Enhancing Fall Garland

Fall Garland-001

Fall is my favorite time of year and I love harvesting leaves, acorns, and bits of organic material to bring nature to the table!

My preference is to use real materials, but here in the South, our leaves don’t start to turn until mid October, so any fall decorating before then requires artificial garlands or wreaths.


Enhancing an artificial garland with natural materials is a happy compromise, making a more realistic looking garland, and at the same time, gives you a base and starting point for a garland for your mantel or table.


I had several emails and comments inquiring about my

garland on my Pfaltzgraff Falling Leaves Table.

I started with a 6 foot artificial garland as a base,

that was a little sad and in need of enhancing. . .


I collected some dried hydrangea blooms, cut some oak leaves, and trimmed some burgundy tipped Loropetalum.


I found some espresso colored burlap ribbon at Hobby Lobby along with some grapevine pumpkin picks.


I started with the ribbon, winding it through the garland and then added the pumpkins and then hydrangeas.


Next came addition of the oak leaves and greenery. I didn’t attach anything permanently since I planned on replacing the leaves and greenery as they dried, rearranging and tweaking the garland during the season.


 You can use a glue gun to add your natural

materials to hold them in place permanently or even

 semi-permanently with a minimum amount of glue.


This is an easy project to do once you’ve collected your materials. Let your flowers or leaves naturally fill in the gaps for a more realistic and fuller garland to use on a table or mantel!



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  56 comments for “Enhancing Fall Garland

  1. kristen ayers
    September 11, 2013 at 6:05 am

    love it!

  2. September 11, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Very nice Mary!

  3. Pamela
    September 11, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Lovely, great job as usual. You inspire!

  4. September 11, 2013 at 6:48 am

    So gorgeous, Mary! Thanks for the tips on enhancing artificial garlands. xo

  5. Sandi Lee
    September 11, 2013 at 7:04 am

    It looks wonderful as does everything you do-thanks!

  6. September 11, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Love the tablescape. The garland looks so lush with the burlap ribbon and the grapevine pumpkins that you added.

  7. September 11, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Good morning, Mary! Nice table setting. Fall is trying to come in! But the heat wins!😱

  8. September 11, 2013 at 7:29 am

    I would have never thought to do that, Mary! No wonder it looks so lush & full…I thought you had bought one of those REALLY EXPENSIVE garlands whose prices are hard to justify. Yours looks 20 times better, too!

  9. Cheryl
    September 11, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Very beautiful Mary. I especially like the grapevine pumpkins.

  10. September 11, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Gorgeous as usual! I love the rich colors and textures that you brought in with napkins and wicker!

  11. September 11, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Wow, Mary, what a difference your additions made to the skinny garland. I will have to return for one I saw in the store yesterday and left because it looked so sickly. You may see it on a table soon! Our trees have started to change but it’s going to be close to 90 here today. My hydrangeas are soooo confused–I have only a few that are turning crimson properly. Linda

  12. Suzi/Pam
    September 11, 2013 at 7:57 am

    great idea! never thought of that and i live way south of you in florida where the leaves never turn :-( . also never thought to use garland on the table. that is how i’ll mix it up this year. thanks.

  13. Franki
    September 11, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Those napkins…PAISLEY…and the garland is perfect color combination. I, too, emblish wreaths, garlands, good grief, even bird nests…it’s a “thing” isn’t it!!! :) franki

  14. Tricia
    September 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Fall is my favorite time of year, also. It is like an explosion of color! I love the garland and how you jazzed it up. You have such great ideas- keep them coming. I look forward to seeing what you will do next.

  15. September 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

    This is so lovely! It really does look like a very expensive garland. I’m having great luck preserving some boxwood right now, and I wonder if it would work with some slender stems of Red Oak, too?

  16. September 11, 2013 at 10:56 am

    This really is stunning. I did something similar with holiday wreaths. My son, who works for a beer distributor, had an over abundance and gave me a couple wreaths for the coach lights. The trouble was, they were both festooned with beer caps and Miller Light ribbons. After painstakingly peeling everything off, I added bits purchased from Michael’s and ended up with two very nice wreaths. :-)

  17. September 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    twins again, fall is my favorite season, most thrive on spring, but give me an eye full of red org and yellow and i am wild with desire! your garland looks wonderful, i too only go for the natural abundance of nature, a snip here and there makes the world go round. it is a beautiful enrichment to your table~

  18. Melinda
    September 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I’m doing this for an upcoming Women’s Club Fashion Show! Thanks again for the inspiration!

  19. September 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    How wonderful that Pfaltzgraff used your photo in their ad!!! …although, actually, I am not surprised. Your eye for detail, color and combinations of color and textures is so perfect and your talent with the camera is so …so…(oh, well, I have to say it again) perfect, that it doesn’t surprise me at all.

