Craft Tutorial: Ribbon Garland

Friends, I’m conflicted. On one hand, I’m trying to recommit to living in a more earth-friendly manner. On the other, I am a stress ball who is pre-stressing about the move our family will make when my husband finishes his anesthesia training, and I want to throw everything out. Yes, the move won’t happen for two to three years, but it’s never too early to be pointlessly anxious. Anyway, throwing everything away is decidedly earth unfriendly.

Also, I hate all my clothes. Everything is cheap and dumpy and my pre-baby clothes are too small and my maternity clothes are hideous and I just want to cut everything to shreds.

And so that’s exactly what I did!

Clothes are tricky. There’s a fair amount of writing about how clothes are not great for the planet. The production and distribution process create pollution, workers are treated poorly, and then our cast offs flood the African market and push small textile makers out of business. So when I had a few shirts that I wanted to get rid of, I tried to think of a way I could keep them out of landfills and third-world countries. Of course, I could have used them as rags, but Lord knows I have enough rags. I decided to take advantage of my desire to cut up all my clothes and make a t-shirt garland.

What an easy craft this turned out to be! First, I cut four old shirts into strips. I found the easiest way to do this was to fold the shirt in half so the shoulders were aligned, and then fold it once more. I cut off the cloth above the arm holes and below the bottom seam, and then just cut a million one-inch strips.Waldorf T-Shirt Garland


Next, I grabbed my twine. There are some unsightly screw holes above our play kitchen, so I measured the twine out to be about the same width as the kitchen’s top shelf (yes, some people would use spackle and paint; I make a garland).

After this, it was just a matter of getting the cloth on the twine. I folded the strip in half and placed it under the twine, then pulled the tails of the strip through the loop created by the fold. 20150730_154704
20150730_154719And then I just repeated this step 305 times. I was careful to avoid a pattern, because a pattern would go against that care-free boho vibe I was going for. I think that sort of sums me up: carefully care-free.

Once my twine was covered, I snipped the ends of the strips here and there to make them roughly the same length. Then I tied loops into the ends of the twine and nailed them to the wall. I think the whole project took about forty-five minutes.Waldorf T-Shirt GarlandI’m thinking I will gradually work my way through my crummier clothes and make seasonal and holiday-themed garlands. I am excited for my fall garland. My husband has an orange shirt that I absolutely hate. Do you think he’ll miss it?

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