The newest holiday decorating hack this year is so simple, you’ll be surprised you haven’t been doing it your whole life: use a shower curtain rod to hang festive garlands. The tip has been all over Instagram and TikTok for the past few weeks, so we gave it a try at my house and transformed a boring, grey kitchen window into an expression of Christmas cheer—and we didn’t have to put any holes in the wall to do it.
Despite the commentary from the Instagrammer above, it didn’t take 3 and a half hours or cost over $50, but we were going for a more casual vibe. We made ours in about 45 minutes for an estimated cost of $13 for the shower curtain rod; the rest of the decorations were things we had hanging around in the decoration box.
Here’s the before picture:
And the after:
I’ve watched a few online tutorials about this, and I differ with them on a major point: they generally say you should decorate your Christmas pole and then screw it into the doorway. I say hang the rod first, then decorate. Cheap shower curtain rods aren’t too reliable, and if it crashes down once you put it up, you’ll be sad, plus twisting one into place while fully decorated would be difficult. So make sure it’s sturdy, then decorate on top of it.
The process of how to do it is really simple.
- Get a tension shower curtain rod. We went with white instead of silver as it’s less conspicuous.
- Decide where to put it. We chose the window above the kitchen sink, but wide doorways and archways work really well too.
- Install the shower curtain rod.
- Decide on a theme. This is a very “just see what works” kind of project, but for best results, decide on a rough theme before you start. I’m very much in the “limitations add to creativity” school of thought, so we looked at what we already had in our decoration box instead of going to the store and being overwhelmed with options. We ended with classic Christmas “red, white, and green.”
- Decide on the order of ornament placement. The order you put decorations on the Yule-rod depends on what decorations you’re using. Be logical about it, though. Usually it goes garland-lights-ornaments, but not always. We first tied the dangling Christmas ornaments to the rod, not the garland, then hung the garland, wrapped the white lights around it, added the bow, and then stuck some Christmas tchotchkes on the window sill.
- Use zip ties: Zip ties are better than string, tape, or any other method for affixing the garland to the rod. Zip ties are easy, fast, and sturdy. You might be able to get away with just twisting the garland around the rod, but a zip-tie means you’re sure.
- Choose the right ribbon: Get the ribbon with the wire in it and save yourself a ton of trouble.
Below are some links to garlands and shower curtain rods, but you may have almost all of these decorations already.
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