A shabby chic garland is a simple, colorful, inexpensive craft and decoration for your home or any occasion.
Plus, they're so fun to make! I'll show you how...
If you like, you could use fabric scissors with a decorative edge (like the scalloped edge in photo above) instead of the traditional, zig-zag pinking shears. Pinking shears help preserve the fabric's edges from unraveling, as fabrics can do when cut with straight-edged scissors.
From your stash of fabric scraps, or from the remnants at a yardage store, gather an assortment of fabrics with varying colors and patterns, suitable to your decor or approaching occasions, such as:
· Pastels, with spring themed patterns, for Easter
· Reds and greens, or blues and whites for the holidays
· Vivid colors, in stripes, polka-dots, or little clouds for a rainbow-themed party
· Retro-western patterns and colors for a cowboy (or cowgirl) birthday party
· Colors and patterns which complement your home decor in lovely ways
Select the patterns and colors of fabrics, to make a pleasing array to fit your special occasion or daily decor.
Decide how tall you want your final garland to be, taking into consideration the size of the fabrics you have. Garlands can be lengthy or short. Just remember that each pennant will end up being a little less than half the total length of each strip of fabric (minus an inch or two, taken up by the knot).
Using your pinking shears, cut your different fabrics into strips of approximately the same length and width. Sizing of each strip doesn't need to be exact (and since its shabby chic, it probably shouldn't be!).
Lay the strips down in the approximate order you like, rearranging later when the strips are all laid out, however you like. The trick seems to be balancing the contrasts of shade, pattern, and vividness.
Stretch out a length of cotton string to fit your garland's future home, and cut the string, leaving several extra feet on each end.
Tie that extra length from each end of string to the tops of a couple chairs. Then, move the chairs apart until your string is stretched out until barely taut -- not too tight, or you might pull your chairs over as you tie on your pennants, pulling on the string.
Near one end of the cotton string, take your first strip of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise, leaving a soft crease approximately in the center.
Lay the folded pennant over the top of the cotton string so the crease is hanging down on one side and the two "tails" are on the other. It doesn't matter if you have the creased loop on the front of the string, or the back -- just be consistent throughout, so all the knots match one another.
Tuck the two tails into the crease's "loop," and pull them through until the knot is loose enough to have some volume, but firm enough that the pennant won't come undone in a breeze.
Add your next pennant to the cotton string, tying it so that a little string shows between them, but not so far apart that the garland looks too spare.
Continue tying each pennant onto the string until your garland is complete. Slide the pennants around if necessary to balance everything out. Since the knots aren't too tight, this should be easily done.
Hang your garland wherever you wish for all to admire -- along a mantel, across a window, or even atop the doorway entrance to your festivities. So colorful, and so fun! Enjoy!
Bonus: if you need a ribbon to tie up your hair, you know just where to get one!