Decorating a Cheap Garland for Christmas

Bryan's Workshop
by Bryan's Workshop
8 Materials
1 Day

Turn a cheap looking garland into a not so cheap looking garland with chalk powder, paint, and pinecones. The best time to buy Christmas decorations over here in Japan is right after Christmas and I found a bunch of lengths of garland for about a buck a piece. Yes!

DIY Garland Upcycle


Tools and Materials

  • Garland
  • White paint
  • Pine cones
  • Hot glue
  • White chalk
  • Christmas lights
  • Faux snow (I have provided a recipe if you can't find this in your area)
Wrap the Lights Around the Garland
Wrap the Lights Around the Garland

I wrapped on the lights first and then spot painted the garland.

Add Snow
Add Snow to Your Decorations

I couldn't find reasonably priced snow sprays, paints, or powders anywhere in Japan, so I experimented with making my own. For my first batch of snow, I took 12 paper towels, made them damp, squeezed as much water as possible out of them and then threw them in the blender. (I have a blender only used for crafts) When they dried out in a bowl, I mixed in some white paint and rolled some pinecones in the mix. For my second batch of snow, I blended white chalk in my blender and mixed the chalk powder in with white paint. I used this mix on the garland. Painting the garland was messier than I anticipated. The garland was a springboard for the chalk powder paint. I had to paint gently, because the garland flung the paint in the air.

Add Decor
Add Decor

I hot glued on the pinecones and then painted the garland again.

DIY Christmas Garland

I really like how it turned out. I like the painted look of the garland and how the texture on the pinecones is different. I added ornaments, but ended up taking them off. I like the simple look of this. When packing and unpacking, little flakes come off, but they're really easy to clean up.

DIY Christmas Light Decor
DIY Christmas Decor
Decorated Christmas Garland

I used fairy lights and not as much paint on this mega long garland. I add the lights to the garland when its in place and take the lights off when its time to pack it away.

Christmas Garland Decor
Christmas Garland and Ribbon
DIY Christmas Lights Garland Decor

Isn't it beautiful? Let me know in the comments below how you spruce up dollar store decor!

How to Store Supplies

How to Store Supplies

I use "shrink mini wrap" to pack my garland...and everything else. Its a stretchy plastic film on a handheld dispenser that you can wrap around anything. This stuff helps me save so much space!


The plastic shrink wrap film I use is made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and it is easily recycled. I recycle everything!

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 18 questions
  • Jeannette, FL Jeannette, FL on Nov 30, 2019

    I love the look of your garland. I had a thought for making "snow" on your garland you may want to consider. How about using spray glue and then throw the powdered chalk at it? I haven't tried it yet, but maybe it's worth a try.

  • Nelson Nelson on Dec 03, 2020

    I love this, nice job. If I use the snow spray after I spray the garland, will it stick to the paint?

  • Susan Susan on Nov 14, 2021

    Will the shrink wrap protect ceramic breakables?

Join the conversation
2 of 294 comments
  • Georgia Hall Georgia Hall on Dec 10, 2022

    I use white sand in white paint to make my snow paint for wood projects so they have texture. I bet it would work for this project, too.

  • Alice Norton Alice Norton on Dec 23, 2022

    I like this garland! I hope I will have enough time to create a similar one by Christmas. Thanks for sharing!