Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Banister

Ever since moving into this house in 2007, I've wanted to have a spectacular Christmas display along my stairs.  I drooled over the magnolia garlands and Frontgate greenery, but I never had the cash to back up my dreams.  I would watch every after-Christmas sale, searching for the perfect stuff to swag my stairs with.  Never could find it.

Then, in October of this year, I had a crazy idea--how about burlap?  Burlap and greenery and ribbon?  And maybe some lights and a few ornaments?  It all looked so amazing in my head that I bought the burlap (overpaid for it, at $1 a yard) and propped it against the wall in my hobby room for a month.

When it came right down to it, I was a little afraid to start this project.  I had all morning free on Friday, so I decided to take the plunge.

First, I started out by measuring my white light strings and securing them to the banister with zip ties.  Zip ties are easier on the wood than wire, I've found.  Plus, you can leave them a little loose while doing the next few steps for any adjustments you need to make.  This step was pretty painless.

Second, I unrolled the burlap, and during that month-long hiatus, I had conveniently forgotten that I'd purchased pieces of burlap, not a continuous bolt.  As it turns out, this made the project even easier.  I cut each width of fabric down the middle, then using more white zip ties, I secured the fabric around the lights.
Straight pins closed any gaps where the lights were showing.

Next, I pulled out a strong pair of wire cutters and cut my old pine garland into random lengths, and using green zip ties, I secured the greenery to each swag.  Last came ribbon and an ornament or two for each bunch.  I didn't want any of them to match each other, but I ended up repeating a few.

Here's the finished staircase:

I love it.  I loved working on it most of that cloudy day--took four hours and probably 40 trips up and down the stairs.  In the end, all this project cost me was the material (about four yards), and a few new ornaments.  I used my old garland and a roll of ribbon from my ribbon cupboard.

The best part, however, is how it looks at night:

I wish I could get a picture that shows how this really looks.  The light is so soft and peaceful and cozy.

What do you think?
You can totally pin me if you want. ;)

Linking up to DIY Design's holiday banister party.

and Wow us Wednesdays


  1. I love it. The lights just transform a room, don't you think? And it was beautiful in daylight too. Success!

  2. Jen, This turned out beautifully. I can tell the light just glows. I am always amazed when people can visualize something and then make it come to life. You are very talented. Love it!

  3. I love it!
    I'd pin you if I pinned, but am still resisting.

  4. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE...thx for showing the entire project...soooo gorgeous at night...enjoy it!!!, Mariaelena

  5. Wow, this is gorgeous Jen! Awesome job!

  6. Can't wait to see it in person.

  7. SOOOO clever and creative ... the results are incredible by day or by night, but I admit to especially loving those nighttime shots - so serene!

  8. Beautiful Jen! You're very creative.

  9. I love it! You just might see that in my home in years to come - the highest paying compliment!!

  10. I did it! I pinned you. :) Because I need a reminder of this for someday when I have a beautiful house with a banister. :) Great job!

  11. Well people are pinning you because I actually came here through a pin :). It looks amazing!! And what a creative idea- haven't seen anything else quite like this

  12. Stunning! I may have to steal this idea. My garland lights burned out several years ago. I have fabric and I have gold lights...I think I have a weekend project ahead of me!

  13. great idea.

    I love banisters solely for decorating.

    And your two trees are fantastic as well.

  14. I am quite proud of that!! After all, I supported the design when you explained it!

    It looks great!

  15. If I were a pinner, you would definitely be pinned for this one!


  16. WOW-ing you!!! love all of the red accents and i especially love how christmas lights look extra good with them being the only thing on at night. my favorite cozy part of the winter months. great job! i covet!


    love the burlap! and it truly does look magical at night.

    great job

  18. Hi lovely lady.
    This is beautiful using the lights with the burlap great Idea. You are very talented sweet lady.
    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.
    XXOO Diane

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