Courtesy of Farmgirl Flowers

Materials for Flower Garland:

  • Quilting needle
  • Thimble
  • Embroidery floss
  • Sharp scissors, kitchen shears or, in a pinch, a knife
  • Carnations
  • Trash can
  • 15 Carnations per each foot of Garland

Materials for Foliage Garland:

  • Twine
  • Paddle wire
  • Sharp scissors, kitchen shears or, in a pinch, a knife
  • Foliage
  • Trash can
  • 3 bunches (30 full stems) of eucalyptus varieties
Fall Garlands - Home & Family

Instructions for Flower Garland:

*We’ve used approximately 15 carnations per foot for a fuller look. Remember to purchase accordingly!

1. First, find a workplace. We like to choose a spot that is approximately 3’ by 3’ and is clean of debris. Assemble your tools and flowers. Keep a trash can handy for stems!

2. Prep your flowers for the garland by trimming the stems. You’ll want to trim off the skinny portion of stem but leave on the green portion just below the bloom. Put the stems in the trash (or, if you have it, the compost bin).

3. Unspool your embroidery floss and thread your needle, leaving at least a three-inch tail on one side and, on the other, the length of your desired garland. For example, if you’re making a three-foot garland, you’ll need three feet of embroidery floss.

4. Thread your first carnation, bloom first. Run it along the length of the thread until it reached the end, leaving around one or two inches exposed. Use this length to tie two or three knots to secure the end of your garland. Pull until the knot disappears into the bloom.

5. For your next flowers, keep threading bloom side first. Continue threading flowers until you reach the end of your length of thread. To finish, thread your last carnation end first. This means your last two flowers will be stem to stem. Next, remove your needle from the floss and use the tail you’ve reserved to finish the garland with the same series of knots you began with. Trim any excess.

6. Garlands can be made up to 72 hours in advance if stored in the fridge. Pro tip: not every fridge will do! Refrigerators with excessive moisture (read: lots of leftovers) or fruit in them are not suitable for floral storage as both will lead to more rapid aging of blooms.

Instruction for Foliage Garland:

*We’ve used a mix of eucalyptus varieties in this garland - spiral and seeded. For best results, we recommend picking at least two types of greens! For a 60” garland we used approximately three bunches of each type of green (thirty full stems). This count may vary for you depending on how many leaves are on each branch. When in doubt, grab some extra!

1. First, find a workplace. We like to choose a spot that is approximately 3’ by 3’ and is clean of debris. Assemble your tools and flowers. Keep a trash can handy for stems and clippings.

2. Unspool your twine to the desired length. Trim to size.

3. Next, prep your bundles! Bundles are the building blocks of garlands. Start by cutting each stem down into multiple six (6) to eight (8) inch pieces. From one stem you may get as many as 10 sections or as few as three (3). Remove any leaves that fall below the bottom third of each stem. Next, create a small grouping of your pieces in your hand. We like anywhere from three (3) to six (6) pieces.

4. Holding your bundle in one hand, unspool a short section of paddle wire in the other. Use your thumb on the hand holding the bundle to secure the end of the paddle wire around one (1) to two (2) inches up from the bottom of the stems. Firmly wrap the paddle wire around the stems, pulling tight each time you make a full turn. After two or three wraps, cut the paddle wire and twist the start and end of the wire together to make sure wraps stay tightly wound.

5. Continue creating bundles.

6. Once you’re done bundling, it’s time to attach to the twine. Start on one end, around two (2) to three (3) inches from the end twine. Using the same wrap/pull, wrap/pull, wrap/pull motion you did when tying the bundles, attach your first bundle, pointing the foliage end towards the shorter portion of your twine. Once you’ve made three turns of the wire, don’t cut! Our pro tip for garland making is to always leave the paddle wire intact! This makes for a tighter, more secure attachment to the base! Before attaching your next bundle, firmly wrap the twine up the naked string around three (3) to four (4) inches past the end of the first bundle. This will leave your paddle wire is perfectly placed to attach the next foliage portion!

7. Grab your next bundle and place it on the twine next to your paddle wire. Attach to the twine using the same wrap/pull motions then, again, wrap the wire up the naked twine to get ready for the next bundle.

8. Continue accordingly until you reach the last six (6) to eight (8) inches of twine. Once you reach this end, you’ll want to attach the next bundle in the opposite direction as the rest. This means it will land stem to stem with the prior bunch. Attach using the same motions as before. Unravel an inch or two extra of paddle wire, cut, and then wrap excess around the twine.

9. Finishing a garland is the trickiest part of the process! Gently shove a few pieces of loose greens into the garland to cover the exposed stems. They’re not secured, but if your garland is living on a tabletop it’ll do the trick!

Get more from the episode >>

How to Start a Garden
How to Start a Garden