First we'd like to congratulate sweetcakes, the winner of October's giveaway! Be sure to check out the great projects she's posted to the gallery and send her a note of congratulations! Thanks to all who commented, and be sure to check out November's Holiday Cards Challenge for another chance to win great goodies!
Crafting garlands and swags to drape on mantels, along staircases, and over doorways has become:
- a quick and easy way to decorate for a party,
- add some pizzazz for a celebration, or
- an inexpensive way to decorate during the holiday festivities.
Garlands date back to the early American settlers. They brought the tradition of crafting and decorating to America.
The garlands were used on Christmas trees, for decorating the home during the holidays, and for decorating churches, businesses, and hospitals.
Many settlers sold their handmade garlands to increase their income.
The handmade garlands of the early settlers were made of natural ingredients like pine needles, fruits, and mosses.
Today’s garlands are made mostly of artificial supplies.
This has an advantage for it saves our trees and it makes it so we can reuse our garlands each year which is better for the environment.
As we are approaching the holidays, and with celebrations around the corner, I want to give you a zillion ideas on different types of garlands you may want to make for your home.
Let’s get your crafting on and decorate your home.
Food Garland Ideas:
Popcorn and Cranberries:
Stringing popped popcorn and cranberries is a memory from my own childhood Christmases.
I remember sitting with a big bowl of popcorn on my lap and carefully pushing a needle through the berries and popcorn.
We used dental floss as the thread for string. It was strong and many of our garlands would last because of its durability.
Coffee Filter Garland:
I first saw this idea on Pam Garrison’s blog. It has been recreated for weddings, showers, and home décor.
Pam said she was inspired by the store Anthropologie.
She dyed coffee filters and strung them to create a lovely garland (seen in the picture above).
I have seen this idea recreated with cupcake liners mixed in with the coffee filters.
I have also seen old book papers, music note paper, and scrapbook paper circles added to the design of the garland.
When I dye coffee filters, I use tea or coffee to get the brown color I like. Try coloring them with stamping ink.
Be careful with your hands and where you dry your filters. You may dye more than just the coffee filters.
It seems like during the holidays, I pull out my baking supplies and reintroduce myself to my cookie cutters.
I have a love for the metal ones.
They come in all sizes now.
You may find me baking with them or tying one on a package for extra loveliness.
Cookie cutters are perfect for tracing around.
Look how Melissa create this sweet garland in the photo above.
You can create wonderful shapes and have the little ones in your life color the cut-outs or decorate them with sequins or stickers.
String the cut-outs with a shoestring or yarn to create a kitchen garland. Another idea is to use the actual cookie cutters themselves.
String them to decorate an area in the kitchen. Mix in cinnamon sticks and popcorn and cranberries and you have created a one of a kind masterpiece.
Paper Garland Ideas:
The garland I remember making the most was the paper chain.
We used it to decorate the little tree in my room during the holidays, also as a way to keep track of when an event was going to occur, and as a festive party decoration.
I remember taking off a link from a paper chain when I was trying to understand how many days it was until a vacation.
My mom would make a chain where each link represented a day. Every morning I would take off a link and the chain would grow shorter. It was used as a visual to help me understand time. Creating this garland was fun and easy.
You will need many strips of paper. Cardstock or patterned paper works well. Mix the types for a unique design. Choose colors for the holidays -- like orange and black for Halloween, pink and red for Valentine’s Day, red and green for Christmas.
Simply create a loop with your first paper by securing the ends together and place the next paper through the loop and secure its ends together. Watch your chain grow. String them from the ceiling, wrap them around your tree, or hang them vertically to help you keep track of an upcoming event.
This garland idea is gaining in popularity.
The fan-folded rosette is appearing on scrapbook pages, home décor craft items, and wearables -- so why not garlands!
String your rosettes together with ribbon scraps, torn fabric scraps, or trim.
When hanging your pieces or stringing them together for a garland, keep this tip in mind: Garlands can be tricky to hang. I recommend adding your pieces to the garland once it is hanging.
Gravity has a way of turning things around and causing your garland to hang “wonk-y”!
Flags and Pennants:
This type of garland is the one I see the most.
For birthday parties or team celebrations, these garlands are used.
The triangular shape is perfect for placing a letter on each section of the pennant to spell a message.
I prefer to use two-sided patterned paper so when I hang my garland in a doorway it looks good on both sides.
Paper Doll Garlands:
A childhood favorite that has come back time after time in popularity.
Using a piece of paper, fold it in half and then fold it again and again.
You will have 8 rectangles when finished folding.
Draw or trace your design on the top rectangle.
