12 Days of Handmade Christmas Tutorials:: Day 2 {Ragamuffin Garland}

by Edie Wadsworth on November 2, 2009


Wasn’t Darby wonderful on Day 1? Why did it take me so long to find her? Have y’all been holding out on me?
And my friend Denise {who is guest posting soon} is ‘singing’ the 12 days of Christmas on her blog for us. It made me chuckle.
Our next guest poster needs no introduction. You know her and love her and I’m thrilled she’s been so gracious to post her ragamuffin garland tutorial for us. I haven’t tried this one yet but am gathering my fabric scraps as we speak. When I met The Nester last year at Blissdom, I was so impressed by her approachability and her kind, sweet spirit. She’s the real deal. And we all have learned some valuable decorating tips from her, but more importantly we’ve learned to be content with what we have, to repurpose old/tired objects into beautiful new creations, and to shop the house before we shop the stores. I love her motto: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Thank you Nester for joining our party!

I’m thrilled to share my ragamuffin garland over here at Edie’s blog. If I could pick 5 bloggers and visit their homes to get inspired, Edie would be one of them! I first published this tutorial in May 2008 at Blissfully Domestic and then I republished it on at Nesting Place in November, 2008. It remains one of the most popular posts. The beauty of the garland is that any fool can do this!

To make a plush, fat, beautiful full garland all you need is fabric, ribbon, ring clips and time–lots and lots of time.

Here’s the finished product it is captivating, fluffy and adorable.

I make my garland with long strips of ribbon, fabric, fringe and anything else I can get my hands on. I never measure but here is a close up of a few strips so you get the idea of how long. I would err on cutting your fabric too long. That is if you had to err.

You want to have one base ribbon that is the one you tie everything else to. I used a long pink one here and I usually make it about as long as my arm. You can make them as long or short as you want.

And you tie the strips on. And you tie the strips on. And you tie them on. You keep doing it until you want to curse me and anyone who you are making this for and then you look at it and you are almost half way done. And you keep doing it. Your kids can help too. You cannot tie wrong.

For my boy’s garland, I used some old shirts from my husband’s teaching days. Look, there’s a cuff. I also cut up some sweet little jeans they all wore and a blanket and even one of their little shirts. I even had extra fabric left over from a window mistreatment that I threw in there.

It’s like making a big soup. You just keep adding all sorts of stuff until it magically looks right. You are thinking that I don’t
really make soup and you are right.

As you are tying and tying and cutting more stuff because you didn’t dream it would take so much fabric, just remember how adorable this is gonna look. You really want to pack the fabric and ribbon in. That’s how it looks so fab. Do not skimp on this, you will just be wasting your time.

Once you get to the very end, you tie the ribbon that is the base onto the ring of a ring clip. Do the same for the other end. I actually do this first so I can see where my start and stop are easily.

I like to add clips or clothespins in every 6 or 8 inches so you can hang stuff in the garland. You can hang photos or baby shoes or grocery lists or Christmas cards or ticket stubs…
Look how cute this one is in my old kitchen. And yes, those are napkins used for window mistreatments. I’m so glad you noticed!

I hope you have fun with this project! It’s like a quilt only easier and you don’t have to sew and you can’t cover up with it.

This garland would be adorable hung over a changing table, window or bed. Make a Chirstmasy one and hang your cards on it. Use your babies old clothes and hang it in the playroom.

This is the perfect time of year to make a garland for someone. Need more inspiration? Google “Ragamuffin Garland” and get inspired by what others have made as well!

Here are a few other ideas of what you can do with some ragamuffin scraps!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lanie's Life November 2, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I love the nester!!! I think I might make these for gifts for my family this year…….better get to the fabric store!!!! Thanks for sharing!

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2 Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster November 2, 2009 at 11:59 pm

How easy and yet so sweet. I like it on the mantle.
Nancy

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3 Sheri November 3, 2009 at 12:02 am

aren't these beautiful!!! I keep saying I am going to make some, hasn't happened yet, but I will…just wait and see

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4 Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage November 3, 2009 at 1:23 am

Oh, I love my sweet Nester buddy! I made my first raggamuffin garland for fall this year, and I'll be doing another one for Christmas. Just be sure to allow a few days if you want a long one. It took me about 6 hours to do one that was about 4 ft. long. But, she's right (she's always right), the more you pack on it, the prettier it becomes!

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5 Melissa Stover November 3, 2009 at 1:39 am

those are so cute. a great project the kids can help with.

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6 Ami November 3, 2009 at 2:03 am

A no-sewing required project- sounds perfect for me!

Tho, I can see this going the way of my worm compost. Stay with me here. I love that we can compost all our fruit and veggie scraps but occasionally I do sneak and buy a big bag of spinach just to feed the worms. The boyfriend just rolls his eyes.

I can see myself becoming a fabric hoarder just to have enough cute strips for garlands. Yesterday I was sizing up a lady at the grocery store and thinking her sweater would make perfect sweater stockings. This cannot be a good sign.

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7 Get Your Martha On November 3, 2009 at 2:10 am

Would I look stupid if I wore one of these around my neck? Just askin' …

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8 Vintagesquirrel November 3, 2009 at 2:15 am

Hi Edie! Hi Nester! Love, Love the Ragamuffin Garlands…now, you've got me thinking about where else I can put them….hmmmn

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9 cheri November 3, 2009 at 2:20 am

Cute! I may yet empty out my scrap bag!

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10 Kristi.Marie November 3, 2009 at 2:52 am

Oh my goodness, I am totally making some of these!!! Perfect and pretty inexpensive to beautify your home for the holidays! Thanks for the great idea!!

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11 SmallWorld at Home November 3, 2009 at 3:26 am

So incredibly cute!!

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12 Its So Very Cheri November 3, 2009 at 4:56 am

So adorable. I just discovered your blog, clicked to follow, hope you'll come for a visit–I have a fun DIY tassel tutorial yesterday, 2 fun parties a week and a home tour every Friday.

I look forward to getting to know you better.
Cheri

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13 Celesta November 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I love crafts that fools can do. I am not nimble!

I love your blog, too. It feeds me.

Celesta

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14 Ruth November 3, 2009 at 2:16 pm

I love the nester and her blog. Always such great ideas. I think I am going to make some of these great swags and put them on my large windows in the living room. Time to hunt for some fabric scraps.

I'm not sure I know anyone who would like these great garlands as a gift. I need to find some friends who love what I love then I can give these great gifts.

Ruth

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15 Pru November 3, 2009 at 2:44 pm

This is wonderful. I came to your blog yesterday from Darby's blog and I will certainly be making this.

Thank you so much Edie.

Pru

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16 Darby November 3, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Love this idea… as my scraps are running over!!!!

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17 mom24 November 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Ok….wow is all I can say! So very gorgeous but simple enough for untalented hands!!!
Lovely!

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18 Katherine November 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm

so cute! i think i'll make a long one with shorter scraps so that i can use it as garland on my christmas tree!

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19 CJ'SMOMMY*KIMBERLY November 3, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Ok I can't sew "a lick" but wow!!! I could even make these beauties.

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20 Michelle F November 4, 2009 at 12:47 am

I LOVE the garland. I started right away asking anyone I know for scrap fabric. My goal is to make on w/ Christmas colors for my kitchen window. Thank you for all you do, I'm inspired each time I read your blog.

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21 Gwynie Pie November 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm

OMGoodness these are deeeelicious!

Gwyn Rosser
The Pink Tractor
http://www.gwynrosser.blogspot.com

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