Traditionally, garlands were made of flowers and / or leaves. For Christmas you might see pine boughs incorporated as well. Perhaps for outdoors you might add some fruit. Explore natural materials that might be included in a garland.
2. Pre-made faux botanicals.
You can purchase pre-made garland faux botanicals. By adding flowers, foliage, bows and other items, you can take this simple garland to “wow”. Try sprucing up a pre-made garland.
3. Decorating light strings.
Use a string of lights with your garland. You can use it as a decorative element on a garland. You can also cover up each individual light with decorative paper or punched items. Try using a string of lights to create a garland.
You can use a string and attach items to make a garland. Clear fishing line works well if you don’t want to see the “cord” between the items. Make a garland with beads, pom poms, tassles, popcorn, pine cones, ornaments, jingle bells, letters, pennants, etc.
5. Punched and diecut shapes.
Punched shapes can be used between words as in our “strung” step above or they can be used on their own. Letters can be placed on pennants or other shapes. They can be placed on lighted strings. Look at different ways you can incorporate punched shapes into your garland.
6. Paper chains.
Kids love to put together paper chains. You can color coordinate with a room’s decor or for a holiday. The kids can draw or decorate the paper strips before assembly. If you don’t want to do paper, you can make chains with other items such as pipe cleaners or plastic canvas. Explore using the paper chain idea with different materials.
7. Individual letters.
Shapes of rectangles and pennants are great for individual letters. You can use any material or craft technique to create them. I made a “Happy Birthday” garland out of plastic canvas for an outdoor pool party so the garland would last. Check out different ways to make or purchase letters for a garland.
Fall leaves, snowflakes and flowers can all be used in garlands for a seasonal look. You can leave the garland up for a few months. During the seasons, explore outside and note what items can be incorporated into your seasonal garland. If you choose to make a seasonal garland, do not feel forced to strictly stick to the items you find outside. You can replace flowers with paper ones or design your own snowflakes.
If you’re looking for a holiday-themed garland, you can find pre-made ones at numerous stores or online for inspiration. Find one that inspires you and try to recreate it with your own twist.
8. Gifts and ornaments.
Using a decorative yarn or string, you can attach received holidays cards, ornaments, kid drawings or small gifts. This allows you to change the look of your garland with the new items you receive every year. Explore this type of garland online and see different ways to attach your small gifts.
9. Railings and banisters.
Displaying a garland along a railing or banister may be draping it over the entire area or wrapping it around a single bar. Take one of your garlands and experiment with different ways to place the garland.
10. Windows and doorways.
Garland can be placed inside or outside windows and doorways. If you choose outside, be sure the materials can withstand the weather.
11. Mirrors and pictures.
Adding garland to a frame, mirror or pictures can bring attention to it and change the look of an area. Try different types of garlands on one of these items. Which do you like the best? Can you improve it further?
When you think of Christmas, garlands go on a mantel. It might be sitting on top with candles sitting with it or hanging with the stockings. I’ve also done garland for other seasons for the mantel to help brighten up the area. What would look good next to your mantel?
Examine other areas where garland might bring a little interest or life to an area. If outdoors, be sure the materials will last. Find an area you’d really like to decorate and make a garland specifically for that area.
Sites to Explore
To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_Garlands