Make sure it is touching the edges on both sides of the paper.
Do not cut through the design on the sides where it is touching the edge.
Cut out the shape and decorate your garland.
This idea works for any shape.
I could see bunnies at Easter or a silhouette of the birthday girl cut into a garland. That would be a WOW party décor item!
Itty Bitty Garlands:
This is becoming a new trend in decorating.
Itty-bitty garlands are strung on lamp shades, tree branches stuck in urns, and across scrapbook layouts.
Itty-bitty Garlands are simple to make. Cut out triangles, ½ circles, whatever shape you dream of and sew your pieces into a garland. If you are a non-sewer, then glue string to the backside of your pieces.
Paper punches come in handy for this type of garland.
Punch out a shape, instead of cutting it, for a whimsical garland.
Have different shapes punched out and mixed onto the same garland. So much fun in miniature!
Fabric Garland Ideas:
This type of garland uses the same thought as the pennant garland.
Simply cut out triangles from favorite fabrics with pinking shears (they eliminate having to finish the edges on your garland).
Sew the triangles onto a ribbon and drape this lovely garland on the wall. I love the garlands made long enough to fit along the top molding of a room.
It is like a removable wallpaper border.
Check out Twig and Thistle's Blog to make the bunting pictured above.
This type of garland is also lovely for an outdoors party. Hang it from the deck to a tree.
It is easy to fold and store this garland in a box for future parties.
I saw a fabric garland at my favorite red dot store in the little girl’s home décor area for $39. Let’s get crafting!
Little simple stuffed animals are being strung together as whimsical garlands.
I have seen felt birds, owls, and reindeer made using a simple color book two-dimensional type pattern.
One embellishment is added to these before hanging.
It is usually an eye.
Buttons and beads work well for decorating.
The softies are strung and hung from staircase railings or above mirrors in homes.
I wanted to make fabric owls or black crows to hang on my mirror but this month has flown by.
So I put it in my file for Halloween crafts for next year.
Love this idea for a vintage look or for a colorful summer party!
Use old handkerchiefs, the ones that have embroidery on them or are crochet along the outer edge, fold the handkerchief in half and tie it end to end to create a banner.
It is like connect the past with the present. (Sigh) -- It is so lovely!
For a modern twist on the idea, tie brightly colored bandanas in the same method.
A simple and a colorful party decoration!!
If you are a yo-yo sewer, then stringing these bits of fabric together
I am sure has crossed your mine. Kristy created this button design yo-yo garland.
A tip is to iron your yo-yo flat before adding the button to the center.
Try making a craft tree this holiday and using yo-yo’s as your garland.
Hang dollar store scissors tied with ribbon and homemade paper shapes or punches on your tree.
Decorate your creative space for the holidays!
String shiny beads, brightly colored pom-poms, and sparkly broken necklace pieces to create elegant garlands.
Again, I love to use dental floss for stringing my bits and pieces.
It is strong and less likely to break. Attaching old chains, earrings, and bracelets together with jump rings is a simple way to create a long garland type chain.
One of my favorite jewelry garlands I made was a soldered piece that was for a store in my home town.
It is a great idea for a garland in a home. I could picture it saying, “Home for the Holidays” or “Cast a Spell”.
I used old book and music note paper from a thrift store and placed rub-on letters on it.
Then I sandwiched it between glass and got out my soldering iron to seal and connect it.
Hanging old chandelier charms and glass beads from it makes it look expensive and elegant.
I hope it sparked your create juices.
Box Garland: Boxes make great frames and mini shadowboxes.
I love the lids. SAVE THEM!
Add your photos inside the lid and decorate the outside by wrapping patterned paper around the edge of the box.
String the upper section of the lids together and hang. It is not only festive but it is a personal garland with your favorite photos on display.
I love little scenes highlighted in the lids of boxes. Create a spooky scene or a winter scene and string each part of the story together.
Maybe your box lids will tell the story of “The Night Before Christmas” or will highlight your favorite Edgar Allen Poe poem.
Sweaters and Felt: Wash and shrink those no longer used wool sweaters.
Cut the pieces into squares and string on dental floss.
Add jingle bells to random pieces of sweaters. It looks and feels warm and cozy just like your décor.
Garlands are called many things -- Flags, pennants, buntings, and chains are a few descriptive words they are known as.
One thing they all have in common is the joy they bring into the home from displaying them or from making them as a family.
Pull out your supplies and watch the magic happen in your home by creating garlands together.
I am sure you will feel “GA GA for Garlands” like I do!
~Miss Nifty Thrifty (Studio Pink)