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How to Criss Cross Garland on a Christmas Tree

By Cat Reynolds

We all see those marvelously decorated trees in department stores and on television and would like to duplicate the design at home, but doing so can be baffling. Sometimes a given design, such as a criss-cross pattern with garland, requires more material than you might have expected, and sometimes it may require a lot of climbing up and down. Sometimes, once you see how to do the procedure, it's not bad at all.

String lights on the tree before attempting to add garland. Adding the lights afterward may create a snarled mess.

Set up a stepladder near the rear of the tree, as close in as you can reasonably get.

Unwrap or unpack at least two long garlands and coil them separately into loose loops, as if they were ropes.

Holding the first garland, climb the ladder to a height that will allow you to reach the top of the tree.

Hang the coil on the upper part of your arm and uncoil the first few feet.

Tuck the loose end of the garland into the branches at the top of the back of the tree. If you want, you can wire the end to the branch so it won't work itself loose.

Uncoil the garland on your arm a few feet at a time while working it loosely around the tree in a spiral and letting the branches support it by tucking it an inch or two back onto the branches. This step will at first entail climbing down the ladder and moving it around to the front of the tree and then again to the back until the garland is low enough to continue to go around the tree without the ladder.

Begin wrapping another string of garland where the first one left off. You can tuck the ends together so they appear to meet or, if you prefer, you can tie them together with some wire.

Snip off extra garland once you reach the bottom of the back of the tree.

Start again at the top of the tree, performing the same routine. This time, loop the garland around the tree in the opposite direction so you create a criss-cross pattern.


Things You Will Need

  • Christmas tree
  • Stepladder
  • Two or more garland strands (depending on the size of your tree)
  • Wire
  • Scissors

About the Author


Cat Reynolds has written professionally since 1990. She has worked in academe (teaching and administration), real estate and has owned a private tutoring business. She is also a poet and recipient of the Discover/The Nation Award. Her work can be found in literary publications and on various blogs. Reynolds holds a Master of Arts in writing and literature from Purdue University.