Christmas Banister Garland with Ornaments

How to create a lush and full Christmas garland for your banister with ornaments and ribbon.

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Hi friends and welcome to another Pinterest Challenge, hosted by my friend Cindy at County Road 407. Each month, a group of blogging buddies takes on a new challenge, inspired by a Pinterest image. This month, there is no image, but there is a theme... Christmas Banister/Railing/Porch Garlands.

If you're coming from Decor to Adore, welcome! I'm sure you loved Laura's fun swinging 60's themed garland!

How many of you are stumped when it comes to adding a garland to your stair banister or your porch railing? We are here to give you lots of ideas and inspiration as well as tips! You'll find all the links below.

How to Hang Christmas Banister Garland with Ornaments

I'll be honest that I'm someone who has struggled with hanging banister garland in the past! It can be tricky, and unless you have oodles of money to drop on a gorgeous garland that needs no embellishment, most of the thrifty garlands are going to need a little help to look their best!

And that is exactly what I'm going to show you to create a lush and full Christmas garland with ornaments and ribbon.

Let's get started!


I'm not sure where I bought my 9-ft garland, I know I got it on clearance several years ago. The lights are still working on it, which is awesome! You could always purchase an unlit garland and add your own lights.

I started layering my garlands a couple years ago, because I really wanted that full and lush look but didn't want to spend $100+ on a Christmas garland. You can see how I beefed up the garland on my Christmas mantel last year.

Designer tip: the trick here is to use inexpensive garland that acts as a base or filler, mixed with a nicer garland

I did the same thing this year with the garland for my banister. I hung the lighted, 9-ft garland first, draping it prettily, and then added the inexpensive eucalyptus garland to the top.

How to hang garland from a banister

I'm sure there are many ways, but I like to use pipe cleaners. They are already precut, and can be cut further if needed. By using a green pipe cleaner to hang the garland to your banister, it virtually disappears! I only had black and decided to use that up, and the only place where you really see the pipe cleaner is if you're walking down the stairs.

I left a little garland draping down the newel post, then secured the garland to the banister right above the newel post, then again wherever the garland draped. For me, that worked out to be 3 places where the garland itself is secured to the banister with a pipe cleaner (the newel post, the middle of the banister and the top).

If you're using a lighted garland, don't forget to allow room to access an outlet. Luckily, I have an outlet behind the bench by my stairs, but I did need to use an extension cord. I'll show you how I hid that in a little bit.

Layer garland

Notice how skimpy and bland my garland looks? I fluffed it but it still looked pretty bad. My secret trick is to layer another garland over the top. I used 2 6-ft inexpensive eucalyptus garlands, using shorter pieces of the pipe cleaner to attach it to the main garland.

See how much better it looks already! The layering hides holes and imperfections, and adds so much fullness! Even though these eucalyptus garlands aren't Christmas decor, they work so well here! Don't be afraid to mix your greenery for a lusher looking garland!

I could totally have stopped here and been done. The garland is up and it looks beautiful. However, I wanted to add some of my happy Christmas color, red, to the garland to dress it up. What's your happy Christmas color?

DIY ornament garland

It may sound complicated and expensive to make a garland using ornaments, but I promise it's not! I purchased 4 tubes of red ornaments from the Dollar Store, and one red ribbon roll for a whopping total of only $5! You do want to be sure to purchase a slimmer ribbon because it has to fit through the holes at the tops of the ornaments.

To make the ornament garland:
  1. unroll the entire ribbon; tie a single knot about 5 inches from one end of the ribbon and insert a 4" piece of pipe cleaner through the back of the knot*
  2. string 3 ornaments on to create a cluster
  3. tie another knot about 5 inches from the ornaments
  4. string another set of ornaments
  5. continue until you run out of ornaments or your garland is long enough
*The small pieces of pipe cleaner is how I secured the ornament garland to the other one.
I think ornament clusters make more of an impact than single ornaments. I used about 40 ornaments for this DIY garland. Once I was finished stringing on the ornaments, I knotted the end of the ribbon, left a short 5" tail, and cut the ribbon.

Designer tip: If you're struggling to thread the ribbon through the holes on the ornament, wrap the end of the ribbon tightly with a little tape. It'll go much quicker and no more frayed ribbon ends!

Now my ornament garland is ready to add to the banister garland.

Hang the ornament garland

The ornaments add another layer to the banister garland, and by tying them together, it creates an easier way to bring all these garlands together.

