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Holiday Decorating Idea: How to Make a Garland

How to make a pretty holiday garland to decorate your home with tips from Homemade crafts author Carol Endler SterbenzGarlands can be displayed along banisters or draped across window frames to spread seasonal warmth throughout your home. Use these tips to make simple bouquets to weave into a garland of your choosing, from Homemade: The Heart and Science of Handcrafts by Carol Endler Sterbenz.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Silk or fresh flowers and foliage, as desired
Wire, twine, or rope, in precut lengths (for base cord)
Paddle wire or thread-wrapped spool wire, medium-gauge
Floral tape, in green
Tape measure or ruler
Floral knife or scissors
Wire cutters

Step 1
Arrange a bouquet.

Lay the plant material on a flat surface, stems facing the same way. Pick up several stems of flowers and foliage in the desired kinds and colors and assemble them into a small bouquet, adding or removing material, until the bouquet is full enough to cover half of the width of the base. For a garland that will rest on a table or against a wall, keep the back of the bouquet as flat as possible.

Step 2
Bind the bouquet.

Hold the bouquet firmly in one hand to maintain the arrangement and cut the stems to the same length. Use paddle wire or thread wrapped spool wire to bind the stems. Twist the wire ends together and cut the wire off the paddle or spool. Use floral tape to conceal the wired stems. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make 4 or 5 bouquets.

Step 3
Estimate the number of bouquets needed.

Lay the base cord on a flat surface. Place the bouquets on the cord, overlapping them so that the head of one bouquet conceals the stems of the previously laid bouquet. Set a ruler alongside the cord and count the number of bouquets needed to fill a 1′ (30.5 cm) length of the base. Fractions are possible; you might find, for example, that the bouquet count is neither 4 nor 5 but 4 1/2. Multiply the bouquet count by the length of the base cord in feet to determine the total number of bouquets to make for the garland. For example, if the bouquet count is 4 1/2 and the base cord is 6′, the total number of bouquets to make is 27. [For metric conversion, measure the base cord in centimeters, divide the base cord length by 30.5 cm, and multiply that number by the bouquet count.] If your answer includes a fraction, round up to the nearest whole number.

Step 4
Make the needed number of bouquets. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to until you have the number of bouquets estimated in step 3.

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