| | | | | |

Staircase garland – How to decorate your stairs for Christmas!

Staircase garland is such a great way to dress up your staircase this holiday season. Whether using faux garland or fresh garland, it’s the perfect way to add timeless Christmas decorations to your staircase railing.

Here, I’ll be sharing what type of garland I used, how I secured them on my staircase banister, my favorite accents, and of course how to make my favorite simple bows.

If you’re looking for Christmas decor ideas, stay tuned! I’ve got the perfect project to get you in the holiday spirit.

What does garland symbolize?

You may be asking yourself, “what does garland symbolize?” Well, garland is a symbol used in many cultures for beauty, love, purity, and peace. Since all of those attributes are things we associate with Christmas time, it makes the perfect addition to your holiday decorations.

mantel garland in living room.

Where should garland be placed in a house?

There are many places garland can be hung in your home during the Christmas season. You can hang them on your mantel or stair banister. There is actually a new trend in which you place the garland on your stair treads (off to the side) instead of the railing. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve seen others and it’s pretty!

You can also drape your garland around a door frame or even in the center of your table as your centerpiece. Of course garland isn’t just for Christmas. All of these same concepts apply all year round with different types of garland.

Garland I the center of a table with a Santa jar in the middle.

Outdoor Christmas decoration

Garland can make a wonderful outdoor Christmas decoration as well. Last year I draped garland around the doorframes of both my front door and side door. If you have a railing, you can wrap garland around that as well.

garland over door frame of front porch .

What’s the difference between a swag and garland?

The two terms are sometimes used interchangeable. There is a difference between the two. Garland is generally a similar width throughout. Swag is generally thicker in the middle and tapered at the ends. Although, we also call other things swag too. For instance, a handful of faux or real greenery tied together with ribbon is also called swag.

Christmas swag on front door.

How can I make cheap garland look expensive?

If you’re using artificial pine garland and feel like it looks too fake and want it to look more expensive, there are a few things you can do.

  • Spend time fluffing your garland. I promise it makes a big difference.
  • Add trimmings like pine cones, red berries and ribbon.
  • Insert branches with magnolia leaves or eucalyptus.
  • Add faux or fresh flowers
  • Insert leftover greenery from your Christmas tree trimmings.
  • Use real twigs throughout
  • Add fairy lights – color or clear lights (whichever you prefer)
Christmas garland over mantel with berries and dried oranges.

How to make your garland look more full?

If you are trying to make your garland look fuller, try twisting two sections of garland together. Or if your garland doesn’t have a wire base, use garland ties to secure them together.

You can also try layering different types of garland together. For instance, cedar, fir, eucalyptus, pine or evergreen garland. Also, try adding elements of nature like pinecones, acorns, and berries. All of these would make your garland appear more full.

How do you decorate a banister?

Adding garland to your banister can be the perfect holiday treatment for your Christmas staircase. Try dressing your garland up by adding ornaments, bows, elements from nature, and twinkle lights (warm white lights are my favorite).

The light type does matter. You want the same warm glow to match the rest of your house. You can always buy pre-lit Christmas garland, but then you have the added problem of having to plug them in.

Unless you can find battery operated pre-lit garland. I find it easier to buy battery operated twinkle lights. They’re easier to come by and it’s super simple to just wrap the light string around the garland. I will say though, that some of the best designs are simple, so don’r over think it.

Staircase garland with yellow flowers and white lights.

Can you use real garland on stair railings?

You can use real garland on your staircase, but It will be very messy. Real garland won’t live forever and will eventually dry up and start shedding pine needles. It’s better to use artificial garland as it doesn’t shed and it’s cost effective too.

How do you wrap garland around a banister?

There are multiple ways to hang garland on your banister. You can use command strips and wrap the garland itself (If the base of the garland is wire) around the hook to secure it to the banister. Although, be sure to buy the wall/paint safe kind so that it won’t damage your banister when you remove it.

