Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Primitive Pick

Lit Rag Garland

Okay, so some of you might be saying, “It’s February.  Why would I still have garland up?”  Valid point… but string lights and garland are not just for Christmas!  Please bear with me…

While on a shopping outing with my mom some time ago (our frequent excursions all seem to run together), we stumbled upon this awesome looking rag garland.  After glancing at the price of the probably 4-5 ft section of garland, we gave each other that look that says, “Why pay that much for something I could easily make?” 

Unfortunately, I have said this countless times and has little to show for it.  But, in an attempt to be both crafty and thrifty in decorating the home my family had recently moved into, I dove in head first to attempt making this rag garland… and let me just say, I easily made it, and so can you. 

Two items are needed for this project, and if you are a somewhat crafty person, you may very well have both of them on hand.  The first supply is one set of regular Christmas lights.  You can choose either 50 or 100 lights, depending on how long you want your garland to be.  Please note (as I will mention in step 2 of the directions) that the overall length of your garland will end up being half the length of string of lights. 

The second item needed for your rag garland is fabric.  Choose 3-4 fabrics that go together.  When deciding what fabrics to use, decide where you will be putting your garland.  You may want to do your garland somewhat neutral so that it will fit the décor of multiple rooms in your home.  That way you’re not limited to keeping your garland in one spot all the time.  I’ve had my rag garland draped on the railing of our stairs, but lately I’ve had it on the window over our sink.  Get creative!  It could look nice anywhere… a mantel, a headboard, etc. 


1.    Rip each of the fabrics into 1 1/4” x 6-8” pieces.  These are rough measurements.  I recommend trying a few pieces to see what you like and then tearing a bunch of strips of each fabric.   Don’t rip every bit of your fabric because you probably won’t need all of it.  Just start with a good amount of each and rip more if you have to later.  A good tip for tearing your fabric is to make a 1/4 inch snip with your scissors and then pull.  

 2.    Uncoil the Christmas lights.  Fold the string of lights in half (except for the tail with the plug because that section has no lights on it).  This makes it so that the bulbs are closer together on your completed garland.  

 3.   Decide how you want to alternate your fabrics.  Beginning at the folded end of the lights, tie the rag garland onto the wire.  You can double knot if you'd like, but just make sure you pull it tight.

4.    Now this is the tedious part… Keep tying on your strips of fabric until you get to the end of your string of lights.  You’ll have to stop every now and again to tear up more rags.  Easy to do at night while watching TV or a movie, speaking from personal experience.  Eventually you'll end up with a really nice-looking lit garland!  

Have a happy, snowy day!  

~ Carrie ~

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