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The tree takes center stage when decorating your home for Christmas. But don’t stop there! Looking for ways to add more holiday cheer around your home? Hanging garland on a staircase is the perfect way to do just that.
What supplies are needed to hang garland on a staircase?
Besides the obvious (garland!) you only need a few inexpensive supplies to attach garland to the banister.
- Zip ties – My go-to way to secure the garland to the banister. They are heavy-duty enough to hold everything up and don’t cause damage to the surface of the railing.
- Green twist ties – I like to use extra strands of garland or stems to fill in any bare spots and use these to keep them in place.
- Scissors – Have a pair handy to cut the excess part of the zip tie once you have the garland in place.
- Gloves – Protect your hands from cuts and prevent your manicure from turning green.Even though this garland has a rubbery feel, you’ll be working around sharp edges of the cut zip ties and wires.
HELPFUL TIP: Keep your supplies nearby as you work. Otherwise, those zip ties may end up just out of reach as you finally get the garland where you want it!
What type garland should I use?
First things first – choose the type of garland you’ll be using. With all the options out there, it can be tricky to know what will look best. I’ve used quite a few different ones over the years and my favorite – by far – is the real-touch Norfolk Pine garland.
Unlike a cheap plastic version, the needles have a rubbery feel and the branches are bendable which makes it easy to work with. Subtle color variations give it a realistic look and the collection also includes a wreath and small tree.
Cedar is another species of garland that is great to hang on a staircase. It is also available in a real-touch texture that is easy to manipulate and style.
For tips on hanging garland on a mantel, check out my step-by-step guide Christmas mantel guide!
Should garland sit on top of the banister or on the side?
If you are hanging garland on a staircase that is frequently used, you’ll want to drape and attach it along the side of the railing. This way the garland won’t be a safety hazard for those going up and down the stairs.
Placement is also important to how the garland will look on the staircase. It should be draped on the side of the banister that faces open space so it will be visible from different angles.
Simple steps to hang garland on a staircase
Hanging garland on a staircase is a simple, one-person job. Before you hang garland on a staircase, you need to know the length of the banister to see how many strands you will need. You’ll be draping the garland a bit so be generous and add extra to the total length.
Attach one end of the garland to the banister
Use gravity to your benefit and start at the top of the staircase. If you start on the bottom it will be harder to hold the garland up as you work. Branches should point downward – this allows the branches and stems to hang in a natural way.
Once you have the end of the garland where you want it, use a zip tie to attach it to the banister. Pull it tight and use the scissors to cut off the excess plastic.
Attach the middle of the garland
Drape the garland to your liking and attach a second point with a zip tie. For me, that means roughly half way down the staircase. Try to keep the strand of garland from twisting as you go to keep the stem hidden.
Do you like the boucle bench in my hallway? You can find it here!
Attach the end of the garland
To find the end point for your garland, create a second swag that hangs the same amount and is the same length as the first. Once again, use a zip tie to attach the garland to the banister.
If you are using an extra long strand of garland and it doesn’t reach as far as you’d like, add a shorter strand at the end. This way you have control over where your garland ends. I like the end of the garland to hang over the end of the banister and hit the floor.
In the image above, you can see how I used a second zip tie to add the extra strand of garland.
Fill in the bare spots
Use stems to fill in any bare spots or to hide the stem of the garland. You can as much or as little as you want – fullness of your staircase garland is a personal preference.
Slide the stem’s branch under the greenery of the garland until you have it in place. Use green twist ties to keep them in place.
HELPFUL TIP: As you add strands of garland and stems, be sure the branches fall in the same natural direction. This will ensure the look of a continuous strand of garland.
Staircase garland decor
There are a few ways to add some finishing touches to your staircase garland. One of my favorite things to add to my garland is velvet ribbon.
It has a dual purpose – I can add color to the space and hide the zip ties used to secure the garland to the banister. All you have to do wrap it around the banister over the plastic and tie it in a bow.
You can use traditional red ribbon for a classic look or try something different, depending in the colors you already have in your home.
Earthy tones – like brown, gold, and blue – have been popular recently and give your Christmas decor a cozy and luxurious look. This year I went with a deep, rich brown!
Bells are classic Christmas decor item. I style them in several places around my home for the holidays but the end of a banister the perfect place. I used a few individual bells and tied them to the garland, but you can use a set that comes already tied together on a rope.
Decorative accents and lights
In years past, I added a little extra decor to my staircase garland. Here are a few ideas if you are looking for something to add to your staircase garland.
If you prefer a minimalist Christmas look, you can skip this all together. Read this post for all my minimalist Christmas decorating tips.