diy project: christmas garlands

one of my favorite diy projects that we’ve done all year has to be wintern des’ take on anthropologie‘s holiday store windows (above and below). anthropologie is well-known for their amazing store visuals and their holiday 2008 windows certainly didn’t disappoint. des, sam and i visited their 5th avenue store last week and were blown away by the incredible holiday garlands they created using all sorts of interesting materials like ribbon, colored rope, paper chains, nuts, painted wood chunks- and even little tin kitchen molds. we immediately decided these would be a great project to try at home so des decided she would tackle this project- and her final result was fantastic. it’s such a fun spin on traditional garland and really allows you to utilize a wide range of materials- whether they’re pieces you pick up specially for this project or just things you have lying around the house. click here for des’ full instructions or just click “read more” below. thanks, des and thanks to anthropologie‘s art department for creating inspirational windows year-round.

diy ornament garland

this project was inspired by the anthropologie store windows on fifth avenue in manhattan. it’s super easy and can be done with just about any holiday ornaments you may have laying around. plus, all of you’re friends will think you’re the coolest, craftiest person because this project looks great no matter what material you use.

you need:
-holiday ornaments, various shapes, sizes and colors
-ribbon, twine, yarn, chain, wire, anything that is string like
-various holiday accouterments, example: jingle bell garland, pinecones, miniature nutcrackers

1. first, attach a piece of ribbon to each of your ornaments, about a foot and a half long (or longer if you prefer).

2. second, once all your ornaments have ribbon, separate them into groups of three or more and arrange them how you’d like them to fall as they hang. tie all ribbons in a knot near about 5 inches from the end.

3. third, with an additional piece of thicker ribbon, ie twine, chain, heavy weight yarn etc, (about two feet in length) tie a knot around the base of the grouping of ribbons and begin wrapping the thicker ribbon upwards. you can make this wrapping as tight, or as loose as you’d like. i found it was easier (and more efficient) to start tight and loosen as I made my way up. when you’ve reached your previously tied knot, tie another, connecting the bunch of ribbons with the wrapping ribbon.

4. fourth, with the additional five inches at the top of the ribbon, fold over and create a loop. tie it to the base ribbon to hold it in place.

5. fifth, hang on the wall, christmas tree, or door knob

6. sixth, say thank you when people admire your handiwork

have fun and happy holidays! –despina

Uncle Beefy

Damn you, Anthropologie! I knew it before I even saw it on the window! Such fantastical levels of inspiration! As usual. And, of course, thanks for the tutorial, Despina! At least it feels a bit more attainable now. :)


Your final product looks amazing!!! I love that you used a stainless steel scrubber. I also was inspired by Anthropologie and wrapped my chandelier in different colored yarn; very festive and inexpensive!


Ooooh I was in that very Anthropologie last week when I was on holiday in NYC :D Thanks for the idea, looks great :)


i love the innovative take – i am seriously going to try this out over the weekend! sans mouse trap though :)


isn’t des the best? i love her take on their windows as much as the original- the mousetrap and scrubber sponges are so cute.

g :)


These are darling. A great thing to do after the holidays when all of the ornamets and acccoutrements are on sale. Cute little gifts for next year!


I work at the Anthropologie on 5th Avenue, but in Seattle. Our windows look just like that. I got to help with the baubles and spent hours making paperchains, too.


Agree that Anthropologie is incredibly inspiring with their store decorations! Last year they had giant marshmallow forests, which inspired my winter white party table centerpiece. I made a forest with 8-10 bags of marshmallows. I can’t even imagine how many marshmallows the store had to use! A-LOT! So fun and whimsical!


i discovered, by accident :), Anthropolie last summer in SFO ! What a pitty we don’t have it here in Switzerland !! A good excuse to go back to the US :)
thanks for your blog. I love it !!


You should see the windows at Anthropolgie at Rockefeller Center. They are even more beautiful than the 5th Ave location.


I’m a display coordinator for Anthropologie and I’m excited to see and read that our displays have inspired so much more creativity! It’s such a fun job and its always nice to hear how our work is received. (i was excited to see that anthro made it on design sponge!!)


Seeing this makes me actually miss doing visual display and prop work, rather than running my jewellery shop and raising my almost seven month old Riley girl. Just for a second though ^_^
Normally Christmas set up would start behind the scenes in August and things would be up and ready for the Canadian Thanksgiving.
I think I might go make some garland now for Riley’s room, she already has her own little tree, so why not garland!

Janelle P

Des this looks like so much fun and it’s great to see your smiling face!


Sophisticated Junque! Anthropology store windows are always my number one visit in NYC… I have great photos of last years windows and “re-view” them often for inspiration! Thanks for sharing these!


DES what a great idea! And it could done for really any holiday!! Hanukkah perhaps!?! LOVE IT!


Anyone know where to find the accordian fan balls pictured in the 1st display (peach colored) or seen anything like them elsewhere?


I just came across this and the picture of Des. I did a double take because I know her from high school! She’s awesome!