Yarn Wrapped Letters & Paper Garlands

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If I felt euphemistic, I would call my husband a minimalist. But I’m not feeling very euphemistic today. So I’ll just call it what it is: my husband could care less about decorating.

Yeah, I know I’m not alone on that one. However, most women don’t let this paralyze their homemaking efforts. Most women have a healthy self-esteem which translates into some sort of “eff you dear, we’re hanging this g-damn picture right here” and most husbands know well enough to reply “I couldn’t have picked a better place. You really are keener than Martha Stewart.”

Instead in our house, we leave framed artwork leaning against the wall 4 or 5  deep for years. Dust bunnies penetrate the small spaces between the frames, forming a lovely organic insulation. Our walls are naked, and not even an interesting color, but varying shades of gray or beige. I fantasize about wall collages a la Young House Love. But the fantasy is quickly squelched when my husband grumbles about the pains of hanging anything on 80 year old plaster walls, let alone perfecting the placement of 16 different objects. So I’m left to dream up lightweight decor that the hubster won’t get all grumpy about how “sturdy” or “safe” it will be when attached to our plaster.

Enter this project which consists of mostly paper and thread and rests nicely on a lightweight picture ledge from IKEA. Also, if IKEA is involved it should  be assumed (correctly) that this project is extremely inexpensive. It cost me less than $40 in tools and materials.

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Yarn Wrapped Letters

What you will need:

Paper mache letters (any craft store will carry them)
Yarn (I used a medium weight acrylic)
Hot glue gun
Patience and perseverance

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I discovered this idea on Sarah Ortega’s blog and recommend following the link to her tutorial. If your name is “Lee” or “Elle”, you should totally do this project as I found it extremely easy to achieve a pleasing outcome on the letters “L” and “E” . However,  the more complex or rounded letters are extremely frustrating and my overall feeling of the outcome is a solid “meh.” I thought for sure I could do this project in a couple nights. It took me one night of about 2 hours of work per letter. Just a warning. I’m not trying to steer you away from this project, just trying to keep it real yo.

Paper Garlands

What you will need:

Large circle hole punch (I used a Fiskar’s 2″ punch)
Card stock or other sturdy paper
Standard all-purpose thread
Sewing machine

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These garlands are all over the crafting world wide web. I’ve admired them for months and was determined to make them for my new baby’s room. They really couldn’t be simpler. It helps if you have a machine that has a pedal-free start/stop button feature, though it’s not necessary. Here’s the how to:

1. Punch circles out of card stock.

2. Wind bobbin and thread sewing machine.

3.  Using a straight stitch, sewing straight through the center of the first circle. You can either position the second circle immediately after the first with no space, or continue to run the machine while pulling gently at the first circle to create a gap and then continue to feed the next circle.  Continue until desired length is achieved.

Simple right?

After my husband hung the  picture ledge, I suspended the garlands from the bottom using simple scotch tape.

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I love that the final look has a kind of party vibe to it. The garlands also have great movement and provide something interesting for Lennon to look at while she’s getting her diaper changed. This is a wonderfully versatile project as you can make it as gender specific or gender neutral as you want depending on the color scheme you choose. Also, it’s a great space hog for those big empty walls and requires just a few nails which should make every husband or designated household picture hanger happy.

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1 Response to “Yarn Wrapped Letters & Paper Garlands”


  1. 1 Denise Anderson November 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Very nice for Lennon’s room. Maybe you should put the garland all over your big empty walls. Then maybe “the husband” will want to hang them 🙂 I can relate to pictures lying around for more than one year before being hung 😦


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