Monday, July 2, 2012

DIY Fabric Garland

I decided to throw an Olympics Opening Ceremony party this year. I haven’t had anyone over to my house to hang out other than close girlfriends for a few years so I figured it was time to invite the gang over to cheer on Team USA. Decorations and food can get pricey so I’m doing everything on a budget. My budget for decorations was $20 – more than I initially thought but once I saw some Fourth of July stuff at the Dollar Store and in the Dollar section of Target, I couldn’t help myself. I figured those items could be used for multiple holidays so why not get a few.


The Opening Ceremony is on July 27 and naturally I have all of the décor done and ready to put up since I am a planner and planners get things done early.  I wanted to decorate with the theme of the Olympics so I’m going to have a few posts of decorations that I made with items found around the house or from the Dollar Store.  First up – a fabric garland. I pinned this one from Prudent Baby earlier this year.


I absolutely love the fabric garlands I’ve been seeing everywhere and they are incredibly easy to make. I figured it would make a big impact with little effort so why not use the colors of the Olympic rings for my strand. I used fabric I had in my fabric stash and for the blue, red and yellow tassels, I simply used a fat quarter cut in half to make two tassels. I didn’t want to buy more fabric (remember – I’m trying to do this cheaply!) so I worked with what I had and made the garlands a little smaller than others you may find online but they still look awesome. The black and green tassels are slightly heavier weight fabric (home décor fabric) so I cut pieces out of my yardage.

Here are the steps to make your own:

Step 1. Cut your fabric to size. If you were to measure mine, a fabric piece for a single tassel is 9.5” wide x 21” tall.  You can make them however large you’d like – in a few pictures, you’ll see how large mine turned out compared to my hand.


Step 2. Fold the fabric in half along the long side of the fabric. Since mine were cut to 9.5” x 21,”  when folded they are 9.5” x 10.5.”  In my case, since I folded the fat quarter piece in half before cutting down the middle (shown above) I didn’t have to fold again. HOWEVER, for the solid color fabric, I did fold since I measured and cut each piece to size.

Step 3. Starting at the open end, cut approximately 1” strips up towards the fold. Stop when you are 2-3 inches from the fold.  This is where I will tell you that if you have one of those rotary cutter thingies, use it. I used fabric scissors and after cutting fourteen tassels, my hand had major cramps.


Step 4. Open the fold and lay your fabric out. If you used patterned fabric like mine, the patterned side should be face down (so on the floor). If you used solid fabric (which works a little better), it doesn’t really matter which side is face down.


Step 5. Tightly roll up the fabric. Make sure you untangle any of the strands as you go. You can see that the darker, patterned side is now visible as you roll – that’s what you want so make sure your patterned fabric is face down when you start!



Step 6. Fold the roll in half and tie it with a ribbon or strand of matching fabric.



Step 7. Repeat for each tassel. My patterned tassels aren’t as full as the solid ones simply because the fabric is much lighter but you can fluff them up when you hang them. Again, use whatever you want – I just used what I had to keep this project to $0.


Step 8.  Slip some twine (rope, whatever you want to hang it from) through the hole at the top and voila – you have a fabric garland.


I hung mine in the living room from the picture ledge just to see how it looked (it has since moved) and I love how the patterned fabric plays nicely with the solids. I added some white tassels to beef it up a bit since I only had enough fabric for two sets of Olympic rings.



This project was FREE to me since I already owned the twine, fabric and ribbon to tie each tassel. If you buy fat quarters from the store, they are generally less than $2 each and my twine was from the Dollar Tree (so $1). Still a pretty inexpensive project if you don’t have the supplies on hand.

I still have more craft projects to share! Yes, I am a crafting dork.

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