Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Festive Garlands: Part Two

With my kitchen window properly draped with a dazzling garland of origami boxes on white twinkle lights, which I blogged about here, I was now ready to pursue a grander vision of Operation Festive Garlands. My recent success with incorporating white paper with the gold and yellow tones of the origami boxes led me to recall one of my favorite Christmas movie scenes of all time:

Yep, this riotous blizzard of paper snowflakes, chains, garlands and white twinkle lights, created by good ol' Buddy the Elf, has captivated me for years and I decided it was high time that I attempted to bring it to life. Enlisting the help of my youngest daughter, we came up with a plan to create a base layer of decorations for the whole house that could be expanded and filled in during the years to come. Charged with adrenaline and dreaming of a white Christmas, we stocked up on basic printer paper and considered our options.

Our vision was to have enough variety of shapes, sizes and shades of white within our garlands to keep them interesting, but enough similarity to create a unified look. I spent some time scouting around Pinterest and came up with a few basic ideas. This one, which I shall call a bauble garland, was the first to catch my eye:

Kid Spot

As much as I love the red and white designs used in the pic, I kept true to my all-white theme and used straight-up white printer paper. The tutorial totally came through for me although I made a few simple tweaks:
  • Sometimes I used four circles together to make one completed bauble, but other times, just to mix it up, I used only three.
  • I used both tacky glue and ordinary glue sticks, at different times, based on what was handy. Both worked well but for me, the baubles made with tacky glue kinda twisted and warped as they dried which actually made them extra cool.
  • I used dental floss for my string. Can't beat it for price, durability, ease of use, and crisp, clean appearance.
  • Rather than glue all sides of the bauble and then thread them onto the string, I used a different strategy. As I was gluing the baubles together, I left one set of half-circles open. When the glue had dried, I pulled a few feet of dental floss out of the box, tied a loop at the end, and then began gluing on the baubles by gently separating the unglued set of half-circles, sliding the floss into that opening until it was settled into the very center of the bauble, and then gluing that last pair of half-circles shut. 
  • After gluing the baubles on a small section of the floss, it was a very easy thing to pull a few more feet of floss out of the box and continue on my merry way. When the length of garland seemed long enough to be satisfying but short enough to be manageable..maybe 10 feet or so...I just cut off the floss, tied another loop, and started anew. 
After several weeks of punching, gluing, stringing and repeating, I had enough lovely bauble garland to pack a punch in my family room. These pics will not only give you an idea how this garland style came together but also give you a sneak peek at a few of the other styles to come in future posts!


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