Raffia Garland

Raffia Garland
In my opinionated opinion, just about every tree is better off with a garland. I love how it breaks up the usual shapes of hanging ornaments, creates a visual through-line, and makes the tree look like it’s wrapped up in a bow. So many of my ideas for ornaments reflected the fancier parts of the nativity story, I thought the garland would be a great place to bring in the natural materials evocative of the stable.

Raffia Garland Tutorial Step 1
It’s super crazy simple. The hardest part is just dealing with the fact that raffia loves to tangle. Start by taking a hunk of raffia the size you want the finished garland width to be, and wrapping a rubber band around one end. Cover the rubber band with another piece of raffia.

Raffia Garland Tutorial Step 2
Then just start braiding. When you reach the end of the length of raffia, grab some more in the same width, layer it on top, and keep right on braiding.

Raffia Garland Tutorial Step 3
The edges of the new raffia will poke out a bit, and I loved the look of it. It looks like rope that’s started to fray. You could try gluing them down if you want something cleaner, but that defeats the purpose of working with natural materials in my book.

Raffia Garland Tutorial Step 4
Once the garland is as long as you want it, wrap another rubber band around the end, cover with another piece of raffia, and trim off any leftover raffia.

This simple idea is part of what makes me love decorating trees so much. Such a cheap and easy idea, and it makes such a big impact to the whole look of the tree. Garlands should go on right after the lights so you can nestle all the ornaments around them. The highly contrasting color of this one brings a lot of interest, while the natural raffia still blends in as it needs to.