quaking aspen, previously

Easy Fabric Garland

Posted on: December 7, 2006

[More photos will be forthcoming…]

I write this at the behest of Rockester, head of the ScrappersChallenge list.

garland002A friend of mind taught me how to make this – it’s ridiculously easy and I love the look of it. It took only a couple of hours to make – start to finish, not counting fighting the crowds in the fabric section at the store and choosing from all the wonderful fabrics. It’s far from rocket science; the directions aren’t terribly exact. Any questions, leave them in my comments and I’ll try to be more clear.

I apologize for the uninteresting looking photo, I’ll try to get a better one.

Easy Fabric Christmas (or other holiday) Garland

You will need:

  • A string of 100 tree lights — I used white, but whatever.
  • A yard each of five different holiday prints (or combination of prints and solids; pick one you like then match it with other fabrics) — I ran just the tiniest bit short, if you wanted you could add one more yard of a sixth, just to be safe.
  • Scissors – just to make a few little snips

garland010Not sure what I think about the dark blue fabric I chose. Ah well.


A. Prepare strips – do this to each yard of cloth

  1. Snip and rip off the selvege, if it’s white or otherwise distracting.
  2. Fold the yard into thirds along the 45″ (or whatever) width, make a little cut at each fold, and tear.
  3. Pile the three pieces of cloth together evenly, and make small snips down the length, every 2-3 inches.
  4. Rip the strips. Pick off extra threads, a bit ravelly is okay. Stack each yard’s strips in its own pile.

B. Decide on your fabric sequence. You can do an in and out pattern: 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5 etc, but then you’ll need extra of the middle colors. I just did one after another, repeating. Rearrange the piles of strips into your sequence order.

C. Take each end and double the string of lights, off-setting them to make the gaps between lights smaller. (Do I need an illustration?) Actually you’ll be working from the ends, so don’t worry about getting it all perfect and neat before you start tying. No need to even unwind the whole string – just do it as you go. Leave as much of a tail at the bottom as you can, for plugging in and all. Don’t worry about the extra plug – it will be obscured by fabric.

D. Start tying the strips of fabric around the doubled lights wire, starting at the plug end. Just a single tie will do, don’t worry about knots. I did two strips between each pair of lights. Keep tying all the way up to the other end of the lights. Also, I folded the strips in half lengthwise, right side out, before I tied them, so that the fabric would be more likely to show the pattern.

When you’re finished, twist the strips around a little, settling them nicely.

garland003If you want a longer garland, maybe use two strings of lights, held together, and more fabric of course (at least twice as much, possibly more; maybe two yards of each – no need to get TOO many patterns).


6 Responses to "Easy Fabric Garland"

Ooo! I want to see pictures!

could you show me how to make synthetic garland with wire and fabric

I make these to sell — but I use a piece of jute to tie my strips on. I cut all my strips with pinking shears and then fold each strip in 1/2 when tying. I add in jingle bells and unfinished wooden pieces as well to give them a real country feel. If I want lights added then I just wrap with a string of lights but I find they are beautiful in an of themselves. I make all kinds — I currently have a few on ebay for sale.

Oh my gosh… I love your blog! The whole thing! The reason that I’m commenting on this OLLLLLLLD post is because I had Googled “Fabric Christmas Garland” and this post came up. I’m doing a garland for a friend soon and this will be PERFECT! I’m confused though about the lights being doubled over. Doesn’t this make it really short? Maybe I’m just not getting it. 🙂

Anyway, thanks for a great project – just what I was looking for!


Karen Beth 🙂

I have spent a lot of time looking for this craft. I saw something similiar to this a few years ago at a christmas party. The one I saw was not wrapped around lights but sewn. I think she had stacked the material in bundles of three and sewn across the middle, than connecting each bundle. If I can’t figure how she had it sewn, I may try tying my material around twin similiar to yours. I am so glad I saw your posting! Thank you and I can’t wait to get started.

Angie, Brunswick Md

Appreciating the time and energy you put into your website and detailed information
you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information.
Great read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

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