Fall fabric garland

While Andrew assembled the final pieces of his bike this Saturday, I started on my own creation: a simple fall-inspired garland to hang above our living room archway. When it comes to crafting, I prefer simple, quick and either very low cost or recycled/ reused projects. My favorite materials to work with are fabric, paper, and natural elements like twine, pinecones, sticks, dog hair (hehe, kidding), etc.

I searched Pinterest for inspiration and first fell for this ruffled burlap garland:

Ruffles on clothing: not for me. Ruffles in home decor: YES. There is something classic, luxurious, and textural about a ruffle I just love. But I feared this burlap garland was “too brown” – our little adobe is finished with a lot of neutral colors already and I wanted something with some color. I thought about doing a ruffle garland in another fabric – but all the ruffle tutorials I found online looked a little…. time consuming. Especially since I don’t have a sewing machine and would have to do it all by hand. I could just see myself sewing about 5 inches of garland and giving up.  I’ve found one of the keys to recreating Pinterest projects is to be honest about your skill and commitment level – or else you might end up like one of these memes:

via http://craftfail.com/

So when I found this fabric garland, with its use of scraps and non-sewing, I knew it was the right  project for me.

Easy! Pretty!

It is SO easy and actually uses the same knotting technique I used for the dog tutus last year. The hardest part was picking out a color combination. I had leftover brown floral and rust orange fabric in my craft chest, but I did end up going to Hobby Lobby for a few more items. I picked up an additional golden paisley cloth, an ivory lace, shimmery green ribbon and a package of bias tape for the line. (Don’t forget the 40% off coupon!) The combination is still pretty neutral – browns, oranges, gold, ivory – and the lace gives it a sweet vintage feel. I hate the term “pop of color” – it is so overused. Seriously, read any craft or fashion blog and “pops of color” are everywhere, to the point of insanity. I prefer “accent color,” since it seems more descriptive and less silly. ANYWAY, I used the green ribbon as my “accent color.”

The first step was to cut the fabric into strips. After eyeballing different lengths, I decided I wanted a strip that would hang about 6 inches. This means you want to fold your fabric lengthwise (so you get the most amount of strips), and then measure from top to bottom (fold to loose end) to about six inches. Unfolded, it would measure 12 inches top to bottom. See what I did there? Math. I am sure that description is confusing, so here’s a few photos:

Measuring and math are not my strong points and I didn’t use any ruler or anything, so I can’t give specifics. I do know I had about half a yard’s length of each fabric and that was plenty for this project, with a bit leftover.

So then you cut each fabric into strips ranging from about 1 inch – 3 inches wide. I obviously like this kind of easy “measuring,” which results in a casual look. You can do whatever you want!


Then I took my bias tape and tied it taut between a chair and… the dog kennel. The key is to have the tape taut – it really doesn’t matter how you do it.


Next, knot the fabric strips over the line! The technique for this is impossible for me to explain, but I found some good visual instructions online, here:  How to Make a Simple Scrap Fabric Banner

I did use a sort of complicated and rotating pattern to the order of the fabric strips. After all, I like casual but I also like balance. Looking effortless and chic always requires some effort! Here is the end result:

Pretty! Even the boys liked it, or so they said before they left for Utah.


Andrew and Thomas, gearing up.


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