Christmas crafts: Recycling your garland into a wreath, centerpiece and window display

Posted on Nov 14 2018 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark

After last Christmas I knew the garland had had it. Thanks to two very playful kitties who just love the Christmas decorations, it was starting to look a little thin and sad with empty branches where red berries once sat. Although I’d replaced it in the sales for this year, I couldn’t face just throwing it away, it still had potential after all.

So I transformed my garlands into two Christmas wreaths, a centrepiece and a window display; with almost all recycled material from previous Christmas decorations. I spent £6 on additional decorations for it.

So I wanted to share how I did it, in case you’d be inspired to do the same! Although you could buy your own items, there was something quite satisfactory in it, especially as they’re now transformed and will last even more Christmases to come.

You’ll need:

  • Your garland (I had two that were just over 4ft each- it’s how I made so much!)
  • A hacksaw 
  • A file (could miss out on this but be weary of sharp ends!)
  • Scissors
  • Long nose pliers– do not have to be heavy duty
  • The decorations of your choice

Garland into wreathHow to:

  • Determine how big you want your wreaths to be by looping the end around the middle play with the shape until you’re happy and then cut from the middle of the garland- You’ll want to keep the ‘hooked end’ as it makes it easier to secure the shape
  • File off any sharp corners until smooth
  • Using the scissors cut away about a 1 inch of greenery around the end you’ve cut- this will allow you to secure the two sides together securely.
  • Using the pliers, take the end of the exposed part of the hook (that goes into the garland) and begin wrapping around the end of your freshly cleared path (again the base of the cleared path that goes into the garland) and wrap around until secured, flip the hook over the twist to secure fully. This is the back of your wreath/display
  • Reshape! For wreaths and centrepieces, you’ll want to keep the back flat and maneuver the branches into a circular shape. If you like the window display idea, twist the garland into an s-shape but ensure it’s stable by having a flat base. For this shape, you’ll also want spread the branches out a bit more (you’ll re-shape once on the Garland into wreathshelf/window)- That’s the base done!
  • Now to decorate! I’d recommend looking for decorations that have bendable bodies, like this cranberry decoration from John Lewis as it’ll make it easier to attach and makes it interchangeable with your decorations each year. Many stores offer items like this as they’re commonly used for trees or gift wrapping; we’ll be doing a separate post on decorations shortly to hopefully inspire.  Alternatively, you can use staples, clear elastic for bows or glue. If you’re using lights like our examples, wrap around the whole thing and then spread them/the branches out/add additional decorations as it’ll be easier to hide the wire. For the centrepieces, use pillar candles, or as we did, an existing candle holder to give it that Christmassy feel.

We’d love to see your Christmas creations so please do tag us in your pictures on social media (#AGLChristmas) or in comments below.

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