  20. September 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, Mary. Such a great idea to make those skimpy (but expensive) garlands look perfect..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  21. September 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    This makes the garland so lush and beautiful…Your table is full of fall inspiration..and I love it!
    Love, Mona

  22. Bonnie Keearns
    September 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Beautiful arrangement! Thank you so much for the tutorial and the fall inspiration:).

  23. September 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I absolutely loved that garland the first second I saw it! You are so sweet to share your secrets~ the burlap ribbon is genius, what a great anchor for all the additions. I love the grapevine pumpkin picks especially, I look forward to seeing it again through the season!

  24. September 11, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    It is just stunning! I agree, the burlap ribbon and the grapevine pumpkins add such volume to it. You are truly gifted and I love how you draped it over the round table.

  25. September 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I love those grapevine pumpkin picks! When I have something that is NOT a pick but want to add it to an arrangement or anything, I just ADD a pick:) I save the stems that I cut off flowers for this use. Your garland is exquisite!!!

  26. linda kemp
    September 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    My fall wreath on the front door now looks insipid :-)

  27. September 12, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Gorgeous (as always)! Mary, you know I love what you share ~ you’ve made this garland so full and lush ~ I probably would have just passed it by in the store. But you’ve made it come alive and full with color, texture and natural touches. Brilliant! Thank you. xo

  28. September 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Love, love this garland! Thanks for sharing the pictures AND the how to. Have a great day.

  29. September 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I absolutely love this!! I am pinning you yet again.

  30. September 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Of course they used your photos for their ad…..they are smart over at Pfaltzgraff! I love the dishes and the garland. Such a pretty table!

  31. Debbie
    September 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    So beautiful!

  32. September 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    What a lovely table setting and of course I am drooling over those place settings! Thanks so much for showing the metamorphosis of that garland… beautiful job… now you have my brain cells waking up to give it a try myself :D

  33. September 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Very pretty fall garland. The bits and pieces you added to it really improved the look.

  34. September 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Beautiful! And a huge improvement to the original strand. Your entire table is gorgeous.
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

  35. September 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Very creative and beautiful!

  36. September 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Mary, the transformation of the original garland into what you made is stunning! I especially like how you added those green oak leaves to it. I’m so glad you shared where you got the grapevine pumpkins because they would be a great addition to the garland around our front door.

  37. Bev
    September 13, 2013 at 9:04 am

    That garland is gorgeous. It looks perfect on your table.

  38. September 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Just beautiful the way you made the skimpy artificial garland be a base for your natural elements…thanks so much for sharing that with us!

  39. September 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    You have inspired me to enhance my garland with ribbons and possibly some real flowers…I so love it and your stunning table..I need to make a trip to Hobby Lobby!

  40. September 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Mary, your additions made a huge difference in the look of this garland. Love the choice of natural elements and the way this looks on the natural linen cloth. This is a gorgeous fall table.

  41. September 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Very nice transformation. You can get some pretty nice faux garlands at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and I love how you added the fresh to it. It looks like a florist did it as a custom order! Visiting from Be Inspired. You have inspired me! Following you via Bloglovin’!

  42. September 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Mary, I’m so glad you did this post. The moment I saw this table I was taken in by the garland. So clever of you to add to the faux garland with live. It looks amazing!

    As always, wonderful to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    – The Tablescaper

  43. September 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I wanted to invite you to the Friday Flash Blog Party, the best linky in town! I hope you’ll join us and link up. Who knows. You may just get highlighted!

    The party goes on ALL weekend.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

  44. September 17, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Your garland turned out beautiful Mary, I’ll bet it just gets better as everything dries! While your initial garland may have been a little thin… It did have good bones-enjoy:@)

  45. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life
    September 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Your garland is stunning. Great tutorial. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  46. September 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Mary, Your garland is absolutely gorgeous! Love the way you enhanced it with natural materials, little grapevine pumpkins and espresso burlap ribbon. Thanks for the inspiration.

  47. September 18, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    this is a great idea, and makes for a gorgeous Fall Garland! a beautiful collaboration between real and faux!

  48. September 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Mary, can I ask you the size, (dimensions) of your patio? I think ours is going to be similiar, as we are having seating walls too.

  49. September 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

    This is gorgeous Mary! Thanks for joining HSH!

  50. September 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

    It looks so much better after your personal touch. Thanks for sharing how to do this.

  51. September 21, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Wow that looks great! What a beautiful fall tablescape!!

  52. Wanda
    September 9, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Wow! Thank You so very much for showing me how to make this beautiful garland!!!

  53. Debbie C.
    November 8, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Amazingly beautiful! I wish I could just purchase it from you. :)

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