speaking from personal experience.
  • Step 2: lay out the materials.

    • I essentially did a test run where I placed everything before committing to glue.
    • The butterflies all had clips, so I started by spacing them out then I sorted all the balls I had to make sure I didn't end up with all the greens in one section.
  • Step 3: once you are happy with your layout, start gluing. 
    • I started at the end and worked section by section. 
    • I glued the pine cone for that section first, then worked from butterfly to butterfly. Once I had all the glitter balls in place I added a snowflake.
    • I adjusted and made small changes, but I can say for certain that laying everything out first helped!
  • Step 4: Place on your mantle and enjoy!
This was honestly one of the easier DIY projects I have done. It is time consuming, but the process itself is quite simple. The only issue I have is with the cord. The garland is basically the same length as my mantle, so the cord just sort of hangs there. I really wish I had bought a new battery operated garland, as this would solve the issue. However, I am working on a solution!


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