The Life of Jennifer Dawn: Paper Garland Tutorial

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Paper Garland Tutorial

Lately one of my favorite crafts has been making paper garlands.  You may have seen the one I made with vintage book page cutouts or the one for Valentine's Day.  It is such a quick and simple craft to do.  In fact, it's so easy that I whipped up this whimsical one during nap time today.  Here how...

  • Paper Cutouts (I got these from Hobbies from the Heart.  The flowers are from the pages of a vintage book and the butterflies are from an atlas.) 
  • Sewing Machine
  • Basic sewing supplies (thread, scissors...)
Gather your materials.  You can purchase paper cutouts from a shop like Hobbies from the Heart or make your own with paper and a punch.

Prepare your sewing machine by adjusting the stitch length to a setting a little longer than you would use if you were sewing with fabric.  As you sew, the needle will essentially be punching small holes into the paper.  You don't want these holes too close together or the paper could tear.  I also turned down the presser foot pressure.  Tip: Just as cutting paper dulls your scissor's blades, sewing paper dulls the needle on your sewing machine.  For this reason, it's a good idea to have one needle that you use for just paper crafts.  Thread your sewing machine.  Make sure your top and bottom bobbins are full.  You don't want to run out of thread in the middle of sewing your garland.  Pull the threads out several inches to create a long tail for the garland.  This will help with hanging the finished product.

Place the first paper cutout under your presser foot and begin stitching through it.  (Do not backstitch.) Continue placing cutouts through the machine making stitches between them if you want gaps between the pieces.  I wanted this paper garland to have a whimsical look, so I did not follow a pattern.  I simply kept picking up pieces and putting them through--overlapping some cutouts with others and leaving gaps of different sizes between them.  Continue sewing until your garland reaches the desired length.  Sew through the final paper cutout.  Pick up your presser foot and pull the thread out several inches to again make a long tail on the end.

Hang your garland on a wreath, window, doorway, party table, hallway, picture frame, or mantle to add a touch of vintage whimsy.
Happy sewing!
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  1. Your garland is so cute and the sewing tips are very helpful! I keep saying I am going to give this a try, I just need to pull out the machine, they are so cute!

    Tammy @ The Colored Door

    1. Getting that machine out is half the battle, isn't it? Thanks for the compliment. They are really fun and easy to make.

  2. Thanks for the paper sewing tips. I recently tried to make a book page garland but the paper tore every time. Originally I thought it was the paper quality, but now I think my stitch length wasn't long enough.


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