How to Measure for Wreaths and Garland

  • How to Decorate Team

How to measure for garland

A little holiday greenery goes a long way in turning a plain space into a holiday wonderland. So here are a few tips to help you select just the right size Christmas Wreath and Christmas Garland for your home.

How to measure for wreaths

Christmas Wreaths

The size of wreath needed for your front entrance really depends on the look you want. For a bold and festive feel, go large! If you prefer a more reserved look, choose a smaller size.

For a standard 36 inch wide front door, add dramatic impact with a wreath 28 inches to 30 inches in diameter. On the other hand, a wreath 20 inches to 24 inches in diameter creates a classic, understated look.

For oversized doors, we recommend a 30 inch to 36 inch diameter wreath. This large size will carry the appropriate scale in relation to the front door.

Typically, the larger the wreath, the higher you should hang it on the door. Since large wreaths usually weigh more than small wreaths, be sure to use a sturdy metal hanger or a securely fastened nail rather than plastic hanging fixtures.

What to do with miniature wreaths? Use your imagination! Decorate door knobs, candleholders, bureau knobs, and other place you happen to notice needs a little sprucing up for the holidays.

If you don’t wish to put a nail in your door, there are alternatives – try an over the door hanger or the 3M Adhesive Hangers all of which are available at your local home improvement store or local craft store. It is a great way to hang a wreath without damaging the door.

How to measure for garland

Christmas Garland

Measure Holiday Greenery

Measuring an arched door for garland.

The trick is to make sure you have enough garland to accommodate the top arch. We have a simple solution for this.

  • HEIGHT – Measure from the ground to the top of the door, then double the number to account for both sides. Example: 10-ft. H door x 2 = 20 feet
  • WIDTH – Measure from the outside trim of the door across to the other side, then calculate one-and-a-half times the width to cover the arch. Example: 10-ft. W door x 1.5 = 15 feet
  • TOTAL – Add the HEIGHT measurement and the WIDTH measurement for the total amount of garland needed. Example: 20 feet (HEIGHT) + 15 feet (WIDTH) = 35 feet of garland

Add one foot to your total if you’d like the garland to puddle at the bottom.

Measuring a standard door or double doors for garland.

Simple math is all that’s required to be sure you have enough garland for your fron entrance. This solutions works for double doors as well. Just be sure to measure the width across both doors, including trim.

  • HEIGHT – Measure from the ground to the top of the door, then double the number to account for both sides. Example: 10-ft. H door x 2 = 20 feet
  • WIDTH – Measure from the outside trim of the door across to the other side. In our example, the door is 4 feet wide.
  • TOTAL – Add the HEIGHT measurement and the WIDTH measurement for the total amount of garland needed. Example: 20 feet (HEIGHT) + 4 feet (WIDTH) = 24 feet of garland

Add one foot to your total if you’d like the garland to puddle at the bottom.

Staircase Decorated with Garland

Measuring a staircase banister or mantel to swag garland.

To swag garland down a staircase banister or across the mantel, use the same strategy as above. Measure the LENGTH of the banister or the WIDTH of the mantel, then calculate one-and-a-half times that dimension. Example: 6-ft. W mantel x 1.5 = 9 feet of garland.  Many of you want to know whether garland should drape over the sides of the mantel or not?  Well, there are no hard-fast rules when it comes to hanging garland.  It is up to you.  Whatever you want to do – go for it!  Hang garland the way you like it.

Measuring a staircase banister or mantle to swag garland.

To swag garland down a staircase banister or across the mantel, use the same strategy as above. Measure the LENGTH of the banister or the WIDTH of the mantel, then calculate one-and-a-half times that dimension. Example: 6-ft. W mantel x 1.5 = 9 feet of garland

Measuring a staircase banister to wrap garland.

Measure the LENGTH of the staircase and the HEIGHT of the newel post from the handrail to the floor. Simply add the 2 dimensions and double that number. Example: 10-ft. L staircase + 3-ft. H newel post = 13 feet x 2 = 26 feet of garland

If all of this seems too complicated, use a ball of string, wrapping it as you would the garland. When you have the look you want, pull the string off and measure it with a tape measure. It can be that simple!

Browse more holiday decorating ideas on our Ballard Designs Pinterest Boards.

 

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.

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29 Comments

  1. Ballard Designs

    December 15, 2010
     

    Dear Reba: There are no hard fast rules to hanging garland, but if we take a tip from nature – the needles are usually pointed down. So our thoughts are to follow nature and have the needles pointing down.
    The Style Studio Team

  2. reba

    December 14, 2010
     

    When hanging garland on a banister, should the ends (end of the evergreen needles) be pointing up the stairs or down?

  3. Ballard Designs

    December 3, 2010
     

    Dear Christine: You have to give your husband credit for getting out there and hanging the garland, but we do agree that you are better to add the additional garland to complete the look. Instead of taking down what is there, maybe you could cut the new garland and add it to each end. You can purchase floral wire at your local craft store and it is strong enough to connect each end. We hope this suggestion helps with your dilemma. Have a wonderful Holiday Season!
    Sincerely,
    The Style Studio Team

  4. Christine

    December 2, 2010
     

    Is it tacky to have garland around half the front door only? Ours is 9ft and hubby went out and stapled it to the outside of the door, but it only hangs to barely halfway on either side started from the top. I can go buy another 9ft length, remove his and do it properly which was my intention, but he went out and put it up tonight. I am just wondering if I should leave it or fix it asap?
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

  5. Ballard Designs

    December 1, 2010
     

    Michelle: There are lighted wreaths on the market that work with a battery pack, so there is no cord to deal with. However, most lighted wreaths have a cord. We think the best way to work with the cord is to use an over-the-door wreath hanger and run the cord under the hanger and down the back of the door, using an extension cord plug the wreath into an interior outlet.
    The Style Studio Team

Comments are closed.