This is another pretty simple but effective looking Christmas decoration idea. Have you ever seen those pre-cut rolls of tulle that are usually sold for wedding decorations? They’re about 6 inches wide and 100 yards long and pretty cheap, at around £5 (in the UK anyway) a roll, and available in a huge range of colours? Well, this idea uses one of those to make either room garlands or Christmas wreathes, and if you can hand sew to a basic level they are pretty easy to make.Finished wreath

You will need a roll of tulle in your chosen colours – this year I’m doing everything in a soft sage green with pastel pinks, but you could just as easily get pine green, rich red or even metallic gold or silver. You will also need a long needle, I use doll making ones which you can buy at craft shops for around £1 each, and some thread to match. You will need other decorative elements to finish each, I’m using cheap paper pull bows I bought from ebay, and some of my yarn covered Christmas baubles, but of course you can use anything from traditional cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices, to glitzy glitter pom-poms and fairy lights.

You need a long length of sewing thread – thread your needle and double it up so it’s extra strong. The longer the length, the more you can do in one go, but the more it can tangle and knot, so you’ll have to work out which length is best for you by trial and error.

You start by working your needle through the centre of the ribbon of tulle, pushing as much as you can onto the needle. When the needle is full, draw the thread though the bunched up tulle and then fix it in place by doing a couple of back stitches. The back stitching is important, if you don’t fix the frill then when you come to finish, the thread might pull loose and your hard work will be undone.

I got into a rhythm and held the roll in my left hand while working the needle through with my right, which meant things went faster, though I did still occasionally stab my thumb joint! I also found that if I started moving my needle up to the top edge of the tulle, then down again to the bottom, this gave my garland a more uneven finish which I really liked.

When you’ve sewn as much of the roll as you want, or indeed reach the end, cast off by doing a number of back stitches and tie off and cut your thread. You can then add ribbons and bows or whatever you want to your garland, and hang it up.

swags and garlands

I made about three of these, which turned out to be around 30 yards each, which was plenty to do my three hearths. I added some simpler one made from tulle ribbons with bows spaced along them. But I really wanted to make my wreath, so here’s how I did it.

Use a cheap wire wreath frame, I used a 12 inch size, and first wrap it with some tulle to form a base. I then placed a length of tulle garland – this is about half a full roll, on the base to make sure it reach all the way round.

swag sewn to wreathYou then sew the garland onto the base by using your long needle and thread and stitching right through the garland into the wreath and out again. It doesn’t take long! You could always use two or more in co-ordinating colours, and once you have your base, you can really let your imagination go wild.

 

As I was using my yarn wrapped baubles, I took a length of the same yarn I’d used for them and wrapped it around the wreath as if it was tinsel. I then used a length of tulle to make a soft, hazy ribbon and then attached a cluster of baubles to hang underneath – one I bought in a charity shop for a pound and the rest I’d made. Finally I added a pull bow to cover the join, but I let the yarn strands dangle as I felt it added a nice, informal feel. You could have pieces hanging inside the centre of the wreath, use shop bought baubles and whatever decorations you’re into, it’s a quick and easy base which has a lovely, soft, smoky feel which is a great back drop to Christmas bling. White with lots of sparkly bits would look really wintery, while gold and red would be luxurious, while pine green and earth tones would be a lovely, natural look.

Enjoy!

Finished wreath

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