How much garland do I need?


Flocked Garland with Lights

I’ve always wondered if you measure for Christmas garland like you do for curtains, two-and-a-half times the width to be covered.  Well, it’s a little different, but still quite easy.

First, straight horizontal planes – a porch railing, mantle, or bookcase:

~If the area is 20 feet long or longer, you should attach your garland at intervals of five feet (5 feet = 1 span).

  • Add an additional 2 feet of garland for each span along your length, for swagging or draping.
  • Example:  20-foot railing = 4 spans, so 20 feet of garland plus an additional 8 feet, two feet for each span = a total of 28 feet of Christmas garland ~ your porch will look spectacular.
  • You can adjust these measurements depending on the amount of swag you want to see on your railing and the weight or thickness of your garland.  Thicker garland will require a different length to achieve the look you want.
  • It’s very easy to hang your garland evenly if you first attach it at each end, and then swag it at pre-determined intervals.

Pine garland with lights swagging a simple stair rail.

~If the area is less than 20 feet long, you’ll need to determine the length of each span, usually between 3 and 4 feet.  There may be porch posts or natural points along the area that would be complimented by a swag attachment.

  • Add 1 foot of additional garland for each span along your length.
  • Example:  12-foot railing to be swagged at 3 foot intervals = 4 spans, so 12 feet of garland plus an additional 4 feet, 1 foot per span = a total of 16 feet of garland.

Second, an angled plane like a stair railing:

  • Each stair case is unique, so you’ll have to first determine the length of your span and then the depth of the swag you’d like to achieve.
  • Allow at least 3 feet of garland per span, and adjust as needed for the weight and thickness of your garland.

Pine garland intertwined with ribbon, beads, and decorations.

For a more sophisticated, upscale look, intertwine a green needle or leaf garland with a colorful, contrasting garland or two ~ bead rope, ribbon, or novelty shapes like candy canes or painted stars.  Add a final touch at each swag point by attaching a coordinating ribbon bow, highlighted with a few silk flowers and a themed ornament.


Pine garland with grape and berry clusters, flowers, ornaments, and a silk butterfly.

Of course, we don’t do anything in a small way around here!  Yes, if you look closely, you’ll see that there is, in fact, a pine garland underneath all the glorious color of flowers, grapes, sprays, and glass balls.

Now you’re ready to hang garland like the pros.  Have fun with your decorations, spruce up your garland, and spread your Christmas style throughout the house!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

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