DIY Holiday Garlands — 5 Ways

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this seasonGarlands are a great way to instantly add holiday cheer to every unsuspecting surface or ledge in your home. The fireplace mantel? Well, it probably saw it coming. But the chandeliers, picture frames, and curtain rods? They won't know what hit 'em.

Yeah, I get a little garland crazy for the holidays, but I can't help it! They're irresistibly charming and really fun to make. Check out these five holiday garlands I created for Christmas decorations this year, difficulties ranging from time-consuming and meticulous to quick and dirty.

DIY Stocking Advent Calender GarlandADVENT STOCKING GARLAND

This project was the most tedious of all the garlands I created because of all the cutting and hand stitching involved. This is a great project for those who enjoy things like crochet, embroidery, or hand quilting.

Supplies:
-felt in two colors
-fabric scissors
stocking template (click to download)
-embroidery needle
-embroidery floss in coordinating and contrasting colors
-your choice of trim, such as rick rack and pom poms

DIY Stocking Advent Calender GarlandStep One: Using this template, cut out 24 stockings in each of the two colors of felt you selected. It's easier to only use the template for the first stocking, and then to use that felt stocking as a template for the others—this is because felt sticks better to felt, whereas paper will just want to slide out of place as you cut.

Step Two: Add details to the stocking. Use the template to cut toe and heel pieces of contrasting felt to applique to the surface of the stocking, or make up your own designs. I free hand embroidered numbers to the middle of each stocking for the days of the advent calendar.

DIY Stocking Advent Calender GarlandI crocheted a rope and used mini clothes pins to connect each stocking to it, but you could easily use cut slits in the back of each stocking to thread a ribbon through to hang yours.

I liked the simplicity of this project, particularly in the restrained color scheme, though it did take quite a bit of time to add details to each stocking. Hopefully this will be a garland we use for many, many years!

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this easy pom pom garlandEASY POM POM GARLAND

I love making big fluffy pom poms, but I wanted something more delicate to drape along the big window in my dining room. So I whipped up a big pile of little pom poms using just a fork, some yarn, and scissors. Check out how simple it is!

Supplies:
-yarn
-sharp scissors
-large fork (My fork wasn't too large, but slightly larger than a table fork.)

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this easy pom pom garlandStep One: Wrap yarn around your fork until it looks as full as the photo above.

Step Two: Slip a length of yarn between the middle prongs of the fork and tie it around the wrapped yarn. Then slip the bundle of yarn from the fork.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this easy pom pom garlandStep Three: Use sharp scissors to cut around the looped yarn. Make sure you don't cut the length of yarn that's keeping them all together!

Step Four: Trim any unevenness from the finished pom pom.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this seasonStep Five: Use the tails of the pom poms to tie them to a ribbon or rope (I made a rope by crocheting yarn), then trim off the tails. You can also trim off the tails first and use a needle and yarn to thread the pom poms onto the yarn.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— including this wooden peace garlandWOODEN WORD BANNER

There are lots of words for the holiday season, and many of them are nice words! I thought about making my garland say "Let it snow!" or the real original "Merry Christmas," but when it comes down to it, I think peace is something that each of our hearts are aching for this holiday season, so that's what I chose for my banner. If you have a wide expanse to cover with your banner, you can also have it say "Peace on Earth."

Supplies:
PEACE template (click to download)
-very thin bass wood sheet or birch veneer
-sharp X-Acto blade with blade refills
-wood stain of your choice
-rag, brush, or paper towel for applying stain
-straw
-scissors
-glue
-ribbon, rope, or yarn

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— including this wooden peace garlandStep One: Print out the PEACE template and use it to cut out each letter from your bass wood sheet. Make sure to not press too hard with each swipe of the blade, or the wood may crack. More swipes with a sharp blade is best.

Step Two: Stain the letters with the stain of your choice. I used Minwax's Early American stain.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— including this wooden peace garlandStep Three: Trim pieces of a straw and glue them to the back of the letters. When the glue dries, string a ribbon or yarn through the straw segments to hang your banner.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this sparkly snowflake garlandGLITTERY SNOWFLAKES GARLAND

As we all know, when you let something glittery into your home, it gets everywhere! But I'm convinced it gets into your blood too, because how else can you explain my need to have sparkly things all over my home each holiday season? This glittery snowflake garland is simple to make, and would also make great ornaments or gift toppers. I even managed to keep the collateral glitter damage to a minimum.

Supplies:
-polymer clay in silver, gold, or whatever color glitter you plan to use
-snowflake cookie cutter (here's a nice set with different sizes)
-toothpick or skewer
-baking sheet and oven
-Mod Podge
-glitter
-brush

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this sparkly snowflake garlandStep One: Warm the polymer clay in your hands by squishing it all around. This will make it easier to work with. Then roll it out to approximately 1/4" thickness and cut out the snowflake shapes with a cookie cutter. Re-roll the scrap pieces of clay and repeat.

Step Two: Pierce the tip of each snowflake with a skewer, making sure you have a hole big enough to thread a ribbon or string through.

Step Three: Bake the clay in the oven according to the package instructions.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this sparkly snowflake garlandStep Four: After the baked snowflakes have completely cooled and hardened, brush them with a coat of Mod Podge and sprinkle with a generous amount of glitter before the Mod Podge dries.

As the Mod Podge dries, use a skewer again to make sure the holes in the snowflakes are unobstructed.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this sparkly snowflake garlandI strung my snowflakes onto a thin ribbon, knotting each snowflake to keep it from turning side-ways while hanging. You could also use jewelry rings around the hole for a more finished look.

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this glamorous ornament garlandORNAMENT GARLAND

This garland is the most glamorous of all the ones I made this year, and has the potential to cost the most money. But! It's also the easiest. I bought my ornaments from a local craft store, but I'd also suggest scouring thrift stores for old, forgotten ornaments that would make a charming garland.

Supplies:
-ribbon
-ornaments

Five homemade holiday garlands to make this season— Including this glamorous ornament garlandAll you need to do for this garland is string the ribbon through the hooks of the ornament. So easy! Knot the first one on the string, and bunch the others together. If you want your garland to be not as thick or full, you can space out the ornaments more, but you'll need to knot them into place or they will slide around according to gravity's whims.

So there you have it! Five choices for fun holiday garlands you can make according to your personal taste and holiday style. Try one or embrace your inner crazy craft lady (like me) and try them all! –Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella and Valentine from the Signature Collection.