DIY: Fabric Strip Garland

Until last night, I had a big, white wall behind my headboard in my new bedroom. It was driving me crazy, especially because I have unusually high ceilings for a Manhattan apartment. Something had to be done, but I was lacking inspiration. I had originally wanted to paint a large canvas to fill the space, but there’s already a canvas hanging to the right of my bed. I needed something different. That’s when I stumbled across a great idea on (where else?) –a fabric strip garland!

DIY Garland
Time Spent - 1.5 hours
Total Cost - $20 ($15 fabric; $5 cord)

Shopping - Based on the fact that my 3 foot garland used about 3 yards of fabric, I’m guessing that you will need about 1 yard of fabric per foot of garland. I chose five colors of basic, cotton fabric to match my bedroom, though the gray fabric was sort of a silky cotton. I’m assuming this project would work with other types of fabric, as well

As for the cord that the fabric’s hanging on, I bought “100% Crafters Cord” at a stationery shop. It feels sort of like thick hemp. The package came with about 3 yards (9 feet) of cord. I ended up doubling up the cord to make it thick enough to support the fabric, then had some extra to cut off. You will also need two nails or hooks to hang the garland.

Folding - When I was ready to begin, I folded each color of fabric in half lengthwise, so that it was doubled up and could ultimately hang with two “tails.” I would say that each of my hanging tails is also about 3 feet long. The length of the strips is up to you, but it’s helpful to fold the fabric before cutting. That way, you’re only cutting half the length you want and saving yourself some work.

Cutting - To be honest, I am unable to cut a straight line. Thankfully, the uneven edges and fraying only add to the crafty look of the finished product. I cut about 1-2 inch strips (without measuring) along the length of my fabric. With a 1/2 yard of each fabric color, I was able to cut about 10 strips.

Tying - Before you start with the fabric, fold your cord in half and cut, so you have two pieces the same length. It will support the fabric better. On your starting end, do a simple double knot, leaving tails from the two pieces of cord. You can snip those later. Once you finish tying all of your fabric around the doubled cord, tie another double knot at the very end.

In the inspiration image I used, I believe the women did a regular knot to tie her fabric to the cord, but I wanted to do something a little bit different. First, take your folded piece of fabric and tuck it under the cord. Next, take the tails of the fabric and pull them through the loop at the top. Finally, pull the knot snug against the cord and slide the fabric over next to the previous knot. It’s up to you how close you’d like each knot to be. Mine are pressed against each other, which causes the strips to overlap. My 3 foot garland has about 50 knots on it.

Hanging - My garland doesn’t actually span the width of my headboard, so I centered it. The cord is also a bit slack, to give the garland a dipped effect. Again, I eyeballed the center of my headboard, how high I wanted my garland, and where to hammer in the nails. To hang my garland, I actually scooted the very first knot over, so I could tuck the nail between the knotted cord and the first piece of fabric. On the other end, I did the same thing.

Trimming – When I first hung my garland, all pieces of fabric were the same length. I may have liked it that way if the garland were hanging straight across, but I wanted to enhance my dipped effect. To do that, I trimmed random pieces of fabric to different lengths. Now, it has a choppier feel.

Extras - Finally, I took extra pieces of cord and tied them along the garland to give it a more rustic feel. It might also be fun to add strands of metallic ribbon or other textures to your garland.

As promised, here is the lovely inspiration image that I used to make my garland. This was a very easy project that brightened up an otherwise boring wall. It would also be great to hang at a party!

Casey Baudoin



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