How to make garlands of paper shapes

The following is a guest post by Melissa Camara Wilkins.

I have a thing for buntings. And by “thing” I mean “undying love.” I can’t be the only one, right? I have at least half a dozen different fabric buntings stashed in a cupboard, and I switch them out for different occasions: birthdays, holidays, rainy days, random Tuesdays…

But a girl can’t live on fabric buntings alone. Lately, I’ve been branching out into all things garland, from pom pom garlands to garlands of paper stars. One of my favorites is a string of tiny paper books. I’m finding that garlands are a great use for all the random paper stashed around the house, whether that’s leftover scrapbook pages or pretty catalogs that have already been leafed through.

Here’s how to get started, if you want to make your own garlands of paper shapes.

1. Create your paper shapes. For the garland of stars, I made these Christmas stars in bright, everyday colors. For paper books, I folded and cut colored index cards using this method. And these hearts can be made out of anything from cardstock to repurposed junk mail.

2. Punch holes in your shapes. I used a paper needle, but a large sewing needle would work, too.

3. String your first shape onto a thread. I used a sewing needle and DMC Pearl Cotton, which is a little bit sturdier than embroidery floss.

4. Tie a knot before stringing on your next shape. Evenly spaced knots will keep your paper shapes from all sliding toward the middle of your garland once it’s hanging. You’ll want to leave a little extra space around the very center shape.

5. Keep going, stringing shapes and tying knots, until you’ve added all your shapes onto your thread.

6. Tie loops at the ends of your thread, for hanging purposes. Done!

And here’s an idea: for a quick project, make a garland with just a few shapes on it. A big pile of those paper stars would take forever to make, but even just three would be super cute swooped over a bathroom mirror. For example. (See? Undying love. What can I say?)

Would you try a project like this? Have you already? What else have you made garlands out of? Do tell!


Melissa is a homeschooling mama of six. She was a contributor to Simple Homemade , and now blogs about family life, activities for kids, and DIY projects at . You can also find her on Twitter , Facebook, and Pinterest.

Encouragement for living simpler, right in your inbox.

We share our stories as we simplify our lives - no guilt-trips, just love.

(no spam, promise. we hate it, too.)


  1. Love this! I had a fling with unbleached coffee filter pom-pom garlands in the fall. I think it is time for another!

    • Nice! I’ve thought about dip-dyeing coffee filters to make poms, but I’m afraid I might accidentally dip-dye my whole kitchen. 😉 Maybe I should try unbleached on a colorful thread first?

      • I try to avoid anything with the words “permanent” and “dye” in the name myself. Colorful thread sounds safe, yet festive!

  2. I like the three dimensional element – I’ve made garlands with pennants and flags that hang flat ~ but the element of depth is really nice. AND – so smart to make smaller/ish ones for the corner of a mirror or frame!

    • Adriennea, I’m loving smaller ones, because they come together so quickly! 🙂 Not that I have a short attention span or anything…

  3. These are so cute. I’ve made fabric buntings (love them!!) but have never tried paper.

    Can you tell me more about the little tool you use to poke holes?

  4. I love those little paper stars… I’m totally inspired to do this for a garland for my baby that’s due in less than 3 weeks. Let’s see if I can actually turn this into a reality 🙂

Add Your Thoughts