dressing a chandelier with fresh greenery

by | Dec 7, 2015 | All Things Home, Decorating, Holiday, Secret Weapons, Tutorials | 28 comments

Some of you noticed the greenery hanging from my chandelier in the pictures I shared of my teacup & pedestal advent wreath and asked to see more and for me to share how I do it.  So, that’s what I’m doing today!


Here’s a better look at the chandelier in the dining room…


I’ve been dressing my chandeliers for Christmas like this for a few years now and it’s always the no-brainer in my holiday decor.  It just looks so pretty and festive…


…and it’s so easy.

I decided to shoot a quick video showing how I get the look…

I use this same method for all of my swags and greenery…start with the roping and tuck in different varieties of evergreens until I like how it looks.


As I shared in the video, I think the key to pretty greens is using a mix of colors and textures.  I use as many varieties as I can get my hands on.  Trimmings from my Christmas tree, branches from my yard, some store-bought greens from Wegmans, etc.  I even tuck in a few convincing artificial sprigs.


I like to keep it a little loose and wild.  I’ve learned it turns out best when I don’t overthink it.


We picked out and set up our tree this weekend.  I also bought ingredients to make some gingerbread houses and cookies.  I’ve never made them totally from scratch, but I’ve been inspired by all of the ones I’ve spotted on Instagram, so I’m going for it.  Do any veteran bakers have tips to share?


  1. Sue Pagels

    I do have one tip for gingerbread houses that I learned years ago from a Martha Stewart show…..when you put together your gb house, melt sugar and use that to dip the edges of the walls in to stick the wallsroof together. It works great!

    • Jeanne H

      This is the method I use as well. Just make sure you are using cane sugar. I learned this the hard way!

  2. Laura Ingalls Gunn

    What a great video! I am truly inspired to start clipping greenery from my yard. Although, I probably should wait until daylight.

    I would love to know the camera/equipment that you use to make your videos.

    Have a lovely holiday season.

  3. Lisa

    Thank you! Once again, you have inspired me.

  4. Argelia Brown

    So that’s how you get yours to look so full. As of right now mine looks like Charlie Brown’s unwanted chandelier! Pretty bare and sad, haha. I started with loose branches. I will now dismantle it and start again. Thank you!

  5. phyllis

    Mind reader! I was trying to figure out the best way to accomplish the chandelier wreath…I’m so excited! Thank yooooo!

  6. Rick S

    Great tutorial, I need more greens.
    As for the baking.
    My wife has been baking for 35+ years and has to have her roll of bakers parchment paper. She uses it on her cookie sheets. It can be used over and over again. The cookies don’t stick to the pan and clean up is so easy. She used in her pans of bars and popped the whole thing out of the pan in one piece. She was able to neatly cut up the bars and not break them.

  7. JeanFB

    Thank you so much for the video – I’ve always wondered how to make that “work” – and the roping as a base is the secret. Thanks for sharing. Your house looks beautiful!

  8. Anya

    Beautiful! I was admiring your chandelier in your other photos. You’re right – the crystals peeking through the greenery is just so pretty. I bought a real garland this year, so its my first time incorporating live greenery into my decorating. I had such a nice time hunting and gathering in the yard for things I can use. It has such a simple, beautiful look. Now, I just need a chandelier!

  9. Cindy

    Love it! Your use of greens in your house with all the other colors is amazing!


  10. Rachel Craik

    I love the white wreath on the blue hutch. Did you make that? What type of flowers are used?

    • Sheila Sabin

      Those are pom poms!

  11. Dolores

    Thank you for this wonderful teaching video! I just bought roping at the market, so now I know how to proceed ..I’ve tried before, but with minimal success, this time- it will be a lovely pine garlanded wreath..

  12. Tracy

    Marian, I’ve followed you for years and you get better and better! I knew the greenery shouldn’t be too hard but mine always looked weird. It’s the roping! Genius. Going to Costco this week for some. Thanks for the great how to video!

  13. Greta Paul

    Marion- love your greenery video. I giggled when you said it’s crisp by a few days after Christmas. As is so hot ‘down under’ in Australia greenery needs to be changed weekly so I tend do do that much nearer Christmas. One year I made a wreath out of fresh greenery, then we had a hot wind and it was just dust after 5 days. Now I use fake outside!
    Gingerbread houses- be careful with the weight of candy on the roof as it can collapse. Last year I chose soft candy ( we call them lollies) so I could slice them in half. So it could have ‘the look’ I wanted but half the weight!

