Monday, November 10, 2008

'Tis the Season for a Tutorial!

I've been feeling the Christmas spirit ease in over the last week or so and I've been wanting to do nothing more than start all my Christmas crafts and gifts and ideas. I love my Christmases to be old fashioned in almost every way. I like homemade ornaments from homespun fabrics, soft sculpture Santa dolls and snowmen, pine cone ornaments, popcorn on a string, and of course, construction paper garland. This weekend I decided to turn our usual garland from construction paper rings into something permanent out of left over pieces of red and green and blue fabrics. Then I thought that I may as well capture it in photos and post a tutorial for it :)

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So, if you'd like to make one of these for your tree, here's what you'll need and how to do it:

  • 9"x3" strips of your choice of fabrics - as a reference, I ended up with 87 strips and when finished, it was 18.5 feet long.
  • 9"x1" strips of light to medium weight fusible interfacing
  • matching or contrasting thread
  • scissors and/or pinking shears

First cut all your fabric strips and interfacing strips. After they're all cut, heat your iron and get ready to apply the interfacing strips to make your fabric rings more sturdy.

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Lay flat a fabric strip with the right side down. Position the interfacing strip fusible side down and 1/4 inch from the top edge of the fabric.

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Fold the bottom edge of the fabric upward to meet with the top edge of the fabric (folding it in half), sandwiching the interfacing. Next, iron over the folded fabric for a few seconds to fuse the interfacing.

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Open the fabric strip again and fold the 1/4" excess above the interfacing toward the inside as shown and iron down. Do the same to the other side of the fabric strip and iron as well. Do this over and over until you get them all done.

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After all the strips are fused and prepared for sewing, let the fun begin! Sew each strip along the opening.


After they are all sewn along the edge, it's time to put the rings together. Take your first strip and meet the ends together with the right sides facing (this takes a little twist) and place it under your presser foot and sew it together. Trim your threads and trim the excess fabric very close to the seam using pinking shears or regular shears.

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Take your next strip of fabric and position it correctly through the loop of the first, making sure that right sides are together (again, with a little twist) and sew and trim it in the same way. Continue this until every strip is used and you are satisfied with the length.

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You can end up with a long strip of garland that can be used every year!

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It really is a fairly quick Christmas craft, easily done in one afternoon. I love the way it turned out and I love the fact that I can put it up and use it again and again. This garland can be done in many different colors and patterns and mine fits in with my old fashioned Christmas style. However, I know it would be beautiful done in Christmas themed fabrics, a more defined pattern to the ring placement, etc. Just use your imagination and do what feels like Christmas to you. If you do use this tutorial, please let me know....I'd love to see your finished product! I know there can be so many beautiful variations to this garland!

Happy Christmas Crafting!


Darcy said...

Such a cute and clever idea!

Samantha said...

What a neat idea! I might have to put this one on my ever-growing list of Christmas crafts!

Cherishing My Days said...

oh yes, me too. lol. i need to add this to my list. i am thinking berries and ice for this Christmas. perhaps this would look nice in magentas and creamy whites?

Charity said...

This is a great tutorial, thanks for sharing! :0)

Jessica said...

I love this!!! A perfect way to use up all of those holiday scraps I've been saving for the perfect project.

dawn said...

adorable! think of all the fabric possibilities! thanks for sharing this great idea.

Amy said...

I love this - so cute! I showed it to my girls today (ages 11 and 12). I think we're going to try it out. :)

aswewalk said...

Adorable! And wouldn't they make cute garlands for doorways? Just hang a little mistletoe from the center loop...

randi---i have to say said...

This is great, Sandra! I am needing to start some Christmas decorating and this may be just the thing. Aubry would love to help with it!

Thanks! I have a tutorial up today also. Great minds think alike, I suppose! ;)

Kate in NJ said...

That is lovely. I can't sew, but I may need to are such an inspiration!

"Dove" said...

Sew very cute! What a perfect touch to add to this year's tree. Thanks for sharing!

knitsational said...

Oh, I like these so much better than the paper ones. What agreat idea. Thanks for sharing, I've got the Christmas bug,too. :)

Pink & Green Mama said...

So clever! I am always so sad to throw out paper chains we spent so much time on, i love the idea of fabric ones. I may have to steal this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Brandy said...

This is my lucky day, I happen upon your blog via my girl and me blog, and this is the perfect solution for our tree!!!! I always want garland but never find just the right one!!!!!!!! I'm going to rush to the fabric store in the morning!!!!!!

Paige said...

What a wonderful idea - can't wait to try this one out! I've got so many scraps of fabric that this would be perfect for.