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DIY Holiday Garland

Warm up your spaces with this festive winter décor

By Aldona Bird

 Although the weather hasn’t fully committed to winter yet, it is a great time to put up winter and holiday décor. Garlands make a space — indoor or out — feel warm and bright. Make decorating even more fun by making your own garlands to deck the halls.

 Go with this weather’s flow — gather materials outdoors when the weather is warm and sunny, and cozily craft them indoors on colder days.

You can make garlands out of many materials — paper, beads, yarn, evergreen branches, dried fruit, Christmas ornaments, other materials in any combination.

 To make an evergreen garland, take a basket and clippers out on a nice day, and select a variety of small to medium size evergreen branches. Check for bugs, and avoid bringing in branches with insects.

Harvest a selection of different species of evergreen. Using a mix will give your garland more visual interest. If you have access to branches with berries, grab a few of those as well.

Cut a piece of sturdy twine to the length you want your garland. Bundle three or four branches, and secure to the end of the twine using florist wire. Repeat, securing subsequent bundles overlapping the previous by enough to make the garland look full.

 Include branches with berries throughout, to add color and use a variety of greenery for texture.

 Use at least three different types of greenery — different pines and furs along with some holly, cedar or arborvitae make an interesting combination.

 Once your evergreen garland is complete, you can use it as is, or add more to it. Add conventional holiday decorations, or secure dehydrated fruit (citrus and apple can look lovely), pinecones or other natural materials for a woodland mood.

 Hang your garland over a window or doorway, or drape it across a mantle or side table.

You can also skip the evergreen branches, and make a garland from just the extras — dehydrate fruit slices and string them thickly or in strands hanging down from a main string (or rope).

Add pinecones, beads or other materials to make a unique and personalized festive garland. Or you can make a garland out of only pinecones.

If you are crafting with children, consider making classic garlands such as paper loops or popcorn and cranberries.

To make a paper garland, cut strips of construction paper — an inch and a half or narrower. Have crafty children glue or tape the ends of a paper strip together into a loop. Loop each subsequent strip of paper through the last, to create a chain. Pick a narrow palette of colors, or use every color of paper you have.

Alternatively, use stiff wide ribbon with this same method to create a fancier chain.

You can also use felt or other fabric to make a festive garland. Tie strips of scrap fabric around twine to create a fringe garland. Or roll half inch to inch wide strips of white and red felt together and stitch or glue together at the ends to create ornaments that look like peppermint candies — add these into another garland, or string them together with beads in between to form a candy garland.

However you make a garland this season, you can use the crafting time as quite time for yourself, or family time with those you love. Keep your garlands up until you get bored of them, and then craft new décor.

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