Do you love decorating for the holidays? I sure do. Sometimes though, I just can’t justify spending gobs of money on something that will only be used for a month. Target sure does make it hard to say no to their ridiculously cute stuff though! This year it has been even harder to say no to those decorations because we are living in a smaller rental home and I really didn’t want to dig out all of our Christmas boxes which, of course, were at the very back of our wall of boxes. I also didn’t want to buy more things we would have to pack and move knowing we’re moving not long after Christmas.
So what’s a girl to do?! You make decorations of course! Our house may not be the fanciest or the prettiest but it sure has been fun making decorations with my boys and I love when their dad comes home and they are beaming from ear to ear showing daddy what they made. My favorite so far has been this holly berry tassel garland. You may remember the post I did before Thanksgiving on how to throw a party on a budget; if not you can check it out here. One of the things I shared was DIY decorations and I included a link to tassel garland made out of tissue paper. I love the look of these garlands but just can’t justify spending $25 on something that literally costs $1 to make on my own.
To add a little extra to the garland I decided to make holly berries out of yarn. That was my boys favorite part! They got to get sticky and play with balloons, what could be more fun?! And I love the price tag on this one. I already had the balloons, tissue paper, glue and twine so all I had to buy was the yarn; which was on clearance for $1 at Michael’s. This does take a little bit of time if you have little ones helping but I would imagine you could knock this out in about an hour if you had some time to yourself; but let’s be real, if you are a parent planning on spending a couple hours or days making this. It’s totally worth it though!
Balloons (water balloons are best if you have them)
Elmer’s Glue & Water (or Mod Podge)
Tissue Paper (every sheet makes 4 tassels or leaves)
Twine (or string to hang your garland)
Blow balloons up. If you are using regular size balloons you only need to give one small breath of air (You want the balloons to be about the size of an egg) I used 14 balloons, 1 got blown up too big, and only made 12 berries. My garland was about 6 ft long so you could do less if you wanted a shorter garland.
Mix together even parts of water and Elmer’s Glue (homemade Mod Podge, or you can use regular Mod Podge) and pour a small amount onto a plate. You don’t want too much glue or the yarn will get too wet and take longer to dry. Lay yarn in a circular pattern in glue mix. Make sure to not get knots; they are a pain to get undone, especially with sticky fingers.
Start wrapping glue soaked yarn around balloon. There really is no right or wrong way to do this just make sure you have the majority of the balloon covered. Also make sure you have a big enough hole to pull the balloon out of when they dry.
Let sit in a dry spot for 12-24 hours. I recommend letting them sit for the full 24 hours but if you are in a hurry use a little less glue and they should be dry within the 12 hours.
Once dry, take a pin or sharp point and pop balloon.
Gently pull balloon away from yarn and out through one of the spaces.
1- Take one sheet of tissue paper and fold it in half vertically.
2- Fold it in half horizontally twice.
3- Cut 1″ strips (this doesn’t have to be exact) up leaving 2″ at the top.
4- Unfold once and cut away from the fold. You should now have 3 pieces.
5- Take the bigger of the 3 pieces and cut down the middle away from the fold again. You now have 4 pieces.
6- Unfold each individual piece and start to roll. Make sure that the tassels don’t get bunched up.
7-9 Twist the center piece and make a loop to go through twine.
You can use hot glue to secure the twist if you’d like but mine stayed together well on it’s own.
Measure out how long you want your garland cut that much twine.
Lay out your leaves and holly berries and arrange them how you’d like. I did 2 individual leaves then two leaves together with 3 holly berries attached. I used a total of 12 berries and 18 leaves.
Tie holly berries together with yarn.
Thread leaves and berries onto twine.
Tie square knots at both ends of twine and hang on wall.
Not too shabby for $1. Do you prefer making your decorations or buying them from the store; or a combination of both?