I really like the look of garlands strung on a Christmas tree. Whether it is an old-fashioned, homemade popcorn and cranberry garland, a beautiful silk ribbon used as a garland, or a garland of glass beads, they add color to the tree and tend to tie all the decorations together. I think of ornaments as hanging vertically and garlands as being oriented horizontally.
I must confess that I never am happy with the way garlands look on a tree a tree I decorate. They just never seem to fall at the right place. I am probably singularly focused on the garlands, but, it seems, I spend as much time rearranging the garlands as it takes to put on the other decorations!
While assisting Michael undecorate his tree last year, I learned his trick for making garlands behave. He had used a jeweled garland that had beads permanently attached to a string. He had cut the string into 12″ pieces and added ornament hooks to each end. Instead of trying to loop the entire string around the tree, these smaller strings allowed for more accurate placement.
If you locate your tree in such a way that you don’t decorate all the way around, this also helps to focus the garlands on the sides that are seen. There is less up and down on the ladder, fewer trips around the girth of the tree, and less fussing with the placement.
Of course, this technique won’t work with beads that aren’t tied or connected to the string, nor with fabric sashes that are meant to be looped around a tree.
This technique will work well with ribbon and tinsel garlands, just be sure to tuck the ends into the tree so that they are not visible.
Do you use garlands on your Christmas tree? What are your techniques for evenly distributing them around your tree?