How to Hang a Garland on a Mantel

garland on mantel

Casa Watkins Living

Garland gets extra special attention during the holiday season, but there are many ways to decorate with it all year long— there are many types of garland that you can choose to display after all. If you're fortunate enough to have a fireplace mantel in your home, this makes for an especially wonderful place to display garland. To ensure that your setup will look as gorgeous as possible, you won't want to miss out on these garland hanging tips that come directly from the pros. Below are the main principles that you will want to keep top of mind when installing garland on your mantel.

Measure Your Space

First things first, you'll want to stock up on garland— whether you choose to go the real or faux route is entirely your choice. But before determining how much garland to buy, you'll want to measure the size of your mantel. "Give yourself extra length so the garland can drape naturally," Meg Callahan, brand manager at, suggests. "We always recommend ordering a longer garland or an extra garland to intertwine, add fullness, or cover up any bare spots," she adds. "Trust us: If your mantel is 4 feet across, you’ll want at least a 6-foot garland." And there's no reason to cap yourself at just one garland for the mantel top; if you layer in a few extra, it will look even more stunning— for a symmetrical look, grab two or three, Callahan advises.

Evaluate Your Surface

If you do not wish to place your garland directly on the mantel top, Alice Lewis, president of Alice's Table, offers a helpful solution. "Depending on the type of garland, you may want to place it on top of a piece of festive fabric or a runner first to prevent scratches," she notes. This will help ensure that your actual mantel remains free of damage. You can likely shop your own linen drawer to find the perfect textile.

Fluff the Garland

Now it's time to decorate! First things first, you'll want to make sure that your garland is putting its best foot forward. "Make sure to fluff and separate the branches, leaves, and flowers to create the fullest, most flattering base possible," Esther Parkhurst, senior director of designs & trends at Lowe’s, says. And note that live garland will require a bit of TLC over the course of the season. "Be sure to mist it often to ensure it remains healthy," Lewis advises.

garland on white mantel

Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photo

Add Some Texture

Post-fluffing, it's time to jazz up your garland if you wish. Parkhurst is a proponent of adding a textural piece of some sort. "Wood beaded garland creates a modern boho look," she explains. "Ribbon accents can create a more romantic vibe, using a ribbon with a wire edge, makes it easier to shape and fold or tuck the end."

garland on mantel

Casa Watkins Living

Layer in Seasonal Accessories

Maybe you wish to zhush up your garland even further for the season. Decorative accents— Parkhurst likes pumpkins, pinecones, poinsettias, or even jingle bells— can be woven into the garland as well as a finishing touch. In doing so, you'll want to be sure to save room for stocking holders, if you plan to add those to your mantel, Lewis notes.

garland on mantel

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Make Use of Helpful Tools

In order to ensure that your garland stays put— and that any lights you're adding to it are also secure— you'll want to grab a few key tools. "To hold the garland in place, I suggest using Command hooks," Lewis comments, noting that you should place these on top of the mantel as far back as possible. "I love to secure the garland to the command hooks with green floral twine," Lewis adds. "It blends in with the garland and provides extra security, especially if you have small children or pets running past the garland."

If you'll be making like Callahan and styling more than one garland on your mantel, you'll want to first place two garlands symmetrically on the mantel, so that they're hanging over the sides and meeting in the middle. "Next, intertwine your third garland in the center to overlap the two hanging garlands," Callahan instructs. "Place accent branches to cover sparse spaces or add contrast."