Start by looking for the fullest, long-needle garland you can find at a reasonable price. I purchased mine at AC Moore for $19.99 for a 9' piece. I bought 5 pieces for my outside decorations, 2 for my mantle, and 1 to cut up and use in wreaths and for other decorations.
Start by opening up the garland and lying it on a flat surface. I was fortunate that my friend allowed me to work in her interior decorating shop.
Take a cheaper garland, I used some I already had from previous years, and lie it in the center and on top of the long-needle garland, opening it up and fluffing needles as you go. At this point, I also went ahead and put on white lights. I used a strand of 100 lights for each 9' piece of garland. Make sure you test them ahead of time!
I used cable ties to secure the two garlands together. I secured the garlands underneath the lights, just in case I had to remove the lights--you know how they can be working one minute and out the next.
These zip ties worked like a charm. You just put them through, pull them tight, and cut off the excess. No tying or twisting necessary!
Here is a closeup of the garlands being secured. The zip ties went under the lights just in case I had light issues. At this point, you are ready to decorate your garland with your desired decorations. I don't have pictures of the steps, but I just placed the decorations on first where I thought they looked good, and hot-glued them on. I used iced holly, iced berries, pine cones, and red birds in nests. I also used some of the extra garland to make a centerpiece, and tied on a red bow. Here's how it looked when it was all done!
No skimpy garland! I also matched the wreath to the decorations on the garland to give it a custom look. The ribbon on the light fixtures matches the ribbon on the wreath.
On the centerpiece, I added three ornaments that matched the ones on the wreath, a red bow, and pieces of holly.
The centerpiece is totally separate, I just hooked it on after putting up the garland.
I also used garland on the rails.
I added berries, holly, and birds to my live trees in the pots, along with white lights.
The wreath is loaded with iced berries, holly, birds, iced branches, pine cones, and red ribbon. Red shows up well on my wooden door.
I found this little metal deer at an estate sale and brought him home. I used fresh greenery from my backyard and a faux candle, which came on automatically in the evening thanks to the timer!
The little birds in nests were added after I put the garland up, so I could space them properly.
I also used three spotlights.
In one of those home catalogs, their garland costs $70.00 for a 9' piece. I think mine looks just as good, and it was much cheaper!
Hope this helps next year, ha!!
Stay warm, thanks for visiting!