Let the Fun Begin
1. (2) Yards of Fabric:
- That's right, this project will use two yards of fabric. I was able to get what I need on sale at Joann. I chose to mix and match a solid color with the the Valentine's Day print.
2. (8) C7 LED Bulbs:
- Feel free to mix and match colors. You don't have to use the exact same colors as I did. I had a picture of my mind of alternating colors that would match with my fabric. For this project I used Pink and Warm White.
3. (1) 8 Foot Blank Socket Wire:
- Socket wire is the stuff that has blank sockets on it. Blank just means that there is no bulbs. This makes it super easy to change out bulbs, or mix and match. This is probably the hardest item to find. You don't have use the same wire as I did. Any 8 foot section of lights will work. Play around with mini lights! Your numbers will be different depending on what strand you choose, and it's length.
Strip it out!
We need to strip our fabric into 1" x 6" strips. As you can see in the image to the right I picked a fabric with a print small enough that it wouldn't totally get destroyed when it got torn. Some of the hearts did get torn in half. For the most part they're all in tact and you can for sure see what the pattern is. This pattern of fabric also has a strip of glittery silver running down the middle of it. I picked this out with the image in mind of the light from the bulbs shimmering off that silver and making it sparkle.
I used a fabric cutter to get the strips cut out and put some of the fraying at bay. I went back later to make a wreath and when I measured and clipped my 1 inch sections I just ended up just tearing it. The frilly edge that is created will give your garland character and volume. Both ways work great! Do what is easiest and best for you.
Time to tie!
At a young age I gained a love for velcro shoes. It was super quick to put my shoes on and run out the door just in time to catch my friends, and ride our bikes off into the sunset. Eventually I learned how to tie my laces, and with this technique we are going to tie our fabric to the socket wire.
Take a strip of fabric and pull it under the wire. The wire will rest on top of the fabric. Like when you had a finger to hold down your crossed train tracks tight. This time the wire is going to be our finger. Straighten out the train tracks and cross them over top of each other, and pull them tight. This is as far as I went in this step. The fabric that I used really gripped tight to itself, and held firm. I have tried finishing out the tie with a square knot. That works well, and shortens up your tail ends. If your fabric is too long for your bulbs length. Try finishing your tie into the square knot to save you from having to trim the ends.
I really liked the look that alternating the fabric created. I tied one heart strip, and then one pink strip. Rinse and repeat for the entire length of your socket wire. Your ties will be tight, but will still be able to slide along the wire. Slide your ties tight together. Don't be afraid that you'll run out of fabric. I ended up having about a foot section worth of strips by the end.
LED lights have rocked my world. I like how they are so bright. Did you know that they are energy efficient? I can run 4 of these garlands for the same wattage total that it takes to light 1 strand of the old school incandescent bulbs. I don't mind that my wife leaves this strand on all day! I find enough spare change in the parking lot to pay for it's energy use per month. I guess you could say it costs pennies to keep this strand lit. LED bulbs are also cool to the touch! This is great for families that have little kids who are attracted to the lights like deer. Not only that, but you won't have to worry about your fabric roasting and catching fire.
I wanted to catch the progress part way through in this image above. That's why you still see blank sockets tailing off towards the bottom of the picture. This step in my garland creation is halfway through the strand, about 4 feet. Look how puffy and full that it already looks! If you look close you can see my ties, and how tight I have them pushed together. They kind of look like a back bone. In the picture with the lights out. You can see that they vanish, and become hard to see.
Keep Going You're Almost Done!
I'm pretty sure my cable provider enjoys that I do projects like this. How many shows did you make it through? I think I sat through 2 episodes of The Bachelor. How is your garland looking? This is how mine turned out.
See how it looks really rib like? Go through at this step and twist your ties on your strand all around different ways. By doing that you will be able to blend all your ties underneath the tails. This will also create an illusion of your garland being full. We want this to look like you went to the seasonal boutique and bought it for $50 or more. It'll be our secret that this didn't cost us nearly that much.
Where are you going to show off your garland? I have seen it decorating almost any spot where you would use a traditional greenery garland. I chose to run mine up the handrail to our stairs. It really makes any spot you put it on pop with color, and creates a wonderful feel for this season that doesn't have the abundance of decorations as Christmas.