8 Ways to Decorate a Staircase Railing for Christmas

The most popular way to decorate a staircase banister for the holidays is with green garland festooned with bows, lights and faux florals and berries. However, the look isn't easy to pull off well. Many times, even with considerable effort, garlands can look untidy, with electrical cords showing and fallen pine needles all over the stairs. By the time is Christmas is over, a banister with fresh garland can look more bedraggled than bedazzled. If you don't have a knack for decorating your...MORE banister the traditional way, there are lots of other options. These unique ways to decorate a staircase railing are much simpler and less messy to achieve, but are still festive and fun.

  • 01 of 08

    Showy paper poinsettias are a cinch to make and result in a unique holiday display on a staircase. White flowers with metallic centers would match any color scheme, or go for a mix of red, pink and green blooms for a modern yet traditional color palette. String on some bulbs for added interest.

  • 02 of 08
    snowflakes on banister
    Snowflakes on Banister. Better Homes and Gardens

    Winter can seem much harsher after the cheerful holiday decorations come down. But these giant snowflakes massed on the banister look gorgeous all winter long, not just during the holidays. You can make your own flakes out of simple craft materials, or find them ready-made at the dollar store.

  • 03 of 08

    The simple addition of bulbs hung from ribbon on a banister brightens up the stairwell, and requires little to no skill. Have a safe holiday season by using shatter-proof or plastic bulbs instead of the fragile glass variety, especially if there are young children or pets in the house.

  • 04 of 08

    Wreaths on the Banister

    It's still possible to get the effect of greenery without the hassle of garland by hanging mini wreaths at intervals all the way up a banister. Loop some pretty ribbon through them for a pop of color. Artificial wreaths can be picked up fairly inexpensively from craft and hobby stores and can be re-used from year to year with just a little fluffing.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Stockings on the Stairs

    If you don't have a fireplace, hang stockings on the banister instead. This decorative idea is great for homes with children because they can race down the stairs Christmas morning to find their stockings all filled up.

  • 06 of 08

    Christmas Card Display

    As an alternative to a tabletop Christmas card holder or one you hang on a wall, string your Christmas cards and other holiday greetings up as a garland on the stairs. Tie long ribbons to the banister, and attach the cards with clothespins. This is a great idea if your home is short on space.

  • 07 of 08

    Tie on Tinsel

    Long ropes of metallic tinsel bring holiday cheer to your stairwell. Hang bulbs on it for added color and shine. Avoid wrapping it too tightly; drape it loosely instead for a more elegant look.

  • 08 of 08

    Hanging Advent Calendar

    Hang tiny packages numbered one through 25 on the banister for a delightful advent calendar. Use envelopes, small white gift boxes festooned with colorful ribbon, or "brown paper packages tied up with string," for any fans of The Sound of Music in your home.