We are here with expert tips for decorating with garlands. I get this question over and over: can you help me determine how much garland I need?
And, absolutely - I can help! I've put together a few quick guides to help you as you are designing your space and placing your order.
We're going to focus on the three main places our customers decorate with garland: the staircase, the mantle and of course, the table.
Starting with the staircase first:
I always measure vertically from the floor to the top of the railing, all the way up the railing and then back down to the floor. This way I will account for having enough garland to drape down the post at the bottom and the top of the staircase.
I add about 1 ft per "swag" if I'm planning to swag the garland on the way up the bannister and not affix it right on top. You will likely have a little bit extra if you count this way, but it's always better to have too much than not enough in my book.
When I use the term "swag" for garland, I mean giving it loops like in this picture shown below.
This is my most signature way I hang garland on a staircase. I think hanging garland this way really highlights the movement and fullness of the garland. And it's beauty always takes my breath away.
Moving to the mantle:
I approach the mantle in the same way, I measure from the floor, to the top of the mantle, across/over and back down to the floor. If I want to swag it a little in the front, I may account for an extra 6-12 inches.
If you do want it to swag in the front in a few places you will either need to make sure you have enough length on each side to act as weights to keep the garland in place or you may want to use command hooks + floral wire to affix the garland to the mantle so it doesn't fall.
Of course, we believe no mantle should go garland-less during the holidays.
Lastly, setting the table:
There are a few questions you need to ask when determining how much garland you need for your table.
What is the shape of your table?
If you have a rectangular table, we love the look of our garlands running down the center with candles. Even if that is all you add to your table, this is a simple and elevated look packed with beauty, nostalgia and charm.
If you have a smaller table, perhaps it's a square or little cafe table , we recommend one of our swags or centerpieces that come in 24”-36” from our collection here.
If you have a round table, you we recommend the look of a wreath packed full of candlesticks or pillar candles in the middle. Or, our smaller swags are perfect touches to a round table.
Do you plan to add place settings on the ends of your rectangular table?
If yes, a typical place setting is about 14-16”, therefore here is the equation you will use to calculate how much greenery you’ll need if you are setting places at the ends of your table:
(length of table) - (15”x2) = estimated length of garland needed
Let’s put this to use. Let’s say you have an 8 foot table:
8’ - (15”x2) = estimated length of garland needed
8x12” = 96”
96”-30” = 66”
66”/12” = 5.5’
Answer: you need about 5-6 feet. For this size table, we would recommend buying a 5 foot garland.
If no, we obviously LOVE the look of garland cascading off the ends of tables, drooping to the floor. If you plan to do this, we recommend 3 extra feet per side, so 6 extra feet for this look.
Here is the equation you will use to calculate how much greenery you’ll need if you desire the look of greenery cascading to the ground on each side:
(length of table) + (3’x2) = estimated length of garland needed
Let’s put this to use. Let’s say you have an 8 foot table.
8’ + (3’x2) = estimated length of garland needs
8’ + 6’ = 14’
Answer: you need about 14 feet. For this size table, we would recommend buying a 15 foot garland.
We always recommend overestimating because this will assure you have enough for your designs. And if you have extra, we assure you there is always a place for a little extra garland on a bar cart, coffee table or entryway table.
Happy decorating, tastemakers! We can't wait to see how you style your home for the holidays. Make sure to post to instagram and tag us @graciousgarlands so we can share your inspiring designs.