Guide to Christmas wreaths and garlands

Guide to Christmas wreaths and garlands

Christmas trees are amazing. Embellished by twinkling lights and shiny decorations, the evergreen foliage looks and smells extremely festive. But why stop there?

Introducing a wreath or garland to your Christmas decor is a great way to bring even more festive foliage into the home and give your decorations a cohesive, well-thought-out look.

The best Christmas wreaths and garlands are crafted from freshly cut greenery. While it may be tempting to buy an artificial wreath or garland that you can use year after year, nothing beats the sight and smell of genuine, plastic-free fir at Christmas.

Not only that, but by buying real greenery, you'll know your decorations are unique - even if your wreath or garland comes pre-decorated. After all, no two natural products are ever exactly the same!

Christmas Wreath DIY

Decorate festive greenery with baubles and ornaments to create a cohesive look throughout the house.

What is the difference between a wreath and a garland?

Christmas wreaths and garlands are pretty similar. They're both made from natural materials and add festive greenery to the home. So what's the difference between them?

The easy answer is the shape. Wreaths form a circular ring, while garlands form a long line of foliage.

Christmas Garland Outside

Alongside the Christmas tree, wreaths and garlands are a great way to add Christmas greenery to your home.

Pre-decorated vs DIY christmas wreaths and garlands

Would you prefer to choose a decoration that has already been prepared and is ready to hang? Or would you rather get creative and decorate your own Christmas wreath?

At Christmas Trees Direct, we offer a selection of pre-decorated greenery, as well as DIY wreaths and garlands, so you can have fun decorating your own. Simply browse the collection and decide which best suits your home and Christmas decor.

Christmas Wreath decorations

Choose between pre-decorated wreaths and garlands or pick a DIY one to create your own festive hanging decoration.

Decorating Christmas wreaths and garlands

If you opt for one of our DIY wreaths or garlands you may be looking for inspiration or advice on how best to decorate it. The good news is that the difficult (and somewhat tedious) part has been done for you, with all the foliage already securely attached to the frame. All you need to do is add your decorations.


The first thing you need to consider is a theme for your foliage. A theme can be as simple as using a particular colour scheme. Alternatively, you might opt for something a little different. Some suggestions include:

  • Woodland. Forage for pine cones, holly sprigs, berries, branches and twigs to recreate the sights and smells of a winter woodland walk.

  • Food. Candy canes, dried fruit and nuts are great for decorating foliage. Adding cinnamon sticks will give your decoration a wonderfully festive fragrance.

  • Shiny. Attach baubles, glitter and led lights to add some sparkle and shine to your front door.

  • Floral. Whether dried or fresh, flowers can add to the natural charm of wreaths and garlands, while adding splashes of colour to your design.

Christmas Wreath Red Door

The best Christmas wreaths are personal. Decorate yours with berries, baubles, lights and glitter to create a unique look.

What you'll need

Once you've decided how your Christmas wreath or garland is going to look, you'll need to prepare everything you'll need. We suggest lying all the decorations and tools out before you begin.

You'll need:

  • Your chosen decorations. Place them on the foliage without attaching them. Doing this lets you see what they all look like in place before committing to the design.

  • A hot glue gun. This is handy for attaching large items.

  • Floral wire or clear thread. Use this to attach baubles, pine cones and other decorations to the wreath. The wire or thread will blend in with the foliage, tying decorations on securely.

  • Secateurs or sharp scissors. For cutting wires and trimming ribbon or other decorative items to size.

  • Gloves. Pine needles and holly sprigs can be quite prickly, so wear gardening gloves to reduce the risk of scratches.

Christmas Wreath Decoration Class

Decorating your new wreath will require some light tools.

Where to put your wreath

The most popular place to hang wreaths is the front door. They work well displayed outdoors where the fresh greenery doesn't have to cope with central heating, so stays healthy for longer. However, many people also like to use wreaths as an indoor decoration.

They can be used to create a stunning centerpiece for the dining table and are often paired with candles for a traditional look. Wreaths are also one of the most popular Christmas decorations for placing on a loved one's grave in winter.

Christmas Wreath Front Door

Christmas wreaths are usually hung on front doors.

