22 August 2014

A Simple Birthday Gift Garland


A dear friend of mine is having a birthday this weekend and I thought it would be a great time to pop a little surprise in the mail for her. I wanted to make something simple and making colorful little garlands for friends has become a fun hobby for me. It gives me a chance to play around with all the "candy" in my beauty-filled paper supply drawer. 

I thought something fall oriented would be a good option, so I perused printable graphics for fall themes like leaves and acorns. I ended up copying an acorn pattern off my computer, literally -- I put a piece of scratch paper up to my screen and traced it with a pencil. That saved me a sheet of good paper & printer ink, plus it made it really easy for me to size my pattern by just shrinking down my screen appearance by ten percent. Super easy.

I traced the top of the acorn in one spot and the bottom in another so I had a two-piece pattern to work with. I extended the top of the bottom half of the pattern so that I could glue the cap over the top of it more easily.


I wanted this garland to have a little sparkle to it, so I picked up some flat gold ribbon and decided to use olive green glitter paper as a background. The ribbon was the only thing I didn't already have on hand so a quick trip to the fabric store was needed.

When I make a garland I try to always create an odd number of pennants. That way there is a center pennant for the eye to focus on and it doesn't look too symmetrical. My usual plan is to use nine to eleven pennants on a garland. This works out to be just perfect for hanging across a mantle. This time I went with nine.

The base brown paper is rectangles cut with a paper cutter to four inches by three inches. Then I just use scissors to notch the bottoms. I'm not exact on that part, but I like a little imperfection to keep things real. I used a circle punch to cut the perfect little circles from the green glitter paper.

Next I traced the acorn bottom nine times across the backside edge of a sheet of paper (so my pencil marks wouldn't be visible on the front side) and cut them all out with scissors. After that I did the same with the acorn caps.

Gluing came next and I experimented with school glue and even though I liked the adhesion I got with it, better than a glue stick, it was quite messy and hard to keep contained. So I went back to the glue stick and just tried to use a whole lot to keep things stuck together. Sometimes glue stick doesn't hold as well, but I do like that I have a little bit of time to re-position things before it dries hard.


Then I folded over the tops of each pennant and glued them to the ribbon. Keeping the ribbon flat so there are no twists in it is the hardest part of this procedure.

While the garland dried I whipped up a card using some coordinating paper and bringing in a similar circle and metallic theme. I also used the same brown paper that I used for the bases of the acorn to further tie things together. I couldn't find my gold metallic pen (rats!) so I went with silver. But it's trendy now to mix metallics, right?


I popped this all in the mail a few days ago and I hope it gets there on time. I hope it is a fun treat my friend will find in her mailbox just in time for her special day.

I have realized that I am doing a lot more creative projects lately. It's not that I have more free time but that I've been making more time. The best part is that I recognize that not only is it great for my soul but also that it's not taking anything away from the rest of my life to take that time out. This all plays into my self care goals and I really love that. Taking care of me really does make the rest of my life richer, happier, more peaceful - and I am more effective, creative and healthy.

Hope you are having a great day. Thanks so much for coming by.

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