Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for best fall garland

While Christmas is the go-to holiday when it comes to decorating, the right fall garland, with its festive autumn accents, can help you extend the holiday cheer.

Fall garland is available in a variety of seasonal colors. Some include lights, pumpkins, pine cones, flowers, or other decorative elements. Fall garland can be draped on mantels, hung over doorways, and spiraled up staircase banisters and railings. It’s the perfect way to add a touch of color to your living space year after year.

A good shopping guide outlines the features and factors to consider when shopping for garland, from length and color to materials and cost, so you can find the best product for your decorating needs. We also offer a few of our favorites, representing some of the best options on the market today.

fall garland
Fall garland is the perfect accompaniment to larger decorative elements like wreaths.

How to buy the best fall garland

Size

Length: The longer the garland, the more versatile it is for your decorating purposes. Most fall garlands average around 6 feet long, although you can find some that are 24 feet and longer.

Thickness: This can vary considerably in fall garlands. Those that have more branches, leaves, and decorations are fuller and can be more visually appealing. But depending on your decorating needs, you might prefer thinner garland strings, particularly if space or price is an issue.

Quantity

Fall garlands often include more than one string per order, usually two to four. Like length, the more strings, the more you can decorate. Multiple strings can also be combined into one long string to cover a particularly large area.

Power

Some fall garlands include lights and need to be powered via a wall outlet or battery pack. Garlands that use an outlet are the easier option if there’s an available outlet nearby or you don’t mind using an extension cord. A lighted garland with a battery pack gives you more flexibility in terms of where you can use it, but you’ll have the added expense of batteries.

Indoor vs. outdoor

You might think of fall garland as a decoration used only indoors, but some of these are durable enough to be used outdoors as well. If you plan to use yours outside, make sure it is made of materials that can withstand the elements and has some form of UV protection so the colors won’t fade. If the garland includes lights, all the bulbs and cords need to be waterproof. Carefully read the product description before using any string of garland outdoors.

When using garland on a flat surface, such as a mantel, allow for a couple feet of overhang on each end.

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Features to look for in fall garland

Materials

Most fall garlands are made of some type of plastic, usually polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), but some have leaves made of silk, cotton, felt. The garland elements are usually connected by a wire, which you can bend into various shapes or around objects.

Colors

Fall garland colors vary depending on the string. Some use a fairly limited palette of autumn colors like red, orange, and yellow. Others include brown and black, while some, like artificial eucalyptus garlands, skip the traditional fall colors entirely. Before ordering garland, consider the color palette to see if it fits both your decorating aesthetic and your home’s décor.

Shapes

If you love the shape of foliage, particularly maple leaves, then fall garland is really going to work for you. Most garlands make use of artificial maple leaves. Some manufacturers add lights and other elements like pine cones, pumpkins, and autumn flowers. Less common but still popular are fall garlands made of colored tassels, balls, and other shapes. Depending on your home’s décor, you might prefer a more modern, less traditional look.

Lights

Some garlands include lights, which add to the festive feel of the decoration. Some lights are incorporated into the garland itself, while others include separate strings of lights and foliage that can be used with the garland. These lights have either incandescent or LED bulbs and vary in color. If you’d like even more lighting options, choose a fall garland that includes programmable lights for a variety of lighting effects.

Hangers

Some fall garlands come with hangers that enable you to easily hang your garland and keep it in place. Plus, you won’t have to buy the hangers separately or make some from scratch. To protect your walls and woodwork, avoid any hangers that use adhesive or require you to drill holes.

fall garland
DID YOU KNOW?
Archeologists have found garlands of flowers inside ancient Egyptian burial chambers.
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How much does fall garland cost?

Inexpensive

Fall garlands that cost $7 to $12 are fairly simple with a minimal color palette. These garlands are usually short, often less than 6 feet, and typically come one or two to a pack. Garland in this range tends to be more sparse, with fewer decorative elements, and is for indoor use only.

Mid-range

Spend $12 to $22 and you can find fall garlands with more decorative elements like artificial pine cones or flowers. These garlands are a bit longer than the inexpensive strings, up to 10 feet, and usually ship three or four to a pack. Lights and more colors are common in this range. You’ll also find durable garlands suitable for indoor or outdoor use.

Expensive

Fall garlands that are fuller and more elaborate, with larger decorations, cost $22 to $40 and more. These garlands are the longest and may include silk leaves and programmable lighting.

Enhance a simple string of fall garland by adding lights or other decorative elements like pine cones or miniature pumpkins.

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Tips

  • Wrap garland around staircase banisters and other objects. If you want to wrap garland around an object, make sure the garland is twice as long as the object.
  • Plan ahead for the holidays. Consider buying some Christmas garland when you buy your fall garland.
  • Turn the lights on and off with a timer. If your fall garland includes lights, you can save money on electricity by connecting them to a timer that turns the lights on and off at specific times.
  • Choose a garland in muted or neutral colors for more versatility. If it’s generic enough, you can decorate with the garland at Christmas and other holidays, adding to the usefulness of your purchase.
fall garland
Use a double layer of garland if you’d like it to appear fuller.

FAQ

Q. What length of garland should I buy?

A. That largely depends on how you plan to use it. If your goal is to decorate a standard doorway or mantel, a garland that’s 6 to 7 feet long should suffice. For double doors or large archways, 8 to 10 feet would be more appropriate. Use a tape measure and check the length of the area you want to decorate. Experts recommend using 1.5 feet of garland for every foot you want to decorate.

Q. How do I make my fall garland look its best?

A. Garland often comes compressed because it takes up less space and ships in a smaller container. After unpacking your garland, you’ll need to fluff it up to its full shape. To do this, lay the garland out flat and remove any kinks. Next, straighten the branches and position the leaves and other decorative elements so they look attractive and realistic.

Q. What is the best way to store garland?

A. Properly storing your garland will keep it in good shape so you can use it year after year. Your first step is to remove any dust with a blow dryer or feather duster. Large leaves and decorative elements can also be wiped off with a microfiber cloth.

Once it’s clean, lay the garland on a table or the floor and flatten all the branches and other elements so it fits better in a storage container. Store the garland in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Avoid storing the garland in a plastic bag that can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew. One way to avoid this is to include a couple of silica gel packets with the garland to absorb moisture.

 

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