Dec 8, 2010

A Fun and Frugal Holiday Garland

When I first began working on Christmasy projects a few weeks ago, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to post them on my blog.  I'm not Christian but I love so many things about this holiday.  Since I have a hard time with words, I'd like to borrow from Christie of Grace is Overrated, who perfectly expressed what I had been feeling on this topic.  In a recent post she said, "I didn't want to offend those who might celebrate differently than I do or not at all, for I know that Christmas is not a universal celebration.  Most of all, I want this to be a place where we all feel welcome and appreciated and included."
Thank you Christie, for saying that so well!
I hope that those of you who don't celebrate Christmas will not feel hurt or excluded.  If you'd ever like to adapt one of my projects to a holiday or event you celebrate and want ideas how, please contact me - I'd love to brainstorm.  :-) If you adapt a project and share it online somewhere, please let me know in the comments so I can link to it!  I would love that.
This project in particular lends itself well to any occasion one wants to decorate for.  I love it so much that I plan to make one in rainbows to have up at all times.  Not to celebrate anything (well, I suppose to celebrate my love of rainbows :)

I originally planned to make this garland by punching circles from cool paper and gluing to a string.  I quickly discovered that I didn't have the patience to get the gluestick on the circles and line them up on either side of the string before the glue dried... at least not for the time it would take to make 12 feet of it!  I had the circles all punched out and was very disappointed until I had a sudden brainwave...
No glue.  No punches.  EASY!  And best of all, FUN because I love stickers.

This holiday garland has some parts that could easily be done by children and some best for adults.


  • tape (I use painters tape because it is easy to unstick from walls, string, fingers etc)
  • 1 package of coloured circle stickers (any colours you like)
  • thread or string (any colour you like - I used silver because I like sparkly things)
  • Optional:  1 package of coloured metallic star stickers (or any sticker you like that is smaller than the circles)

I already had thread and tape on hand so this garland cost about $2 in stickers bought at a dollar store.  If you use only circles, it would be around $1

Step 1. (kid-friendly)

Stick the star stickers onto the circle stickers.  You can use contrasting colours.  I decided I liked how it looked best when the star was the same colour as the circle.  This photo doesn't show it well but when the light hits the stars, they reflect.
They don't need to be even - this step could easily be done by any age of child that could be trusted with stickers.
Idea: children could also draw on a few of the circles instead of putting stars on them.  They may enjoy later picking out their drawings as they look at the garland.  Another option is to spell out words - 1 letter per circle.

Step 2.

Tape a length of string between 2 walls in a corner.  You could also tape one end to a table and the other to a wall. If you leave the string attached to the spool, then you don't have to calculate how many stickers will fit on what length, just keep on sticking until they are used up!
If you look closely on the left, you can see that I experimented with having circles and stars alternate on the string - it was much too finicky to get the stars to match up evenly so I abandoned that idea.  You can also see that I didn't immediately think of putting the stars on the circles before attaching them to the string!  Trust me, it's way easier to do Step 1 first :-]

Step 3. (not so kid-friendly)

a) Stick the stickers to one side of the string.    I stuck one on the string, pressed the string firmly onto the adhesive and was able to let go while I got the other sticker from the sheet.  This may not work as well if you were using a heavier weight of string. It doesn't have to be in the exact centre.
b) Stick a matching colour of sticker to the other side of the string, lining it up as close as possible to the first sticker.  Don't stress out if they don't match up perfectly.  Once I hung mine, I couldn't even see the mistakes.
c) Decide how far apart you want to space the stickers and repeat steps 3 a) and b) until your garland is as long as you want!

I made a big long garland but this would also look very nice in many shorter strands hanging down vertically from a ceiling.  I used my experimental alternating star/circle piece to hang down from the centre of the garland.

To prevent tangling:
As you fill up the length of string you have taped between the 2 walls, you can loop the finished pieces and tape to the wall like this:
To store:  I will wrap it around a piece of cardboard that I've made notches in each end of, then put in a file folder or envelope.  You could also wrap it around an empty paper towel roll as shown in the photo on this blog: Polka Dot Garland

When made with thin thread, this garland is very light and airy.  It is held up to the ceiling with Scotch tape and has not threatened to fall down.  I doubt the entire 12 feet would hold with just 2 pieces of tape but I hung it in scalloped sections and it's holding well.

If you try this project, or a variation on it, and post online, I'd love if you'd comment with a link!

Happy decorating!


  1. What a great idea! I bet they look pretty when there's a breeze from a door opening, etc. :-)

  2. they do Katie!
    they are light enough that when the heat is on, the twist back and forth and the light glints off the stars :)

  3. How fun! Great I idea with the stickers!

    I made holiday garland this year too. Mine involved cutting out circles.... lots of them, but it was not too bad. I sewed them together on the machine! How cool is that? Just fed each paper circle through the sewing maching like feeding paper into a copier. Very easy, the entire strand of garland done in 5 min or so!

  4. Your garland sounds awesome Amy!
    I had heard of sewing garlands like that but wasn't sure how well it would work so I love hearing that it was so easy! Do you mind me asking how thick the paper was? Maybe I could do this with all of those circles I punched out!

    p.s. if you have any pics of your garland, I would love to see them :)

  5. This is a really fun project. I would have loved doing it when I was still teaching school! Thank you for stopping by my blog...I love what you are doing with color in your paintings. So vibrant.

  6. Thanks you for your kind comments BarbaraB! I do think this project could be lots of fun to do with kids if the adults did some of the more finicky parts.


Your comments are valued and appreciated - thank you.
To avoid spam, comments are moderated. Your comment should appear within a day or so.
Bright blessings upon you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...