No-sew fabric garland.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You know when you've decorated a room, and you're pretty sure it's finished, yet you can't shake the nagging feeling that something is missing? That's not quite up to snuff?

I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but soon came to realize the windows in the kitchen and upstairs loft area weren't aesthetically pleasing, unlike the rest of the room. They are large, brighten the rooms, and serve to usher in cool breezes on even the hottest days, so I didn't want to do anything that would distract from those features. So, traditional curtains were out. Still, something needed to break up the monotony of the wood window frames and big panes of glass.

In this case, I settled on window valences. Though, admittedly, I'm not a fan. There's just something about them that is too... rustic? fussy? country kitchen? I'm not sure.

Then, then I had a bonafide Who is this crafty, clever woman and what did she do with Sarah? moment. I'm not sure who I have to thank for this sudden stroke of genius, but I imagine it was the love child of Pinterest, Martha Stewart and some fellow bloggers.

Garland! A. It wouldn't take away from the function of the windows (natural light! must have natural light!), and B. Would serve to distract from their starkness.

And because the genius just wouldn't quit, I remembered the gigantic stash of fabric housed in totes in the garage. I'm nothing if not honest, so I must admit that I haven't attempted a sewing project in no less than 5 years. In fact, I sold my portable sewing machine before we moved. I can't even run the bobbin correctly through the machine and my husband had to come to my rescue every time. Aaand the chance of me becoming a seamstress in the next 5 years is nil. So the fact that I have totes, plural, chock full of fabric is a bit ridiculous. 

Except! Wait for it... fabric garland! No-sew fabric garland, no less. A beautiful brain child indeed. 

It went something like this:

Simply snip the fabric at desired intervals, then swiftly rip along the cuts in the fabric. Depending on the type of fabric, there may be a lot of loose strings (see above photo) which I grabbed by the handful and discarded.

Decide how long you want the garland to be, and cut a length of twine accordingly. Make loops on both ends of the twine by which it will hang.

There are two primary ways to attach the fabric to the twine: simply tie a knot in the middle of the fabric (like this), or create loops along the length of the twine. I tried both, but decided on the latter method. I liked the more streamline look; it's simply a matter of preference.

I started in the middle of the twine and worked one way, then the other. That way I could scoot the loops of fabric closer together or spread them out a bit if I didn't like the spacing. 

It seems like it will take a long time and a ton of fabric, but it goes surprisingly fast. Settle in and catch up on your DVR.

Easy. Peasy. Lemon. Squeezy.

I made a second garland, this time with longer strips of fabric, for the kitchen window. I thought a red and white theme might be nice and add a touch of color, plus I had a lot of fabric that fit the scheme. 

However, I had a This is sooo not my style! moment towards the end of its construction. I'll admit, it felt a little too country kitchen for my taste.

In the end I decided to hang it up anyway and give it a few days. If I didn't like it after the trial period was up, I could just take it down. No harm, no foul. But, as luck would have it, it grew on me. And now I adore having it there. It just goes to show... I don't know what.

(I also had a moment where, during the making of the second garland, I looked up at Mario and he burst into raucous laughter. I mean, I was crafting like a fiend and probably looked like I'd lost my mind. Paper wreaths, miss-matched chairs, hot glue, chalk paint, picture frames up the wazoo, and then ripping fabric for hours so I could tie it around twine... he maaay have thought I'd lost my mind. That the move had pushed me right over the edge. That sort of frenetic behavior isn't characteristic of my personality. I looked down at what I was doing and had a similar realization. And we laughed some more.)

I have one more pile of fabric strips lingering at the end of our bed, with the intention of making just one more garland to fill the space between our headboard and a set of three small windows. (It's not possible to center the bed under the windows and still be able to get around both sides, so it's a little awkward-looking.)

So there you have it. The easiest darn DIY project there ever was.

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