Happy Holiday Garland

Happy Monday everyone! I wanted to share this fun garland I made with all of you. I worked on this before Christmas actually and finished it about two weeks before hand. I never showed our holiday decorations though, because I was too busy celebrating! This garland is just so fun though, I think it deserves a shout out.

 

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, my mother and her three sisters got together to make holiday crafts. This isn’t a family tradition, but something new this year, and we all loved it! My Aunt Chrisy ended up not being able to make it, but my mother and her two other sisters got together at my Aunt Karolyn’s in Davis for a little holiday magic. My cousin Kelly and I decided to crash the party too! Because I am a planner, I got incredibly excited and started scrolling through Pinterest to see what kind of inspiration I could find. Crafting is basically my own personal Pinterest-Challenge. I fell in love with several ideas, but the one that truly captured my heart was this. It was just so colorful and happy! I knew instantly that it was perfect and I had to try to make it. Yes, it’s not very Christmas-y, but that was what I inherently loved about it! The garland is bright and exciting and could be used for absolutely any holiday or celebration. Multi-use decorations? Count me in!

 

First I headed to Joanne Fabrics to pick up some supplies. I debated which colors to use before settling on light blue, teal, yellow-gold, yellow, bright magenta, baby pink, maroon, lime green, forest green, white, and neutral beige. I tried to coordinate my colors so there was a darker and a lighter version of each hue. I added the neutrals in because I didn’t want the color to be too overwhelming. I got 1/4 yd of each of my colors, and a 1/2 yard of the white and neutral. In the end, I had way too much fabric, especially of the neutrals. I’d suggest getting only 5″ strips of fabric for anyone planning on trying this. That’s less cutting for you too! The fabric on the bolts was doubled over, so in the end I got 9″ wide and 96″ long strips of each color except the neutrals.

 

Colorful Felt | Land of Laurel

 

I decided to make my life easy and simply cut my fabric down the middle until I had two long strips of felt approximately 4.5″ wide. Then I cut my long strips into 3/4″ pieces. I ended up with a ginormous pile of colorful felt strips. So happy and bright!

 

Pile of Felt | Land of Laurel

 

I then took strong, white embroidery thread and a needle and got down to stringing my garland together. Because felt is so easy to puncture, I used a nice big blunt needle. I started with a big knot in my thread. Then I took a piece of felt from my pile and quickly found a good way to string them together.

 

Stringing Together a Garland | Land of Laurel

 

I took each piece of felt in my hand…

 

Felt in Hand | Land of Laurel

 

… and then pinched it in the center like so.

 

Pinched Felt | Land of Laurel

 

Then I took my needle with my other hand and stabbed it through the pinch fabric pulling it through both sides of the pinch.

 

Needle in Felt | Land of Laurel

 

I wanted my garland to be extra strong for years to come, so I then threaded that needle back through the pinched felt a bit higher than the original hole. Here you can see the two strings coming out the one side of the felt (one attached to the needle, the other to the rest of the garland) and the small white stitch on the pinched fabric.

 

Second Time Through Felt | Land of Laurel

 

I pulled the embroidery threat tight which pinched fabric together more and then pulled the felt strip to the rest of the garland. Once it the felt strip was tightly pushed against the garland, I threaded a third stitch, taking the needle and pushing it through the center of the pinch and up.

Third Stitch | Land of Laurel

 

This kept the fabric pinched, but left the thread and needle coming from the center of the strip, ready for the next piece of felt.

Ready for the Next Strip | Land of Laurel

 

You guys, I did this about ten million times over the course of two weeks.

 

Next Piece | Land of Laurel

 

Since I was using doubled over strings of embroidery thread about one yard long, I would periodically run out of thread. When I got to that point, I would thread my needle through the last three felt strips twice and tie a big knot. I would cut off any excess thread. Then, with my new length of thread, I’d go back through those three strips of felt again. Basically, my transition points between thread lengths are super, duper strong rather than being weak points! I’m hoping this will help the garland last for years to come!

 

Still Going | Land of Laurel

 

I planned to hang my garland across the front windows in the living room. The windows are huge and I wanted the garland to hang down each side as well! It took forever to get the length I needed for this, but it was totally worth it! The process of threading the strips of felt became oddly addicting and almost meditative. I sat at the island and worked on it. Then I sat in bed and threaded felt strips. I made my garland while watching TV, waiting for food to roast in the oven. I made my felt garland before bed, before breakfast, after dinner, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. It was a HUGE time suck, but all the supplies for my garland cost less than $15.00 and it’s much stronger than anything you’d find for that price in stores!

 

In the end, I was able to stretch it across our big living room windows. It looked lovely. This is kind of a terrible iPhone picture, but it really shows how long this thing was when I finished!

 

Garland Across the Windows | Land of Laurel

 

The felt garland also looked great when I wrapped it around myself. Haha! It was like swimming in a sea of happy, bright, fun, and exciting color!

 

Finished Garland | Land of Laurel

 

I am so pumped for this garland! It’s perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day, for Easter, for Birthdays, for any and every occasion! I’m so glad I went with the colorful option rather than doing holiday colors. I have so much felt left over, I plan on making another similar garland in all neutral colors! Anyone else tried something like this?

