How to Hang Garland on a Mantle | Tips & Tricks

by Team MD


Knowing how to hang garland on mantle shelves is not like understanding rocket science. However, if you don’t do it correctly, you might have the unpleasant surprise that it falls off when you least expect it and, even more, it could end up in the fireplace. 

This is why knowing which steps to follow is essential, especially if you want your home to give that cozy Christmas feeling while still looking neat and classy. Nobody wants their home looking like a total mess. This is why we have made a list of the most important steps that you need to follow to attach your garland while making it secure and safe.


Decide what decorations you are going to use

The first thing that you need to do is to gather all your decorations before you begin because, this way, you will be able to anticipate how thick the garland will be and how much it will weigh. This is important because the hooks have to be strong enough to hold it. There are many options you can choose from. 

Make sure that you have everything together and try to group them in the order that you are going to use them. If you decide to make a garland that has a natural look, you can also look for natural evergreen branches, but we are going to talk about that later in this article.

However, there are some things that you have to consider in order for your garland to look classy.


Pro tips:

  • Do not overdo it with colors. If you decide on your garland to be green, try and use two  other main colors and you can play with shades, but the best way to go is to have at most three colors including the color of the garland.
  • Use natural decorations, like wood decorations and pine cones, which will give the impression of a natural garland.
  • Keep it simple. Even if you feel that you should add more, don’t forget that the empty space makes the decorations stand out.
  • Try and use light. Artificial light or candles are a great choice to make a garland cozier. However, if you decide to use candles, make sure that there is nothing around that can be easily burned.


Remove everything from the mantle and clean it

After you have gathered all the decorations, you have to inspect the mantle. First of all, take everything off it and make sure that you thoroughly clean it. Some people like to keep their Christmas decorations on for as long as 30 days, so it is important that you clean all the dust in order to keep your place clean.


Pro tip:

  • You can wipe the dust with a dry cloth in order to leave everything clean. However, it is important that you don’t use cleaning solutions because later you will have to use rubbing alcohol and it will not work very well on some cleaning products.


Determine the length of garland you are going to use by measuring the mantle

Before you do anything else, measure the length of the mantle. This is important because you will need a garland that is long enough to cover the whole length of the mantle or, according to the design that you want to go for, to even be long enough to surround it. 

If you skip this step, you might have the unpleasant surprise that you miss even a foot in length and it will ruin your whole design. Doing it before attaching the garland to the mantle will also allow you to add length to the garland or, if your garland does not give you the possibility to do so, you can add decorations in order to make it appear longer.


Pro tip:

  • If your garland is not long enough, you can add natural evergreen branches to both ends in order to make it longer. However, you should hook them very tightly using flower wire that has the same color as the garland.


Attach the hooks to the mantle while trying to avoid damage

When it comes to the hooks, it is essential to know how thick your garland will be and how heavy the decorations will be. Many people choose plastic hooks that have an adhesive on the back and they attach the garlands to these in order to be able to take them off when they will decide to get rid of the Christmas decorations. 

Even though this sounds like a very practical way of doing things, you have to be very careful of what adhesive you will use because you might ruin your mantle if the adhesive does not come off easily. Others use permanent metal hooks attached to their mantle in order to be able to hold a higher weight. They also choose to hang Christmas socks on them.

However, if you decide to go for the simple solution and use adhesive plastic hooks, you should first clean the mantle using rubbing alcohol, which will eliminate all the grease and allow the adhesive to stick thoroughly to the mantle. Most such hooks can hold up to 5 pounds, but if you attach multiple hooks, your garland can be heavier.


Pro tips:

  • If you want the hooks not to be visible, choose clear hooks made of plastic or hooks that have a similar color to the garland.
  • If the garland is very heavy, you should attach the hooks on the top of the mantle, meaning the horizontal part, and not to the side. This will reduce the weight put on the hooks.
  • If the garland is heavy, attach multiple hooks, leaving a distance of 1.5 feet between them.


Use multiple garlands in order to make them look like a single thick garland

Most people do not like a garland that is very thin because it will not give a cozy feeling. Therefore, you will need to use more garlands that, put together, will give the illusion of a thick one. 

Also, as we have said previously in this article, you have the option of adding natural evergreen branches, a combination that will have a great effect. The branches, however, should be thin, because if they are thick they could add unnecessary weight and if you use plastic hooks they might not be able to handle the extra weight.


Pro tip:

  • To make a garland look rich, you should wire together at least 5 garlands that will look like one, but try not to overdo it because it will become too heavy.


Secure the garland to the hooks

If you want to add Christmas socks, you should do that before attaching the garland because it will give a neater look. Also, considering the thickness of the garland, you should make the socks’ hangers longer or shorter.

In order to put it up, you should use floral wire that you should wrap around the garland and that you will then attach to the hooks. This way, everything will be even more secure and you will be able to relax knowing that your garland will not fall off in the presence of your guests.


Pro tip:

  • The best practice is that you have a thick garland and most of the weight lies on the horizontal part of the mantle, leaving a thin part covering the edge of the mantle and coming down a bit. This way you will avoid hooks that will fall off.


Add the finishing decorative touches

The order of the decorations is important. First of all, you should attach the lights, because if you do it the other way around, all the wires of the lights will be visible, and this is something that you want to avoid. Also, you should hide the wires underneath the garland branches in order for the lights to give a classy and cozy vibe.

After that, you can start with the pine cones and all other natural decorations that you have gathered and, after that, you can add stars or other Christmas decorations that your heart desires.

Remember, do not overload the garland with heavy decorations and try to keep everything simple. If you decide to add faux snow you should spray it at the end, when everything is set up. If you feel like it will make it look too overwhelming, you should avoid using it.


Final thoughts

Christmas is a wonderful time for feeling like you are at home, cozy and relaxed. In order to do that, if you have a mantle, you should definitely hang a garland to it to make that feeling even stronger. 

The essential thing that you need to remember is that you have to secure your garland because, if you don’t, it will fall off and that is the last thing that you want to happen. If you follow all the steps that we have talked about in this article, you will be able to avoid that from happening and enjoy the feeling that you had when you were a child waiting for Santa Clause.



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