Want the look of lush Christmas greenery and roping without breaking the bank? Check out this hack for cheap Christmas garland!

Do you love the way fresh Christmas garland looks?

And smells?

Me too!

Especially outside. (I can’t have it inside my house because of allergies…)

AnnMarie usually gets fresh pine garland for her front porch, and it looks so good!

But I would need at least two 20-foot lengths for my front porch, and I just can’t justify spending almost $100 on something I’ll throw away in a month.

No judgement if you do!

I’m just cheap.

And there are so many other things I’d rather spend money on at Christmastime.

So I’ve always used faux garland.

It’s not quite as pretty, but it’s fine.

Until last year.

I used some fresh greenery for my Christmas table settings, and also on my gifts!

I even experimented with something new around my front door…

and it worked!

black front door with sidelights decorated for Christmas with topiaries in urns, boxwood garland, red berry wreath, layered wreath

Can you spot what I did?

Nope, I didn’t splurge on a shorter piece of fresh garland.

I added some clippings from evergreens in our yard to my faux boxwood garland!

Mind.

Blown.

It wasn’t quite the same look as a fresh garland, but it definitely took the faux garland to the next level.

So when I decorated the pergola in my back yard this year, I decided to give the same trick a try.

But with a twist!

I wanted to get the look of a completely fresh garland.

How to Create a Cheap Fresh Christmas Garland

Last year, I wrapped the faux boxwood garland with twinkle lights and ribbon.

To add fresh greenery, I used small clippings from evergreens in our yard and tucked them into the garland.

The lights and ribbon held them in place.

Here’s a close up so you can see better.

faux boxwood garland accented with fresh cypress greenery, red plaid ribbon, and twinkle lights

It looked pretty, right?

But for the outdoor pergola, I wanted it to look like the posts were wrapped with real cedar roping.

Basically, I wanted to make cheap Christmas garland look like the real thing!

I’m high maintenance like that…

So first I took a look at what I had, which was a lot of inexpensive faux garland.

You can get 9-foot lengths just like mine for only $2.99!

Mom Tip: To get a fuller look, just wrap two lengths together. But even then, it still doesn’t look the same as real garland.

I decided to start with single lengths, and added twinkle lights around each post of the pergola.

Cheap Christmas garland and lights wrapped around a post

After wrapping all four posts, I got my pruning shears and cut a lot of leyland cypress fronds.

I cut each one to be about 8-12 inches long.

If you don’t have any evergreens in your yard, go visit your local Christmas tree vendor and ask for clippings from the bottom of the trees they sell!

Or phone a friend and get some clippings from her.

pile of fresh greenery clippings on a brick paver patio

Doesn’t leyland cypress look lacy?

piece of fresh cypress

And now, for the easiest decorating hack ever!

Tuck the pieces of fresh greenery into the lights and faux garland.

cheap Christmas garland with clear lights wrapped around a square cedar post with fresh greenery being added to hid the cheap garland

Be sure to overlap them so the faux greenery is completely covered.

hand tucking cypress clippings into cheap Christmas garland on square cedar post

No need to take the time to connect the clippings to create a garland.

You’ll need a fraction of the fresh greenery that you would to make your own roping.

There’s minimal sap on your hands.

Fresh greenery tucked into cheap Christmas garland wrapped around a square cedar post with Christmas lights

And when you’re done, it looks like you’ve splurged on lots of fresh garland!

Outdoor pergola decorated for Christmas with posts wrapped with Christmas garland

The garland that’s up high and running between the posts is the doubled-up cheap garland.

I needed a way to get the lights connected on all four posts with a minimum of cords, so I compromised with a little faux garland still showing.

I could’ve tucked fresh greenery in but I wasn’t sure if it would stay in place without being wired in.

Which would make this fast DIY not-so-fast anymore…

Outdoor pergola decorated for Christmas with posts wrapped with Christmas garland

All I see when I look at the pergola now is the gorgeous, fresh greenery.

So, what do you think?

Do you have any tips for getting that fresh greenery look for less?

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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