Good Holidays: Scrap Fabric Garland DIY

December 16, 2015

Posted in: DIY Projects, Shop, and Holidays

If you’re looking for the easiest holiday décor Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project ever, look no further. Whether you’ve got DIY blood running in your veins, or you consider yourself artistically inept, you can knock this project out of the park. If you can rip (or cut) fabric, and tie a simple knot, you can do this! It’s a perfect project for a winter night in, or to keep the kids’ hands occupied during a movie.  

It is also extremely affordable—I used some pillowcases that I found at Goodwill Shoreline, but you can use just about any sheet, t-shirt, tablecloth, etc. This lovely 6-foot garland cost a whopping $4 to make!

Note: This garland does turn out on the heavy side, so it’s not a great option for decorating a tree, but it works excellently on a mantle, around a window, along a bookshelf, and in any spot that can hold the weight of it.

~2.5 hours. This project does require a good block of time, but it’s the perfect project to sit down in front of your favorite holiday movie, or while you’re binge watching your favorite show on Netflix. Set aside about half an hour to prep the materials, and then sit down on the couch with the supplies nearby.


The one I made is about 6 feet long (7’ of rope), and used a little less than 3 standard pillowcases worth of fabric.

Tips: Be sure to choose rope heavy enough to hold the weight of all the fabric. As for the fabric, the less stretchy it is, the easier it will be to tear. Lightweight bed linens work great. You can purchase textiles by the pound at our Seattle and Everett Outlet stores!

Step One: Decide the length.

If you already know where your garland would go, it’s easy to measure the length of your garland by putting the rope in the desired spot of your finished garland. Add about a foot of rope to your total desired length—and tie a large knot at the end, giving yourself a few inches of excess beyond the knot.

Step Two: Cut out seams.
Cut the fabric, as best as you can, to be one seam-free sheet of fabric. The more rectangular you can get it, the easier it will be in step three. For pillow cases, cut off the top fold-over edge, down the sides if there are seams, and across the bottom.

Step Three: Cut (or rip) the rows.
You can either cut the whole rows from one edge of the fabric to the other, or just cut evenly spaced ~2” slits to act as a starting spot to rip the fabric. I went with about ¾” rows (they vary), and I wanted the torn edges, so I just cut little starter slits—and ripped the fabric the rest of the way.

Step Four: Short strips
Now that you’ve got a pile of long, thin pieces of fabric, determine how “fluffy” you want your garland, and cut the long strips into shorter ones—of approximately equal length. Varying the lengths of strips will add a little character to your garland. For denser, more rigid garland, cut shorter pieces—around 3”. For more relaxed garland, cut longer pieces. I used pieces about 4-6” in length.

Step Five: Tie!
This is the part where you plop down in front of a movie, with a warm beverage and maybe some cookies, and with your piles of short strips of fabric and your rope. If you want and have different colors of fabrics like I did, decide on a pattern to follow. For example, I did red-green-white all the way down my rope. Starting from the end of your rope with the knot, tie the scrap fabric strips around the rope one at a time until you run out of scrap fabric—or rope! Be sure to leave yourself a few inches at the end of your rope for a knot like the one you began with to finish it off.

Voila! You have your finished Scrap Fabric Garland!

Check out our other #GoodHolidays blogs, and stay tuned for more.

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