I am currently in the final stages of preparation to attend NCYC 2017 in Indianapolis, IN later this week with my company, Pink Salt Riot. Last night as I sat in my studio furiously doing ridiculous math like finding the average volume of transactions necessary per hour to reach various sales goals while figuring in the square footage of booth required per person and the likeliness of a sale (the entrepreneur version of epic worry) my husband decided to interrupt the crazy.
“Maybe you really are, just, you know, ready to go? This is getting kind of ridiculous. It seems like you should probably do something else until Wednesday.”
Ah, yes. Wisdom.
Sooooo… hello something else! Actually, this tutorial relates strongly to NCYC as I made over 60 feet of this garland to decorate my booth. It’s going to be gorgeous. (Watch my Insta for pics because you know you want to now.) A gift guide recently called PSR “the Catholic Anthropologie” and I may have teared up with joy a little bit and then decided my booth needed to really bring the thunder to live up to that honor. But I digress.
Floral garland. That was what I was trying to talk about. In my Pinterest searching for DIY floral garlands it seemed like most of them required a.) me to already be a florist or b.) $100 of supplies and 1000 hours of time. I have none of these things to offer.
So, I figured I could make my own with stuff no one wanted. And I did!If you are skeptical that you can also pull this off here is a quick quiz to find out:
Can you use scissors?
Can you tie a knot?
If the answer to both of these questions is yes than you too can make these pretty garlands! Without further ado, here is the tutorial! (Please forgive the image quality of the tutorial photos – my iPhone decided to abandon it’s standards for the day apparently).
Easy Fabric Floral Garland
- Some green t-shirt yarn. I have an easy tutorial right here and all you need is scissors and a tshirt!
- Green fabric/old clothes/blankets. I love using fleece because it has nice thickness and doesn’t fray. Old pullovers, robes, and blankets are perfect. All my leaves in this example are made from an old mens robe snagged for $0.50 at the thrift store.
- Fabric for flowers. Go crazy. Pick any colors or patterns that suit you. I love jersey (tshirt fabric), polyester, and fleece for these since they don’t fray, but if you don’t mind a little fraying you can use ANYTHING. Burlap. Linen. Terry cloth. Combine whatever colors suit you and your use.
- Scissors. If you want to decorate a gymnasium with these you’re going to want some fabric scissors, but if you’re just a dabbler regular scissors will get you through.
You are going to begin with a lot of cutting. A lot. So find a good show to have on in the background or do some hardcore intercession. None of the cuts are hard or complicated, just repetitive. And no tracing or following a pattern or any of that noise. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
You’re going to start by cutting rectangles of the green fabric. Size is totally up to you as it will determine the overall look of your garland a lot. Mine are about 2″ x 3.5″ in this example. Cut a lot of them. If I were math-y I could accurately tell you how to estimate how many you will want for the overall length of garland you want, but apparently my math skills are limited to equations of entrepreneurial insanity. It’s really just going to depend on your spacing and the size of all your pieces.
Next you will begin cutting your flower pieces from the other fabric. I tried cutting both circles and squares and I was a bigger fan of the squares because they were both easier to cut and looked more natural in the garland, but circles are a good option if you are a detail oriented person (not me) with patience (not me) and uniformity is important to the final look for you (not me). You can trace a circular lid to cut the circles more easily.
Now you should have a nice big pile of both flowers and leaves. It’s about to get fun.
I decided to make my leaves look a little more organic by clipping the corners off of all the rectangles. This was all it took to make the green bits look truly “leafy.” You can typically (depending on your fabric) cut a few at the same time to make this go quicker.
You’ll start by cutting a length of t-shirt yarn about 50% longer than you want the garland to actually be to allow for the knotting. If you want to make a 10 foot garland I would recommend cutting a piece longer than 15 ft. etc. The yarn will need to be cut vs. left on the ball to allow you to use both ends to knot. It is also pretty easy to add on to the garland if need be by knotting the end of one length AND the beginning of a new length on a single leaf to connect.
To tie on a leaf, pinch the middle of a leaf piece together like shown below.
Loop the end of the yarn over the pinched part and tie it in a knot as shown below.
Pull tightly so it looks like the picture below. You have made a leaf!
Now time for the flowers. Pinch the middle of the square (or circle) to gather all parts of the flower to the front as shown in the second picture below.
While keeping a tight hold on your pinched flower, wrap the yarn around the base of the flower exactly where you want it to be in relation to the leaf. Once you have the spacing you want use the free end of the yarn to wrap around the pinched flower and create a knot. Pull hard every time you make a knot. If you think your garland is going to be going through some hard love you can add a dot of glue to each knot, but if you are planning to use it for simple decorating then you shouldn’t need the glue.
And there you go! That’s how you make a leaf and a flower! These simple techniques will allow you to make a basically infinite number of combinations, looks, and feels.