Where to put your garland

Traditionally, Christmas garlands hang over the mantelpiece above a fireplace. They can also be entwined around stair bannisters to decorate hallways or strung up to add colour and interest to a bare section of wall.

If you love the look of a sparkly Christmas tree in the window but don't quite have the space, garlands make excellent alternatives. Hang them from the curtain poles and artfully arrange them on the windowsill. Coordinate them with your Christmas tree decorations and add some lights to complete the effect.

Garlands are one of the most versatile Christmas decorations. Get creative and drape them over mirrors or furniture, create a long, think dining room table centrepiece or hang them from your porch.

Traditional Christmas décor is fabulous, but we advise caution when placing a real garland over a working fireplace. Not only can they be a dangerous fire hazard if not hung correctly, but the needles will dry out faster in the heat. This can result in the garland becoming brown and bare before Christmas Day even arrives.

Garland above door

Hang garlands from fireplaces or bannisters over the festive period.

How to hang your new Christmas decorations

Have you ever looked at a heavy Christmas wreath or garland and wondered how on earth it stays put? Often it seems like it's floating in position, but there are some handy tricks and tips you can use to get the same effect.


It's traditional to hang a Christmas wreath from the front door. If this is your preferred spot, you'll want to hang the wreath without causing any damage to the door. How to do this will largely depend on the type of front door.

Those with a wooden door are at a bit of an advantage when hanging wreaths. You can loop a piece of ribbon through the middle of the wreath and staple both ends to the top of the door, where any holes will go unnoticed. Alternatively, use floral wire or cable ties to secure the wreath to a door knocker.

Composite doors can present a bit more of a challenge. The easiest way to hang your wreath from a composite door is with an over-the-door hook. These come in an array of designs and are relatively cheap to buy. For added security, you can tie the wreath to the hook to deter thieves and prevent wind damage.

Christmas Wreath DIY with oranges

Brighten your porch by hanging a Christmas wreath from the front door.


Depending on your preferred placement, garlands are much easier to hang. If your garland is decorating the mantlepiece or dining table, you might get away with simply draping it across the surface.

Tying garlands to stairway bannisters can be slightly trickier, but ribbon or floral wire will securely tie your decoration in place, without detracting from the overall effect.

For walls, adhesive hooks are a great way to hang garlands without damaging the décor underneath.

Christmas Garland in Ceiling

Hooks, floral wire and ribbon are all effective ways to hang your Christmas garland securely from a wall or bannister.

How long do Christmas wreaths and garlands last?

Artificial wreaths and garlands will last for years and can be brought out Christmas after Christmas. But you can't beat the appearance and scent of decorating with genuine festive foliage!

When looked after properly, a real wreath hung outside will last up to 4 weeks. Garlands and wreaths for indoor use can last for up to 3 weeks. Hang your wreath in mid-December, and it will quite happily see in the new year.

Christmas Garland Close up

Like Christmas trees, real wreaths and garlands will last for up to 4 weeks.

Caring for Christmas wreaths and garlands

Just like the Christmas tree or fresh flowers, wreaths and garlands made from real foliage need a little care if they're going to last the season. Don't worry though, as they are easy enough to look after.

If you've opted for a DIY wreath or garland, let it soak in a bucket of water when it arrives. Pre-decorated foliage is a bit trickier to hydrate but ensure the ends are well watered before you hang them, and they'll be fine.

Once your wreaths and garlands are in place, take a little time to mist them regularly. Doing this will help keep them looking healthy and vibrant throughout the festive season. You might wish to remove some decorations, such as delicate bows, beforehand.

Take care to position garlands and wreaths in the coolest places possible. For indoor decorations, ensure they're kept away from heat sources such as active fireplaces, radiators and vents.

Christmas Garland and Wreaths in fireplace

A wreath or garland for outdoor use will last longest. Try to keep indoor decorations away from heat sources and draughts.

Whether adorning your front door or your Christmas table, garlands and wreaths make excellent seasonal decorations. They can be used to complement your tree for a coordinated natural look throughout your house.

Not only that, but they'll fill your home with a beautiful Christmassy scent that will have you and your guests bursting with nostalgia.

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