You can use garland ties that wrap around the banister or spindles and the garland to secure in place. The most secure way to fasten your garland around your banister is to use zip ties. They will tightly hold your stairway garland in place, and for bonus points, it won’t leave any damage behind.

How to hang staircase garland

Here, I’ll share exactly how I hung my garland and how I decorated it for Christmas.

Step one: Gather your supplies

First things first, gather all the supplies you’ll need to tackle this project:

  • 2/4 strands of garland. However many feet of garland you’ll need will depend on the length of your staircase. Plus extra ft. for swag.
  • Zip ties or whatever you want to use to secure your garland.
  • Floral wire
  • Floral sheers
  • Any trimmings you want to add
  • Ribbon – I prefer wire ribbon

Step two: Hang your garland

When hanging your garland, first determine where you want your garland to sit. Do you want it on the outside, inside, or at the top of the banister? To help you determine where to put it – think about which angle you want it to be seen.

For instance, I put mine on the outside of the handrail because I like to see it from the entryway door.

Next, you’ll need to either use your command hooks or zip ties to hang the garland to the banister. Place your zip ties at the top and bottom of the stairs first. Then, place one to two more zip ties, spaced out on the railing. This depends on how many swags you want.

Step three: Add your trimmings

To attach your trimming to your garland, cut 6 inch pieces of floral wire and wrap them around whatever you’ve chosen to add and place them wherever you like.

I went with pinecones and red berries. But again, use anything you want here. I’ve seen people use antique holiday sheet music, tiny Christmas wreaths and even a decorative lantern. Really whatever floats your boat.

Step four: Make your bows

To make your bows we’ll need to cut the ribbon into two strands. The length will depend on how long you want them to hang down. I like mine pretty long, so I opted for about 18 inches.

Tie one ribbon strand in the middle of the other strand, and then tie a bow. It will look not so pretty – but it’s ok. I have a tip.

Next, take one of the small tails that was leftover from the bow and wrap it down and in between the long strands of ribbon and then up through the middle of the bow. This will leave the front part looking very pretty and finished!

Then, tie the two small tails on the back of the bow to secure everything in place. Be sure to fluff everything out when you’re done.

Step five: Attach your bows and trim the ends of the ribbon

The next and final step is to attach your bows to your banister. So you’ll need to grab your floral wire. Cut and string 6 inch pieces of floral wire through the back of your bow and then wrap and twist it around your stair rail or garland.

I’ve attached all three of mine to the posts on my staircase. You can also put one at the start, middle, and end of your garland.

The final step is to trim the two long tails of your ribbon. Take one tail and slide your hand all the way to the bottom of one of the tails.

Then fold the Botton tail in half. be sure to fold it back and not forward. Next, place the scissors at the bottom right corner and cut up at an angle (to the left), trimming off a triangle. This will leave the prettiest finish on your bows.

Here are some other views of my staircase decorated for Christmas.

Want to shop the supplies I used to do this project?! Click on an images below! *These are affiliate link and if used I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog of mine!

Be sure to pin!!

Christmas stair decor ideas

If you’re looking for more inspiration for your stairs or other areas in your home, look no further! I have a lot of Christmas decor posts on the blog, including outdoor decor. I know it’s different from my main content, which is DIY/home renovations. But hey, who doesn’t want to get their home ready for Christmas morning!

fFresh wreaths over windows in living room.

Want to read more about getting your home ready for Christmas on a budget? Check out my post below!

DIY Fresh Christmas wreaths

Last year, I made fresh Christmas wreaths for all of the windows in my home. They gave the perfect festive feel from inside and outside. I attached them to the center of each window frame. I also made one for my front door too! It’s a fairly simple project thats perfect for the Christmas holidays.

To start, you need to choose which type of fresh greenery you’ll use. I prefer white pine. I love the way it hangs from the hoops. Plus, when the needles eventually dry out they don’t fall and shed as smaller needles will do. So, it’s not at all…

Thanks for reading long!

Merry Christmas and chat soon,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *