Snow and Garland
I was talking with a few different people this past week about how I was going to be making my own garland and it seemed that everyone was curious how to do that, so I decided that I would share for those of you who may be interested.
Before I get to that,I wanted to share for all those concerned, that Doodles is fine. He had to make a trip back to the ER to get a few more stitches because he fell out of his chair and broke the cut back open, but it’s nearly better now.
It has been a busy week. In addition to the doctor visits and and the driving and the exhaustion that follows, we also had a very busy week. Well, it seemed busy to me because we’re homebodies and just about anything outside of our typical routine seems like we’ve been overwhelmed 😉 It was a good week, though not quite as productive as I had hoped. Sunday morning we awoke to the most beautiful snowfall, which of course the kids immediately wanted to play in.
I get giddy when it snows out. It feels so magical, even when it means bitter cold weather or being cooped up in the house. I feel like I am living in a snow globe.
I was so worried that Doodles would fall while playing outside, and instead he injures himself falling off of a chair. Go figure. When I got back from the ER, I took the oldest three out to play in the snow. We built snowmen, made snow angels, threw snowballs, took a little hike and went sledding. I haven’t been able to play in the snow nearly enough in the past 9 years! Between little babies and pregnancies, my winter playtime is usually pretty limited, so I am very excited to be able to enjoy it again!
On to the real purpose of this post: Garland-making. I am in the midst of completing our garland, and I would have completed it sooner, only I ran out of cuttings and haven’t had a chance to finish collecting them. I did finish two garlands on Saturday, so I’ll share what I have done thus far.
I made garland last year, but the process was tedious and really, really slow. I figured there must be an easier way, so I turned where every crafter turns to when in need of help: Pinterest. I found a blog post about how to make garland and followed her advice. I will go through the process and share my pictures, but feel free to check out her page to see her pictures and her explanation as well.
I started by choosing 4 varieties of evergreen branches. I wanted a nice full look that had some variety like the really expensive garlands I always drool over but never buy. I used cedar, spruce, white pine and another kind of pine that I have yet to be able to identify. You will also need green floral wire and some kind of green rope. If you don’t use green, there is a fairly high probability that you will be able to notice the rope. I purchased grape vine wire from Hobby Lobby as it best suited my needs.
I also used a pruning sheers, a scissors, a laundry basket, an old bed flat bed-sheet, and a wire cutter. Oh, and my sister-in-law 🙂
We have plenty of evergreens on our property, so it was easy enough for me to snag a few branches without it being noticeable. I really have no idea how much I cut, but I collected branches on a cold day, and I cut until I was too cold. After that, I chose the spots I would be hanging garland. With the help of the kids, I figured out how long I wanted each string of garland to be, including swags, and cut the rope accordingly.
The next step was to clip apart all of those branches into smaller clippings, ranging in size from about 3″-8″, and collected them into a big laundry basket. My sister-in-law and I did this on the living room floor, so that’s where the old sheet came into play. We laid the sheet on the floor and put the branches on top of it. Then we cut everything apart. This was a sticky, sappy job, so wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, and maybe some work gloves.
I wasn’t able to continue until Saturday. The garland actually goes together quickly. You start by taking one of your pieces of rope, and the spool /roll of wire that you will be using. Make a bundle of clippings in your hand. If you chose a variety of greens like I did, you want to make sure that you have most if not all of the varieties in each bundle that you make. My bundles varied in size depending on the fullness of the clippings, but generally speaking, it was a small handful.
Place the first bundle at one end of the rope, overlapping the rope by about 2″, with the tips of the evergreens pointing away from the rope. You want the branch end pointing towards the rope. Take your floral wire and wrap it around the end of your bundle and the rope, 2-3 times, pulling firmly on the wire to ensure that your greens will not fall out. Do NOT clip the wire. Just set it down and make another bundle. Repeat this process about 1″-2″ below the first bundle, and continue down the rope.
You will end up with little strings of wire in between each bundle, and that is okay. You won’t see it.
When you get to the last few inches of your rope, make your bundle just as you did for the rest of the garland, but turn it so that the branches are pointing back to the rope again. Then take a few clippings and tuck them in where the two last bundles meet to fill out that area.
The floral wire that runs the length of the garland will allow you to hang your garland up. You can add in things like berries or pine cones or other decorations, and you can add lights as well, but I string my lights up underneath the garland so it shines through. Add any bows or final decorations after you hang up your garland for the best placement.
My first two garlands are hanging in the kitchen and living room. I have another one half-completed for the living room, but I ran out of clippings and have to finish cutting more. I also plan to make a few for outside of the house, but I am a bit strapped for time, so I may or may not get those completed.
Now if I can only get my butt in gear and wrap up some of my millions of projects! E has just gotten to a very mobile stage, pulling himself around the house and eating whatever might be on the floor. With Doodles always into something, I’m constantly on high alert when he is awake during the day (which is most of the day), so it has been especially tricky to get things done around here. And with winter setting in and the daylight hours waning, I feel like I have less time than I actually do to get things done.
I have this tendency to add projects to my list whenever we host a holiday at our house. I feel the need to complete just one more project, which turns into 10 projects…
Do any of you do that too, or is it just me? Will you be making your own garland this year? I love hearing from you all, so please leave your comments below! And feel free to ask questions if you have them 🙂
P.S. I am not an affiliate of Hobby Lobby, I do not get paid to advertise for them. I just shop there a lot for my craft projects!
Susan Casper, Shakopee, MN
What a beautiful job! I bet they make your house smell wonderful. Do you spritz them during the season to keep them fresh, or is that not a problem? I love the combination of greens; for me the biggest challenge will be to find trees where I might be free to cut the greens. (If I planted some seedlings now–how long would it be before I had suitable branches ;0) )
Now–put some of your projects away for next year. Babies don’t keep, and what you most need to make is memories–not stuff. Enjoy what all your hard work has wrought.
Spring Lake Homestead
Thanks. I did not spritz them last year and they did get a bit dry by the end of the season. Yes, seedlings would take a bit for you to be able to harvest from. That was always my problem when we were in the city 🙂
Thankfully, I have been much better about putting projects to the side than I used to. Now I try to involve the kids when I can. But I agree with you entirely! The one thing I don’t want to do is to miss out on all of the fun of the holiday season (or life) because I’m too distracted.
Hot Mess Homesteader
Beautiful! And so glad the little kiddo is doing better- but oh no with another trip! Enjoy the memories!
Spring Lake Homestead
Thank you! I was just happy it wasn’t worse. What a crazy week…
That snowy picture is postcard-perfect! Living in the snow lost its allure once I reached adulthood, but I do still love to visit it.
And yes to leaving the house being overwhelming! Two trips to town already this week and I just want to stay home for a whole week now.
Spring Lake Homestead
Thanks! Oh, and the first outings with a new baby…those are some of the most stressful. I’m just glad E is a little bit bigger now and the older kids can get themselves ready when we do need to go out 🙂