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Festive DIY Garlands

I’m currently obsessed with all things garland! The walls in our apartment are either brick or plywood directly over brick (charming, right?) so we have limited options as far as wall decor goes, since picture hanging is pretty much a nonstarter. It’s a bit of a blessing in disguise because I’m forced to get creative – see: DIY String Art.

Garlands are usually brought out of storage around the holidays, but why not make something festive yet neutral enough to display as a wall hanging year-round? I originally envisioned 3 different elements one one strand, but as I was constructing the piece, things fell into place a bit differently – for me. Feel free to take this as f r e e f o r m inspiration and go wherever the wind will take you on your garland vision quest.

 

ELEMENT 1 – HANDMADE POM POMS

If you’re not a yarn hoarder like I am, head on over to a craft store and behold the black hole that is the yarn aisle. Prepare to spend at least 20 minutes staring blankly at all the colors and textures, and let yourself go nuts. I used at least 6 different colors of yarn in my final piece, but feel free to hone it down to like 3ish if you’re on a budget. Rules of the road for pom pom making – cheap + fuzzy yarn works well enough. No need to go for the 100% wool stuff; if anything, my experience was that the cheapo acrylic yarn actually behaved better than the hand dyed single ply baby merino alpaca handwash-only snootypants wool I have in my stash.

1. Begin wrapping yarn around the tines of a fork
2. Continue wrapping until your pom pom looks like this, around 20-30 times. Cut the yarn and hold the end in place to prevent it from unraveling.
3. Cut a 4-6″ length of yarn and thread it through the center tines of the fork. Tie a knot around the middle of your pom pom as tightly as possible. This tight tension will help make the pom pom fluffy and will cover the seams.
4. When slipped off the fork, your pom pom should look like this. At this point, if you feel the yarn is not tied tightly enough, you can wrap the tails around the pom once more and tie another knot.
5. Cut the yarn wraps with small sharp scissors.
6. Continue cutting all the way around the pom pom. Make sure all loops are cut before moving on.
7. Your pom should look like this when all loops have been cut.
8. Trim the pom pom into a ball. Continue trimming until you’re satisfied with the shape!
6. You can leave the long tail if you’d prefer to tie your pom poms to the garland instead of threading them through. Otherwise, cut the tail yarn to match the length of the rest of the pom.

ELEMENT 2 – PAPER BEADS

I had so much fun making these that I’m already planning what else I can use them in! I painted stripes on 11×14″ paper with several colors of acrylic paint and a relatively dry brush to achieve the effect below but you could also use wrapping paper, newspaper, or magazine pages for a different effect. Experiment with color combinations, and have fun with it!

 

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1. Measure and cut out triangles onto the blank side of patterned paper.

2. Begin to roll your triangle strips, patterned side out. I used a size 7 knitting needle as my base. Continue to roll the strip, keeping edges even.

3. Once you reach the last third of paper material, paint glue onto wrong side of paper.
4. Coat outside of bead with glue to make your piece more permanent.
5. Allow beads to dry for a few hours before stringing.

 

 

ELEMENT 3 – COPPER TUBING

 

copper-beads

I used 1/4″ soft copper refrigerator coil and a pipe cutter to make copper beads of different lengths, but you could also buy precut copper fittings for ~$1 apiece at most hardware stores.

 

 

put it all together

 

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stringing

 

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Elizabeth
Blogger at Merit + Fork
The Merit of Merit + Fork, Elizabeth's posts are driven by her innate need to just make stuff.

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