I hung the ornament garland using 4" pieces of pipe cleaner, and simply secured it by twisting the pipe cleaner around a section of the garland that was already there. There's very little weight to these shatterproof ornaments, you could probably use ornament hooks if you wanted.

I think the cluster of ornaments looks more interesting than hanging the ornaments individually. Not bad for $5 right?

Add ribbon

The next two steps are totally optional, but I love how they really give a polished look to this inexpensive banister garland.

I simply tied long pieces of ribbon to the 3 areas where my garland was secured to the railing. Leaving extra long tails makes it look so pretty!

Tuck in berry stems

The final step to this beautiful and colorful Christmas garland was to tuck in a few inexpensive red berry picks. I bent the stems a little so they weren't so stick straight, and then just tucked them underneath a few of the ornament clusters. They stay put without anything to tie them on.

The color is so cheerful and with the garland lit up at night, it feels like a little bit of Christmas magic!

Hide the cord

Remember I said that I hid the cord? I couldn't hide it completely, but the plug is behind that small tree in the basket, and the rest runs behind the bench (looks like I need to hide it a little better, ha!).

When the lights are glowing, no one notices a little bit of cord that shows! Just use a prop to hide the major parts and you're good.

I am loving how the Christmas reds and greens pop against our dark banister. When Mr DIY and our son installed laminate wood floors a couple years ago, I redid the stairs. The orangey oak was replaced with this deeper, richer color on the banister and newel post and I added peel and stick wallpaper to the stair treads. It added an updated modern look (with a pop of fun) to the previously dated stairs! You can click here to watch me install the wallpaper and give tips for the best results.


I hope these tips were helpful and you're no longer intimidated by the idea of hanging a beautiful Christmas garland from your banister!

If you loved this idea, please share it with a friend who could use these tips!

Pin to remember

I promised you more banister and railing garland ideas and here they are below. Be sure to head to Lora Bloomquist next and see the cute pom pom ball garland that Lora made! You can click on the links below for all the details.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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  1. Cindy,
    Your garland is so beautiful. I love the combination of greenery and ornaments. Great Post. I love doing these challenges with you.

  2. Your garland is gorgeous! So many great tips. It is a joy to be on tour with you.


    1. Thank you Laura! Red is my Christmas happy color 😉

  4. How in the world have I never thought to use ribbon with ornaments?! That's genius and so beautiful. Looking at your photo of the garland without anything on it reminded me of ours that first year and why I never did it again. It was just plain ugly. I'll be doing that ribbon and ornament trick next year though! Thanks for joining us and being so dang creative. I bet it looks amazing at night. pinned

    1. Thanks Cindy, so glad you like it! It's fun to inspire each other with these challenges!

  5. Wow Cindy, the eucalyptus makes all the difference in your garland and gives it such a fresh feeling. Layering is the key and am totally inspired to decorate our banister this year! Pinning!

  6. This turned out so beautiful, Cindy! And you gave great styling tips, too. The decorated bannister makes such a statement right in the middle of your home; love it!

    1. Thank you Lora, I do love that it's the first thing you see when you open the front door!

  7. I love your garland that you put together! I like the ornament clusters, I wouldn’t have thought to do that.
    I also love these monthly photo challenges!

    1. Thanks Mel, I'm glad you are enjoying these monthly challenges! It's always fun, and interesting, to see how others decorate!

  8. Hi Cindy, I'm sorry! I thought I got on last night but I think it was as I was falling asleep so I didn't leave you a comment then. I did however want to say how much I love the candy cane striped bows and your banister garland!!! It is absolutely stunning...

    We have a couple of long garlands which are two or three put together, plus double wrapped with two garlands. I used to use them along the banisters at our past homes but here in Texas, I used them surrounding my front door, which is really tall.

    Thanks for tip about the three Christmas balls tied together!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Barb :)

  9. Cindy, your garland is gorgeous. All the layering makes it so pretty and festive. I like to cluster ornaments too. I love your ribbon and pipe cleaner method. I’ve never seen an euclyptus garland but I love that idea.

  10. Cindy, this looks so good! I love how you did the ornament clusters…genius idea!!

    1. Aww, thanks so much! Hope you're enjoying this season xx

  11. Looks awesome and instead of hanging from the top of my bannister where we still need to hold on going up and down - i put it near the steps and the lights reflecting off the wood stairs is amazing!


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