Sewing a Christmas garland
Christmas is fast approaching. This means it will soon be time for even the less enthusiastic decorators among you to brighten up your house with some gold and silver. Hidden behind today’s calendar window is a small last-minute decoration idea that’s fun to make at home with very few materials: a Christmas garland made of shiny metallic SnapPap, including a printing template.
The great thing is that you can get creative and I bet that everyone has some suitable materials at home to brighten up the holidays with this Christmas garland.
Sewing a Christmas garland – Materials
- Metallic, shiny SnapPap, or alternatively, normal craft card or felt
(you could even use a cut up Tetrapak)
- Craft scissors or a cutting plotter
- Sewing thread, such as Seralon thread from Mettler
- Sewing machine
- Sewing machine needle (a universal or leather needle, size ≥90)
Free download Christmas motifs
Cutting out the Christmas motifs – with scissors
The Christmas garland consists of several motifs, which are sewn together one after the other on a sewing machine. The motifs are first cut out from SnapPap (or your chosen material). If you want to use scissors, print out the motifs from the template and cut them out. Place the motifs on your material, draw around them and then cut them out. If you want to change the size, you can change the print settings and print out the template with a size of 80%, for example.
Cutting out the Christmas motifs – on a plotter
If you are lucky enough to have a cutting plotter, you can cut the Christmas motifs out on it directly. You can open the attached SVG file in your plotter program and then cut it out. Use your plotter manufacturer’s instructions to do this. You can find more information on the correct depth and pressure for your cutting blade to cut through the material at Kreativmanufaktur Bayern (in German). With my Silhouette Cameo 3, I selected the preset setting “Faux Leather Paper”. However, I recommend that you make a test cut.
Your can arrange the Christmas motifs any way you like. It is up to you whether you alternate the motifs, vary the size or both. In addition, the spacings and the length of the garland are also completely up to you.
Preparing the sewing machine
You should change your sewing machine needle before sewing. If you are using craft card, I recommend using an older needle, as it may be blunted by the paper. With SnapPap, you can use a universal or leather needle with a size of 90 or above. Thread your thread into the machine according to the machine manufacturer’s instructions. I used Poly Sheen thread from Mettler to sew my Christmas garlands on the BERNINA 740.
Sewing the Christmas garland
Now you can start sewing. Lay out your Christmas motifs in the correct sequence as you want them and select a straight stitch with a length of 2.5 – 3. You can leave the other settings on default and make any adjustments if necessary. Pull the upper and lower thread 5-10 cm backwards away from the machine before starting, then place the first SnapPap motif under the presser foot and start with the first stitch just on the edge (but not too close). Sew over the motif until you get to the other end of the motif.
For the delicate snowflake, I recommend using the Straight Stitch Plate as this reduces the risk of the SnapPap being pulled down into the feed dog. Now sew a few stitches past the motif and as soon as you can take hold of the motif, hold the SnapPap motif taut away from the back of the machine. Be careful not to pull on the thread. Now sew into the empty space until you reach the perfect distance between the two motifs. Then comes the second motif, which you sew in exactly the same way as with the first.
You might find that your spacing is slightly irregular at first, but I think you get a feeling for it relatively quickly. When you want to finish off the garland, you can simply sew a few stitches into empty space after the last motif and then lift the presser foot, pull the thread to the desired length and cut it off.
A little extra tip: You can create a completely different effect if you vary the direction you sew across the motif. For example, with the bell, you can sew diagonally across your motif. If you change direction, it looks like the bells are ringing.
If, after my explanation, you are not sure exactly what to do, I will also upload a video (Reel) on my Instagram profile (in German) showing how to sew the Christmas garland. And you can also find instructions there on how to knit the beautiful wreath using XXL wool!
Creative uses of Christmas garlands
Christmas garlands are the perfect all-purpose decoration. You can hang them on the wall in a traditional way, vertically or horizontally, or you can wrap them around a Christmas wreath, incorporate them into your table decorations or use them as gift tags. I can also imagine them in front of a window or hanging from a lamp.
I wish you and your family a peaceful Advent and a Merry Christmas. And I hope you have fun making your own garlands!