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How to Make a Faux Christmas Garland

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This tutorial for how to make a faux Christmas Garland is perfect for those of you like me who struggle with flower arranging. It is so simple, but looks gorgeous and will last year to year!

how to make faux evergreen staircase garland with LED lights

I am the worst when it comes to certain parts of decorating. Picking paint colors and layouts of rooms is no issue for me, and I love making Christmas crafts (like my holiday chalkboard signs or ping pong ball Christmas lights) and baking projects  (like my holiday chalkboard cookies). But when it comes down to arrangements and styling things… I start floundering. It’s one of the reason I like making edible garlands – they’re so easy!

But ever since we opened up this staircase last year, I’ve been picturing gorgeous Christmas garlands coming down each side of it. I could envision exactly how it would look in my head, but I couldn’t seem to execute it. And I did try last year. I really did. It looked ridiculous and I took them down before anyone could see them!

how to make faux evergreen staircase garland with LED Christmas lights with ribbons

This year, I was determined to give it a more solid effort. Meaning, don’t quit. I wanted to get it right, and I wanted to not have to worry about it year to year.

So I went the fake route, because I just cannot imagine having to invest money and time in real greens every year when life is already so busy around the holidays!

But I didn’t want the cheap greens that looked really plastic-y. Since I wanted to use them for many years to come, I wanted to be sure they were a good quality and would look as real as faux garlands can look.

how to make faux evergreen stair garlands with LED lights

I also knew I wanted lights throughout the garland. But I’m always conscious of decorations that can be a drain on our electricity and cause our bill to hike. Especially this time of year! So in addition to investing in quality garlands, I’ve also started converting all of my Christmas lights to LED lights.

The savings on our electric bill is significant, and I just love the way they look so much more! These copper wire ones fit in perfectly with the metallic color scheme I was going for and give off such a pretty glow.

how to make faux evergreen staircase garland with LED Christmas lights with ornaments

How to Make a Faux Christmas Garland

Supplies for 2 Stair Railings:

Pine Needle Garland (2 9′ garlands)
Copper Wire LED Lights (2 sets of 20′ lights)
Satin Ribbon (1 spool of ribbon)
Ornaments (these are NOT the exact ones I used)
Green Floral Wire


Using the green floral wire, I first attached the Pine garland to my staircase.

faux evergreen garland

If you look at the below picture, the one on the left is the incorrect way to attach it. Those needles are all pointing up, and it looked very fake and was hard to adjust.

The picture on the right shows the correct way to attach your garland. The needles are pointing towards the floor which would be the natural way that a live garland would hang.

how to arrange a christmas stair garland

At this point, it is looking very fake and like every other garland you’ve seen at craft stores. The mistake that I’ve made in the past, is fluffing the needles to point in every direction so it looks full. It also makes it look fake!

A live garland would not have branches that stuck straight up! This time, I arranged all the branches to point down toward the ground and then fluffed them up. It already was looking SO much better than anything I had tried in previous years!

faux evergreen stair garlands with lights

Then I just wrapped the LED lights around the garland. I used a 9′ garland for each side of the staircase and 20′ of the LED lights. You just want to wrap them loosely, so you aren’t strangling the needles and causing them to bunch up. You can always go back later and adjust the lights and needles.

how to make faux evergreen staircase garland with copper LED Christmas lights

Then I added the ornaments scattered throughout the garlands. I picked up this set of ornaments a couple years ago at a local store during an after Christmas sale. Unfortunately, that means I can’t find an exact link to share with you. They are styrofoam, and I used about 11 of various sizes one each side of the stairs.

I chose these ornaments specifically because of the metallic glitter. This is another great way to incorporate some extra sparkle and shine into your holiday decorations without it causing your electric bill to rise! Especially when you use them in combination with the LED lights that help reflect off of the ornaments.

how to make faux evergreen stair garlands with LED light

And lastly, I added some ribbons to the peak of each swag. I used a 2″ wide champagne ribbon. Each strip was 88″ long, because I wanted the long ends to trail down the stairs. I was able to get 6 bows (3 for each side) out of one spool of ribbon and still have plenty left over.

how to make faux evergreen garlands with light

how to make evergreen garland with light

I just love the sparkle it adds to the front of our house, and I especially love that I can leave it on for hours and don’t have to worry about the electric bill going through the roof! I’ve started using these LED lights in our card display and other places too!

how to make faux evergreen staircase garland with LED Christmas lights

how to make evergreen garland with LED lights

How to make a faux Christmas staircase garland



Saturday 1st of December 2018

How did you attach the garland to your handrail?


Wednesday 12th of December 2018

I just used twine since that's what I had on-hand. I just wrapped it around both the garland and the handrail and tied tightly so it wouldn't slide down.


Wednesday 8th of November 2017

Your garland looks beautiful! I'm terrible at making our fake garland look real, I loved your tips and will have to give them a try! I love those LED lights too - they are a new favorite for me!


Thursday 9th of November 2017

Thank you! This is honestly the first time I've ever been happy with how a garland turned out! I love the LED lights too! The copper wire is so pretty just in itself!