  14. Evelyn

    Roll the dough out on the back of the cookie sheets, cut out the pieces and remove excess dough, leaving the pieces for the house on the back of the cookie sheet. Bake the gingerbread pieces longer than for cookies to make them nice and firm. As soon as you remove them from the oven, place the patterns back on the gingerbread pieces and recut, this allows the pieces to all fit together. Use meringue powder to make the frosting that will hold it all together. Assemble the house then let the frosting dry overnight before adding the weight of the candy. Mini marshmallows or frosted mini wheats make a nice roof decoration and are not heavy. You can also put a piece of cardboard behind any of the pieces you want for support, just use the frosting to hold it in place.

  15. Barbara Ann

    At what temperature do you keep your house so that your greenery lasts till Christmas? We live at 6800 ft elevation and even if I put them all over my mantel in the greatroom that has 30 ft ceilings and don’t heat the room above 68 when everyone arrives a few days before Christmas, my greenery is pretty much crispy -crittered by Christmas.

  16. Patricia

    Clipping greenery for my chandeliers is my go-to also. I like to add a few ribbons and call it perfection.

    Gingerbread House tips. I use canned vegetable tins to support the walls from the inside until they are firm and obviously remove them before i add the roof. Although one or two times that I may or may not have forgotten- oops. I prefer to bake on Silpats rather than use parchment paper. The cookie doesn’t stick to the Silpat and they never burn. The Silpat is easy to clean and always ready for the next batch. I usually make at least 6 gingerbread houses every year and invite friends over to decorate. My record was 15 one year- crazy. I even make them for Halloween and turn them into haunted houses.

  17. Sheila Sabin

    thank you for tutorial! I’ll be running to the store for some roping today. I believe that the frondy looking everygreen you used is a type of chamaecyparis, also known as false cypress. I wish I knew exactly which one.

  18. Ruth

    The greens from your yard are arborvitae.
    I have many and you can clip to your hearts content and never make it bald.
    As far as the gingerbread house, my favorite story is from when I had my two grandchildren help put together a gingerbread kit. I thought I would make for good memories but apparently I stressed them out. They were about 4 & 5 at the time. Their job was to hold the walls up as I put them together. My grandson said “this is just too hard for 2 little kids and one grandma. We need more little kids!”

  19. michelle

    Would you show us how you hang you chandeliers that are swagged with cord covers? I would like to do that in my home but not sure how to go about it, thanks!

  20. Arlene

    I have a heavy cardboard base which we cut a hole in the bottom to fit a clip-in electric candle. I covered the base with freezer paper, waxed side up. I build the gingerbread house over this candle hole, so it can be lit up at night. It’s so pretty! Also, I cut the cardboard base to fit inside a heavy duty cardboard box. That way I can just slip the whole thing into the box and store in a dry place and reuse it next year. After the 2nd Christmas, I pitch it. It lasts perfectly though!

  21. Susan Sullivan

    definitely “overbake” the gingerbread and make sure the side walls are cut thick enough to hold the weight of the roof. I use royal icing – it’s more forgiving, less messy and less dangerous than melted sugar, especially if the kiddies are helping ! To make stained glass windows, be sure to put tin foil behind the open window and then cut up jolly ranchers or other clear coloured candies and arrange in this space – enough so that when they melt, they fill the window but not so much that they will overflow. Be sure the walls are completely cool before removing the foil. Split cinnamon sticks make adorable stacks of firewood outside the front door. The possibilities are endless! I I used to do gingerbread with my students and always loved seeing what they came up with. Having 25+ kids wielding icing bags full of royal icing was not for the faint of heart however!

  22. Lauren

    Thank you for the tutorial. I love this idea and never thought of decorating a chandelier with evergreens. I do put them all around and just love the smell. Thank you!!

  23. Judy

    Hi Marion. I went to get fresh roping yesterday to drape over the front of my hutch. They told me it wouldn’t last 5 days inside. I love the look and have always wanted to use it, but didn’t get it because of that. How long does it last in your home? I live in NH and our house tends to be dry this time of year with the heat on. Thanks for your help!

  24. Donna Soule

    I have been making gingerbread houses for about 25 years, they actually turn out a bit like rustic cabins…. I make construction gingerbread as I am not concerned about it being edible – just sturdy; so I leave out the baking soda. If your recipe has a bunch of spices, the only ones I use in my dough are a sprinkle of ginger and cinnamon as it makes the house smell nice and it’s less expensive. A pizza cutter makes cutting the dough out quick. ?Merry Christmas?

  25. Candice Hope

    Thank you so much for the tutorial! I was one that asked to see more and you delivered! Love it! Can’t wait to go home and do mine!
    Thanks and Merry Christmas!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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