Hello all! I hope you enjoyed a break from me last week. I’ve been busy with my last semester, Grayson’s last Nutcracker and so many other “lasts” this year ahead of many firsts next year. I was able to play hooky for an afternoon last week and get my front door fall decorations finished. I posted a picture on Facebook and had a couple of people ask me how I did it. I thought I would devote this column to helping you out with garland tips I’ve learned throughout the years (after many, many failures).
First of all, I didn’t want to spend much money so I had to figure out a way to get what I wanted without spending a fortune. I made a Facebook post that I was looking for magnolia tree trimmings and my friend responded that he had just trimmed his tree and I was welcome to as much as I needed. Donnie loaded up the back of his truck and brought them home. Score!
Here’s what you need to get started with your own garland:
• Whatever base you want. My base was magnolia branches, your base can be cedar branches, pine branches, etc. You will need more than you think, so load up twice as much.
• Paddle wire. This is simply wire wrapped around flat plastic. You can purchase this at Wal-Mart or any craft store.
• Rope (optional)
• The proper screws in the proper place (we’ll get to that in a minute).
To get started you will need a large space to spread out (preferably outside because it will make a mess). Next, layer two or three branches and start wrapping with the paddle wire. Do not cut the wire, you want one continuous piece.
(Hint: Leave your branches a little long. Don’t cut them too short because it’s nearly impossible to make a full garland with little sprigs.)
Now, just keep layering and wrapping with the wire. It will take a little bit to get in the groove of it, but eventually you will get in the rhythm of it. Don’t worry about a few bare spots because you will be able to fill in with smaller sprigs when you hang the garland. At this point, you’re just getting the bulk and length of the garland done. I mentioned a rope was optional. Some people prefer to use a rope to help with the process, i.e., you do the same thing but attach the branches to the rope with the wire. The rope is sort of a guide. Iv’e never really done this, because I didn’t learn it that way, but it may help you so I thought I would throw it in.
Now that the bulk of your garland is complete, it’s time to hang it. This is where the proper screws in the proper place comes in. After all these years, I still try to do things my way and it never works out for me. Donnie had the flu this past weekend along with a bad cycling accident and I just really wanted to hang the garland myself and be done with it without disturbing him, but I’m sure you can guess how that went. Grayson and I tried everything to do it ourselves, but to no avail. It was just too heavy and too long to not have the right screws in place so I had to break down and call one of our subcontractors to come over Monday morning and put the brick screws in for me. Low and behold, after he left I easily attached the garland in a matter of minutes by myself.
Finally, after the garland is hung, fill in any holes with smaller branches.
Now, all you have to do is add other décor like mums and pumpkins and enjoy!