This year we decided to really get the kids involved in decorating the tree with a handmade vintage garland. Our favorite art teacher, Kristen, came up with a super fun idea that both the boys loved! Kristen used clothing from local thrift shops, along with a couple of calicos from the fabric store, twine and ribbon for our supplies. The boys got lots of practice cutting, tearing and tying. Instructions for this do-it-yourself vintage Christmas garland are listed below. Enjoy your time together and happy weekend, Dana


sturdy twine

various fabrics in your color scheme (for Christmas – whites, reds, greens – look for fun, varied patterns)



Start at local thrift shops. Places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army have tons of t-shirts and blouses that can be used in this craft. Don’t look for things with Christmas patterns! Just look for the right colors, and look for simple, graphic patterns – stripes, polka dots, and other small patterns. Also look for fabrics that have the pattern printed on both sides – not an absolute must, but still nice.

Visit some fabric stores – they often have great calicos on sale and small bundles of scrap fabrics. Again, don’t worry about finding Christmas or holiday patterns, just look for fabrics that fit your color scheme. I found a really cute red calico with little horseshoes printed all over it that was perfect. Pick up some ribbon at the fabric store, too.

Once you have all your t-shirts and fabrics, you want to tear them into strips that are about 6 inches long. I like the torn look, because it is a bit more homespun. Tearing your fabric – cut about an inch long slit into the fabric, at increments of about an inch apart. Then, tear apart! This makes tearing much easier. When doing this to t-shirts, cut the slit through the hemmed part. You can also cut the strips with scissors and even use pinking shears. Up to you!

After you have all your strips of fabric torn and your ribbon cut, start tying them onto the twine. Use your discretion as to how far apart you want the strips of fabric to be – whatever looks best to you. You can choose to create a pattern, but I think it looks best when they are tied on randomly. Tie them in single knots to avoid the garland looking too bulky.

Hang where you please, and enjoy. Happy Holidays! Kristen

More DIY Vintage Inspired Garland

Photography :: Dana Bueno

Art project styling ::  Kristen Sowinski

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