Elegant Holiday Banister Decor

Party decorations can cost a fortune and may not be used on multiple occasions; my friend Rose Mary revised instructions taken from a magazine and created this elegant Halloween themed banister cover.  This same idea can be used to create a holiday banister as well!  Quick tip:  Leave your banister cover up for multiple holidays.  Start with an elegant Halloween theme in October, then transition to November with the addition of greenery and fall tones, and finally Christmas themed in December with fresh cedar garland draping the banister and colorful ornaments.  Have fun and get inspired!

“My parent’s Surprise 40th Anniversary had an elegant Halloween theme.  This was great because I had the chance to make this beautiful banister cover that my sister found in a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.  Now, the magazine had instructions, but they were terrible and the method would produce something that would fall apart fairly easily.  That is why I am passing this sturdier method on to you!”

What you will need:

  • 4, 6, 8, or 10 inch doilies.  The sizes are up to you, whatever you find will work.  The different sizes produce an asymmetrical look, so feel free to experiment!
  • White and natural coffee filters
  • 3-4 Tea bags
  • At least 4 yards of black grosgrain.  (or 8 yards as seen in photograph).
  • A sewing machine

Step 1 – Tea Stain

This can be done before you go to work so that you can start Step 2 after work, since it takes an hour or two.

  • Get a sturdy glass or canning jar and microwave the water for about 6 minutes
  • Keep the glass in the microwave and leave the tea in there for about 30 minutes
  • Get a flat bowl and place the filters in the tea (don’t add any water, like you would for regular tea).  As they are, well…filters, you don’t have to agitate them, they will soak the tea right up.  Leave them for about 5 minutes
  • After they look full, wring them out and place them somewhere to dry

Experiment:  perhaps placing the filters in the microwave for 20 seconds would allow a quicker dry time.  Try it out, and let Jess know!  Just don’t start a fire.

Step 2 – Fold, Fold, Fold

The rosettes are all hand folded.  How many rosettes you fold and how many layers the rosettes have, depends on how dense you want your garland, and how strong your sewing machine is.  I found that on my less strong sewing machine, a total of 5 layers of coffee filters and doilies was just right.  It can be done with less; the rosettes will only be smaller.  If you have an awesome machine, do 6 or 7 layers because the rosettes will be large and dense.

  • Layer your tea stained, white and natural coffee filters, with the varying sizes of doilies.  The 4 inch doilies look cute as the centers of the rosettes
  • Fold in half once
  • Fold in half twice
  • Fold in half three times
  • Reinforce the folds by applying pressure, this will be your guide for the next step.

Open it back up to where it is just folded in half once.  This is about to get all origami up in here…the filters in the photos have numbers on them, use them as reference, no need to  number your finished product!

  • Use the creases to make the #1 and #2 side on top of each other
  • Use the creases to invert the same way to make the #3 side and the #2 side the numbers that are facing you
  • Fold in half again
  • Now, do this 40-50 times for each 4 yards of ribbon

Step 3 – Sew!

  • Sew the little cones on the grosgrain in an alternating fashion.  About an inch and a half between the tips is good
  • Take about 12 – 15 inches of grosgrain, notch the ends, and sew it to the long strip randomly.  This will be either where you put a cute decorative bow or where you fasten it to the banister.

Step 4 – Fluff and Attach

When you are ready to put this up, play around with it first. I found that fluffing a few and then tying worked best!


-DIY by Rose Mary Kennedy

Prefer to purchase?  I make them to order!

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