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Flower Power

My new bedding arrived and is kicking it on my bed. That’s right. It’s here!! I spent a good, long time looking at this duvet cover on West Elm’s website before biting the bullet. Somethings I can buy on a whim, somethings I need to fully digest before I splurge. Bedding in my room would set the entire context for the space. It would be a huge design element. The design element in my room, actually. Because you walk into my room and stare straight at my bed, the linens covering said bed are the only thing you see. So not only did they need to make an impression, but they needed to strike the right balance between harmonizing with rest of my things and creating excitement. Because my walls are a warm, pale green I wanted to go darker. I feel like most blog pictures have white bedding and white walls and white curtains. That’s just not me. I love color, I love boldness, I love excitement!

 

I bought the plain white bedding I have on my bed currently from IKEA when I was in college. I thought it would be light, clean, easy to wash. Little did I know that I am no good at keeping white, white. The bedding stayed on my bed in my parents house while I lived in Boston. When I got home it was covered in stains. Thanks, family. After I lived with it for a few weeks, I realized it just made me feel like a slob. I drink a lot of tea and I drink a lot of tea in bed. I also spill a lot of tea on things. Tea stains on my white bedding? You betcha. It just had to go. It didn’t look terrible. In fact, no one could actually notice it. But I new it was there. I knew that the duvet cover faced the direction it did so that little stain was down against the sheets, I knew the throw at the end of the bed was so folded to hide the chocolate stain from that ice cream sundae I ate in bed. I can hide these things from others, but not myself, and I was over it.

 

Gold Sequin Throw Pillows | Land of Laurel

 

Having tried the whole white linens thing and had it fail for my personal lifestyle, I knew what my criteria for new bedding should look like. First, something dark in color. Second, something with pattern. I wanted something with green to go with my room and something that would mesh well with gold accents. In particular, I wanted something that had multiple shades of green, but incorporated a few other colors which would allow for more interest in the room. I don’t have any grey tones in my home, so it needed to be warm colors and not cool. My wooden headboard is pretty dark, so the bedding needed to be light enough to pop against the dark, wood tones. Lastly, I wanted to be excited about it! I wanted to look at my bed and think, “Wow!”

 

So after months of looking at the Garden Trellis bedding at West Elm, it went on sale, and I bit the bullet. I bought the duvet cover and three euro pillow cases. This bedding just fits all my categories. Dark enough to hide a tiny tea stain, but light enough to pop against my headboard. Colorful! The bedding uses three shades of green, so pretty much anything green I already had would it go with it. Plus, the bedding has liberal dashes of two different reds (my absolute favorite color!), bits of baby blue, and splashes of white. This allows me to branch out from my palette of greens with a good direction. I always recommend finding something to set the tone of a room — a painting, a scarf, bedding, a throw pillow– anything that allows you to pull colors from it and use it as a basis of color design. This bedding is my basis of design for this room. It’s exciting and fun and encourages me to bring in splashes of other colors. It’s red and green and doesn’t scream “Christmas!” that in and of itself is a small miracle! This bedding is backed by a really warm neutral tone that falls somewhere in between grey and brown. It might lean slightly more grey, but just barely. It is basically perfect and checked every item off my list. Plus, I kind of love the floral! It’s more feminine than I would normally go, but it’s kind of a spunky feminine with a sassy flair. It’s not your mother’s floral.

 

Garden Trellis Bedding | Land of Laurel

 

Isn’t it just smashing? I absolutely love it. I adore the splashes of red. I makes me what to incorporate more reds in the room. Yay! Now, I still need to get on and hang some real art on these walls and find some storage for my books, but It finally feels like I’m getting somewhere! Like this room is actually going places. Places I want to go! Did it take me six months? Yes. But who is counting? It’s the destination, not the journey right?

 

New Bedding | Land of Laurel

 

One other thing I did that was a little crazy? I bought the duvet cover in a king size. My bed is a queen. They still had queen size in stock when I ordered, but I decided to try something a little insane. My old white duvet didn’t cover the metal legs of the bed. Not that they were terrible or anything, but I wanted something longer. Something that would not only cover the metal legs of the bed frame I’m not crazy about. Plus, since my room is small, I take full advantage of that under-bed space for piles of random, unorganized crap storage. To take the photo above I had to move some of my things out from under the bed so it looked clean. In reality, there are things down there I don’t want to have to stuff into my closet every time someone comes to visit. So I did the unthinkable. I bought a king sized duvet for my queen bed. Which meant I also had to buy a new comforter. Oops. Look how it turned out, though! It’s perfect. It just barely touches the floor. It looks great. It hides all the things I have stored beneath the bed. You don’t even know they’re under there! It’s really fantastic. If you have similar under-bed storage issues, I highly recommend giving upsizing your comforter a try.

 

Garden Trellis Bedding | Land of Laurel

 

My room is starting to blossom! It’s making me excited and happy. This bedding is kicking my butt into gear. I’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to transform my room into a colorful garden oasis. The solution? Way more plants! I love how my parlor palm is sneaking its way into that shot above. Very jungle-y. My constant issue with book storage is, of course, still in the back of my mind. But, I’ve already made progress on #OperationNoMoreDecorativeLamps. Can’t wait to show you how that’s looking! Until then I’ll just keep staring at my bed like a love sick puppy, ok? Adding a little bit of flower power has totally spiced up this bedroom.