A DIY cedar garland is such a classic and elegant choice for your Christmas decor, indoors or out. If you happen to have some cedar trees growing in your backyard, it’s a project that’s surprisingly quick to put together and super inexpensive!
I thought I was being super ambitious last year when I cautiously decided that I would try making my own DIY cedar garlands to decorate the new side porch. I saw some advertised for sale at local garden centres and I thought it would be the perfect thing to decorate our new railings with. They’re so cute and they deserve something special. 🙂
BUT, you see, the thing is that we kind of have this ginormous cedar hedge growing along one side of our house. This thing is massive. And we already own it. So it seemed like such a waste to go and possibly spend hundreds of dollars on fresh cedar when we already had it so plentifully just a few feet away. I thought I’d better at least try to see if I could possibly make at least a little bit of a garland. I thought it was most definitely outside of my skillset, but that at least I could say that I had tried…. and then just go buy it.
Let me tell you.
This project is the easiest thing ever. It’s the absolute picture of simplicity and elegance when it’s done and while you’re creating it. I didn’t even want to pull my hair out. It was fun! Relaxing, even!
What I’m saying is this: Make yourself a garland! You’ll be so glad you did.
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DIY Cedar Garland: Supplies Needed
Here I am standing next to the cedar hedge so you can see just how plentiful this stuff is around these parts. 🙂
- A goodly amount of cedar clippings in various sizes
- Garden Clippers
- Thin Gauge Wire (about 20 gauge works well)
- Wire Cutters of some sort
Wire cutting tip! I grabbed our big tin snips first because I thought they would be the quickest and easiest way to ensure unfrustrating wire cutting. They actually turned out be almost completely ineffective, but what did work well was these handy-dandy electrical wire strippers that have a built-in wire cutter as well. If you’re in the market for something to cut wire with for projects like these, this is a much less expensive tool and it will come in handy for electrical work as well!
How to Make the DIY Cedar Garland
Start out with two medium-ish pieces of cedar clippings. Cutting your cedar clippings into about 8-10″ pieces seems to work well.
Lay them one on top of the other so they’re overlapping by about a third.
Take a length of wire that’s about 6 inches long and wrap it over the entire length where the two clippings overlap.
It’s a good idea to try to leave a few little pieces of cedar out when you’re wrapping your two clippings together so you still have a full look and your garland isn’t completely squished wherever you wrapped it.
An important note on wrapping: You want your piece of wire to cover at least several inches of length when you’re wrapping. Don’t just wrap around and around over the same spot.
It seems like wrapping one area really well will make for a stronger hold, but the opposite is actually true. It’s much prettier if you wrap it over a longer length of cedar and it’s actually much stronger.
Made to Withstand The Elements
I had the chance to test these garlands out on some really strong winds last year and the only place where one of my garlands snapped was the very first place I wrapped where I had wrapped over and over again on the same spot. All the other garlands held up amazingly well despite winds that had led to garbage cans being thrown around the yard and everything else on the porch being knocked over.
Keep adding length to your garlands over and over again until you have a garland long enough for where you want to use it! The ease and quickness with which these came together really surprised me. I really thought this was going to take me weeks, but it probably only took me about 90 minutes to make the garlands for our porch, including time to walk out the hedge and actually gather the cedar clippings.
I love the natural, simple look of keeping the cedar garlands to just a single strand, but you can definitely just keep adding more cedar and even other types of greenery until you have a super full garland if that’s what you have in mind for your decorations.
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Where to Use Your DIY Cedar Garland
Actually, this is the perfect decoration for just about anywhere, indoors or out. These worked really well for us last year on our porch and over our door because they were lightweight and easy to hang, but I can definitely see myself using these indoors as well.
For the porch, I just made smaller individual garlands for each section of railing and then tied them on using some white yarn.
For over the door, I made my garland about 11 feet long.
I even made a teeny tiny garland for Jack’s old baby sled. 🙂
If you’ve been thinking that making your own fresh garlands is just way too ambitious, definitely give this one a try! You’ll be so pleasantly surprised and you may never need to use store-bought garlands again!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.