Garland on Chimney Breast Mirror

Draping A Christmas Garland Over A Mirror or Picture


It was a few Christmases ago when my wife and I first draped a Christmas Garland over the mirror in our lounge and another over the mirror in the hall.

The garlands we bought were fashioned very much to our liking. They just looked like Christmas and became one of those purchases made without knowing exactly what we would do with them.

This post explains how to fix a garland to the top of a hanging mirror, or picture frame, so it remains in place over Christmas and can be reused the following year.

What Is A Christmas Garland?

This type of Christmas Garland is usually made of preserved or artificial Christmas tree twigs, holly, cones and berries bound to a wire. They are often enhanced with a little gold paint on the cones, and some white paint or powder on the leaves and berries to remind us all that it can snow at Christmas.

Fixing A Garland To A Hanging Mirror

We have an oak framed mirror hanging on the chimney breast. It has a broad strip of oak atop the frame which makes a good ledge for resting items on. We hoped to just ledge and drape this garland on it but gravity kept getting the better of it. So I produced a method of fixing it described here.

My technique for holding a garland on the top edge of a hanging mirror or picture is:

  1. I staple it to a narrow strip of wood which is as long as the picture frame is wide. For this I use cabling staples which are round. They are the sort that would hold TV coax cable to a skirting board or door frame.
  2. The strip of wood rests atop the picture frame but doesn’t fall off due to two thin strips of board attached to it which slide down between the back of the mirror or picture and the wall.

In the absence of cabling staples try ordinary flat staples. Alternatively cut notches around 3 sides (front, back and bottom) of the wood with a saw at 150mm intervals. Then wrap wire around the wood (in the cut grooves) and garland and twist it tight to bind the garland to the wood.

In all cases try and arrange the garland to cover the staples or wire.

In my case the strips of wood placed along the tops of the mirrors are 2cm wide and 1.5cm thick. The strips of hardboard are 4.5cm wide and 20 to 30cm long. When you’re a woodworker you tend to have scraps like this lying around almost cut to size so little work has to be done.

A garland on a frame viewed from the front
A garland on a frame viewed from the front.

The hardboard has been fixed to the long strips of wood using 14mm long staples fired from a staple gun. I didn’t add any wood adhesive but I might next time I make one, just to strengthen the frame.

A garland on a frame viewed from the back
A garland on a frame viewed from the back.

I’ve noticed that the staples leave metallic marks on the emulsion paint on the walls so I have covered them with transparent adhesive tape now.

Close-up of the staples covered in transparent tape
Close-up of the staples covered in transparent tape.

Many hanging mirrors and pictures have a slight gap between the frame and the wall at the top. If not it isn’t usually too difficult to pull then away slightly to get the strips of hardboard to slide down the back. The weight of the mirror/picture pressing against the wall then holds the garland frame in place. The user may have to arrange the garland, according to its complexity, to cover the frame wood with its fronds.

garland-frame being slotted behind a mirror
A garland on a frame being slotted behind a mirror.

In the picture above the garland frame is resting on a cardboard box temporarily to keep it raised while it’s photographed.

The garland can be seen in its final resting place below.

Garland on Chimney Breast Mirror
A Garland on A Chimney Breast Mirror

Putting Garlands Away After Christmas

At the end of the Christmas period I wrap the garland and frame with two black plastic refuse sacks. A sack is put over one end and then the other sack is put over the other end and the open end of the first sack.

Please take a look at another woodwork project showing a method of fixing a bed headboard to a wall instead of a bed.




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4 responses to “Draping A Christmas Garland Over A Mirror or Picture”

  1. Brian Warren avatar

    Thank you Colin for this post. It’s exactly what I needed

  2. Mary jordan avatar
    Mary jordan

    Very helpful and informative ,thank you.

  3. Dallas avatar

    This was EXACTLY the solution I was looking for- you are a genius! Our walls are stucco >:/ and nailing into them is a hassle only worthy of permanent fixtures. Command hooks haven’t lived up to their reputation, & I wanted to mount the garland above the mirror; not on it. I never would have come up with this solution myself- & I had all of the materials laying around the house as scrap anyway, so it didn’t even cost me a penny. I used Hm Depot paint stirrers that I had left over from a previous project for the slot strips, & screwed in 3 coffee cup hooks across the front of the horizontal frame board so I can take the winter garland down & put up others- or strings of lights- when the seasons change. Thank you Colin- very helpful!

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      I’m glad you had success Dallas (my middle name and my dad’s first name),
      I’ll be getting mine down from the loft soon.
      Kind regards, Colin.

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