Today I'm sharing with you one of my favorite, simple, DIY projects! Paper garlands! You can make these for any occasion. I made them for my daughter's 1st Birthday last year and they completely transformed the house. You can re-use them every year for an effortless holiday decoration (like Christmas). I love the soft, whimsical look of them. If you have even the most basic of sewing machines, they are such a cost effective way to decorate. This week I repurposed a few strands to decorate my daughter's room. There was an empty wall that needed something and they added such a fun touch. Kids of all ages (and adults!) will enjoy these.
Pick out a few different colors of scrapbook paper, one piece of paper goes a long way (about 100 circles with a 1" punch on a 12x12 scrapbook paper). I chose white, light pink, dusty pink, dark shiny pink and glittery gold. The glittery gold gave it some pizazz! Depending on what you are making them for you can go crazy with colors.
Wedding: Blush, white, grey and gold
Valentine Paper Garlands: Red and pink
Easter: Pale shades of pink, yellow, green, blue and purple
Fourth of July: Red, white and blue
Mermaid Birthday: Purple, green, teal, sparkly white
(Pictured above: paper garlands strung on my daughter's wall. I used two clothespins that I adhered glitter on the front using a thin coat of modge podge. Each clothespin has a tab of command brand strip behind it so it doesn't leave marks on the wall.)
My tip when buying the paper is to purchase it when the paper specials are happening (which is almost always). I got the sheets of scrapbook paper from Joann's Fabric, 10 sheets for $1! I mean you can't beat that price. I wouldn't use construction paper, it's too flimsy. Scrapbook paper is sturdy and when you sew through it, it holds up really well.
The shapes are also limitless, as long as you have a punch you can make whatever shapes you like! For this project I used a Fiskars 1" circle punch. Once you get into a rhythm you can crank these babies out pretty fast! And it doesn't hurt to have a helper (thanks mom) to punch out the circles.
Various colors of scrapbook paper
Circle paper punch
Step 1: Select paper
Step 2: Punch out circles
Step 3: Decide if you want a specific color pattern OR random color pattern. If you want a specific pattern you'll want to organize them in that manner, placing one on top of another to keep in the order. Otherwise just stack them in any old order, I did random for mine (but strategically placed the gold). Keeping them in a little stack helps you grab the next one faster.
Step 4: Pull the thread out of the machine a bit so you have at least 6" of a tail. Set your needle to the middle of your presser foot.
Step 5: Place your first circle under your presser foot and start sewing slowly.
*Note: You don't have to do this, but it's helpful in my opinion. Grab a little tape and make a guide next to the side of your circle. My experience is that it helps you line up the circles faster and helps you to sew the same position each time.
Step 6: Once you reach the end of that one continue sewing a few steps and then push another circle under the presser foot. Continue this until you have the length you want. Tip: You can always make a LONG strand then cut off pieces. Just be careful not to tangle them.
Step 7: On your last circle, backstitch once or twice. Don't cut the thread yet, raise your needle and your presser foot, now pull the circle out so you have another 6" of thread on the back end as well. Now cut.
Step 8: Bask in the ambience of your beautiful paper garland! Pat yourself on the back, you did fantastic! If you have any questions make sure to leave a comment or click the mail icon to email me.
(Pictured above: My daughter's 1st birthday, a banner and a strand of paper garlands)