How-To & Diy

Dress up Your Mantel with a Pine Needle Garland

November 30, 2015

While this string of pine needle clusters looks time-consuming, it's much quicker to make than a traditional garland, is more unique, and uses very little fresh material. And if you already have pine trees in your yard, it's mostly free!

Photo by Rinne Allen

What you'll need:

  • Pine needles
  • Copper wire (26-gauge is best)
  • Length of leather, ribbon, or twine
Photo by Rinne Allen

How to make it:

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1. Strip the pine needles from their branches, adjusting the amount for how long you would like your garland to be. For a garland like this one, you'll need about 5 to 10 pine needles per cluster, but larger clusters or altering big and small clusters could be fun, too; don't feel limited to make the design uniform!

Photo by Rinne Allen

2. String together small clusters of pine needles using wire (26-gauge works well, as it is easy to twist tightly and is not easily seen). Wrap the wire twice around the tops of the needles where the sappy stem part is, and then twist the whole cluster once to secure tightly.

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Top Comment:
“Please give a little more explanation to this part of the process: "then flip each cluster over the leather once to lock it into place." Thank you!”
— marrison

Leaving about a 1/2-inch of wire between each group of needles, continue this process until you reach your desired garland length.

Photo by Rinne Allen

3. To attach your wired needles to leather cord or ribbon, simply weave the cord in and out of the garland between clusters—then flip each cluster over the leather once to lock it into place.

Hang by the chimney (or anywhere) with care!

Photo by Rinne Allen

What else do you do with an excess of pine needles this time of year? Let us know your craft ideas in the comments.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Simone
  • marrison
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    Mandy O'Shea
  • Katey
Mandy O'Shea

Written by: Mandy O'Shea


Simone December 1, 2015
Simple and Lovely! I'm going to do this to my windows.
marrison November 30, 2015
Please give a little more explanation to this part of the process: "then flip each cluster over the leather once to lock it into place." Thank you!
Mandy O. December 1, 2015
Thanks for your comment. Basically you are just trying to attach the wired needles to your leather or ribbon. To do this, you can either just weave the leather in and out of the needle bundles so that the wired needles rest on the leather and then you can secure the wire to the ends of the leather (or ribbon)...or what I did was to lay the line of wired needles up to the leather and flip every other bundle up the over the leather. This will twist the wire a bit to the leather and hold the wired line in place pretty securely. Hope this helps.
Katey November 15, 2016
I agree that this was not very clear. I think the problem might be that a reader looks at the garland and assumes they're going to cut little pieces of wire to twist around the bundles of needles and then attach the bundles to the leather/cord, but what you've suggested is to have basically make a garland of needles on wire by twisting needle-bundles on one continuous cord and then covering the wire with leather. It's difficult to see that in the pictures, and takes a bit of thought to understand what you've done.