How to Make Your Own Beautiful and "No Wilt" Live Garland

Beginning a few years back, I started to make my own live garland using clippings from the amazing row of arborvitaes which lines our neighbor's fence on their side. (Now I did ask permission to use clippings from their trees...just to be clear.) It is really pretty easy and the cost is minimal, only about 4 dollars worth of materials are needed. (Depending the the type of twine you use) For me to make this 7 foot garland it cost about an hour of my time, from clipping the greens to finished product.

All you need are...
 fresh clippings
 floral wire 
wire cutter
 and some jute 

First lay out a piece of string the length you would like your garland. Next take a few clippings and begin to create bundles to cover the length of the string. I used arborvitae, Scots pine and some faux berries from the craft store.
Tie the wire onto the string with a knot then add the first bundle of greens and wire it to the string. Make sure to double knot the wire so it doesn't unravel. Your string is going to be your guide and help the garland stay together.  Then using the wire in a continuous fashion, wrap it around the string and the next bundle. Repeat until you have only one bundle left. 

Once you are almost to the end of your string, take the last bundle and flip it so it is going in the opposite direction of the bundles already wired on to the string. Then poke in a few sprigs of whatever small clippings you have on hand to hide the cinched area. This is how you are going to give your garland a finished look.

I had a decent day weather-wise so I made my garland on the back porch. 

Typically I make my garland about this time during the Christmas season, however by Christmas, and especially New Year's, my garland begins to dry creating a huge mess on the floor. Not very pretty. So the other day on t.v. I saw a show where live garland was made AND they sprayed it with some type of "no wilt" formula. Supposedly it will keep your greens looking fresh for up to 2 months. Well I don't know about the two month thing, but I did find similar product at my local garden center for $12,99 plus tax.

As directed I sprayed it on the garland outside and in the sunlight. The reason I am guessing for spraying outside is that there is an odor to this product, so I let my garland sit on the back porch for several hours before bringing it indoors. Also to accelerate the drying process I did use my blow dryer on a medium setting. The product kind of gave the garland a little bit of a "plasticy" feel after it was all dreid, so I am hoping it does work to keep my garland looking fresh at least until Christmas.

Then using pipe cleaners, floral wire or plastic ties, the garland can be attached to your banister or railing. 

I added small white lights for that special nighttime magic!

And a little more ribbon too.

I hope this little tutorial was helpful. Buying garland like this would be completely out of the question with regard to our household budget. But with a little patience, plus the kindness of my neighbor in letting me clip from her trees, I was able to create something really special for our entry!

Wishing you a fabu start to your week!!!
Note...I did not received any compensation for the mention of the product "Wilt Stop" in this post. It is purely a product I decided to try and evaluate the effectiveness of mentioned product..


  1. Wow, that is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm so happy to hear about the no-wilt product!! I wish I had seen it before I hung live garlands at a business I decorate! Yours is just gorgeous and I"m going to actually try making my own:-)

  2. Barbara I will eagerly anticipate hearing how this product holds up. I would love to use real garland indoors next year. Yours is SO lovely!

  3. That is so pretty and the tutorial is great. I love it.

  4. Barbara, that is so beautiful and it looks wonderful on your new railing. I have always wanted a fresh garland but have never made one, and the cost to buy is out of sight. You make it sound easy to do, just finding the greens would be the hard thing. We have alot of cedar trees in this area but not any that I could pick!!! Legally, anyway. My holly was a complete mess this year. Leaves were OK but the berries turned black right away! Maybe from the drought.. Your's is exceptionally beautiful..xxoJudy

  5. Hi Barbara,
    This looks so pretty and I bet smells wonderful too.

  6. Thanks for the tutorial. I've always wanted a live garland, but thought it was out of reach because of the cost. I will make my own!


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