Storebought decorations? Fuhgeddaboutit!
You want a cute Halloween garland to hang on your mantel this year, but you don’t want to drop a wad of cash at the party supply store. I get it. Besides, handmade holiday decor is so much cooler than store bought. So make your own!
Here’s how to make a cute Halloween garland with vintage appeal all by your lonesome
This is the kind of project you can dress up or down. And this Halloween garland is simple to make because many of the components are ready to print, cut and assemble. Just add your own personal touches for a truly one-of-a-kind holiday decoration.
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It all starts with the paper
This kit of vintage Halloween digital papers is my own personal design. It includes everything you need to make a basic Halloween banner, including the fishtail banner shapes, the tags in three sizes, clip art vintage images and a variety of text boxes. The Old World circle letters are separate, but you can easily substitute your own using stamps and circle paper punches.
I’ve added bits of shimmer and shine with glitter (of course) and spider-ish black tinsel, then I finished the garland with some nice texture using ribbon bits tied onto the twine cord. So let’s get started!
The prep before assembly
The prep is pretty easy and basic. Once you’ve cut all of the images and shapes out, you’ll need to ink the edges of all of the papers. ALL of them. That means the banner shapes, the text boxes, the clip art, the strips of paper for the rosettes and the letter circles. I love inking – it’s busy work and I use that time to come up with more crafting ideas. Inking the edges of your papers helps give that wonderful, aged vintage appeal.
Now that the edges are inked, let’s make a Halloween garland!
The how to’s
- Vintage Halloween Digital Paper Tags, Banners, etc.
- Old World Digital Printable Alphabet
- Scissors or electronic cutting machine (I use a Silhouette Cameo)
- Vintage Photo Distress Ink
- Finger sponge daubers
- Stickles in Mercury Glass
- Art Glitter in black and orange
- Art Glitter Glue w/Ultra Fine Metal Tip
- Glue pad
- Ribbon or torn fabric
- Black tinsel twine
- Twine or cord
- Black self-stick rhinestones
12 easy steps to a cute, vintage Halloween garland
The fishtail banner pieces are easy to cut, either with scissors or with an electronic cutting machine, but the other pieces are a bit more challenging. If I’m cutting a lot of shapes, I use my Silhouette Cameo. But for some reason, I cut all of this garland’s components by hand this time. There were a couple of areas which were too intricate for scissors, so I had to use my craft knife and mat to take care of them. This took longer than I had time for, and I could have cut everything in a fraction of the time with my Cameo. If you’re not a fan of “fussy cutting,” check out 11 Reasons to Own a Digital Die Cutting Machine.
I edged all of the text boxes with Stickles in Mercury Glass. Doing this really makes those babies jump right off the banner.
I glittered the edges of the tiny tags with Art Glitter and applied glitter to the little witch and the edges of the pumpkin image too. For the pumpkin, I rolled the edges on the glue pad then sprinkled glitter on those edges for a more subtle sparkle than laying down a line of glue.
I stitched the background banner shapes onto coordinating back pieces (mats). These aren’t included in the kit, but they’re easy enough to create as they’re just ¼” larger all around; however, the printed shapes are perfectly capable of standing on their own. I just like more layers for stitching purposes.
I applied dots of glue to the printed banner shapes and sprinkled them with contrasting glitter.
I created the rosettes from my Halloween Polka Dot Digital Papers (and inked all of their edges before assembly).
I’ll be adding a tutorial on how to make rosettes in an upcoming post, but in the meantime, here’s a good one. They’re so fun to make and they’re a great way to use up scraps and weirdo papers you’d never use anywhere else.
Note: ugly weirdo papers make beautiful rosettes.
I cut all of the black tinsel into individual pieces and glued them to the fronts of the rosettes.
I used my Silhouette Cameo in the “print and cut” mode for the letters because I don’t have letter stamps that are old-world enough for this project. I lightly colored the white paper a soft cream because white would have been too stark for this project. I should have just printed it on cream cardstock, yes?
An alternative to the letters would be a garland full of vintage printable images, which you could also cut out on cardstock for this project. You can check the circles out in my post about making small treat bags with printable Halloween stickers.
I glued all of the elements to the rosettes and then glued the rosettes to the finished banner shapes.
I punched holes where marked on the banner shapes and threaded twine through them, adding loops at the ends and leaving space for the tiny tags.
I glued the tiny tags in their appropriate places on the twine and glued small black rhinestones to their holes. I did this because tying the tags on would have made them hang wonky. And wonky just wasn’t going to work on this garland.
As a final touch and for added texture, I tied orange seam binding ribbon and torn black cotton fabric between all of the paper pieces.
Voila, a cute, glammy, shabby Halloween garland with vintage appeal that you can use year after year!
Where do you hang holiday garlands?
The obvious place, of course, is over the fireplace mantel. But there are plenty of other places as well. Try one or more of these fun locations for a cute holiday surprise.
- Over a doorway
- On a window
- On the back of an upholstered chair (pin to fabric, tape to leather)
- On a bookshelf
- On a headboard
- On a mirror
- Over a computer if there’s a shelf above it
- On a lampshade, provided it doesn’t get hot
- On the refrigerator
- On a Welsh cupboard (which qualifies as shelves, but hey)
- On a baker’s rack
- On a “holiday tree”
The list could go on. A lightweight paper garland looks good pretty much anywhere you hang it.
Halloween garlands can be as simple or as jazzy as you like
Just add or subtract elements as you see fit. Next time I might try heat embossing the edges with metallic embossing powders for more glimmer and sparkle. I think tiny white Christmas lights would look nice strung behind it. And I’ll use some of my hand-dyed seam binding ribbon. I totally forgot I had the perfect vintage orange on hand for this one. Eeek!
Are YOU making any decorations for Halloween this year? Did you make any last year? Bring it (them) on over to the G&B Facebook page and share them with the community!
More Halloween projects
Free Printable Vintage Halloween Stickers (for Making These Cute Treat Bags)
Halloween Side Step Card – Sweet Kitty
Halloween Sour Cream Containers – a Tutorial
Halloween Herringbone Card – a Cute Way to Use Leftover Paper Scraps
A Halloween Card Mixing Patterns and Textures – BOO!
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