DIY Fabric Garland

22 DIY Fabric Garland Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

As a styled event and party photographer, I have worked with some amazing vendors who create handmade custom pieces. Having photographed many of Lilypaul Designs fabric garlands in the past, I was inspired to try to create my own DIY version for my son’s Monster, Aliens, and Robots birthday party. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out since I’m on the border of being crafty and I don’t work with fabric much at all. I’m so excited that I accomplished this without the use of a sewing machine! I simply used a cutting mat and rotary cutter to easily slice through fabric. Scissors would do the same thing, but this goes much faster and gets smooth, straight lines.

2 Cutting Setup Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I picked up fabric at Wal-Mart and ended up buying one yard of each color at a total cost of about $7 altogether.

1 Fabric Bolts Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

First, lay the full yard of fabric out and folded it in half horizontally. Then cut that piece in the middle vertically.

4 Cutting Fabric Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 5 Cut Fabric in Half Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Next, stack the two halves on top of each other. There will now be a fold at the top of each piece and four layers of fabric at the bottom.

6 Stack Fabric Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Use the rotary cutter to slice through the fabric in one inch strips, using the cutting mat as a guide.

3 Cutting Setup Closeup Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Continue cutting fabric until all fabric is used. Keep fabric strips in folded position and organized by color. There will be odd ends, hold on to them, just in case.

8 Finished Strips Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 7 Odds Ends Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Using a 5/8 inch ribbed ribbon, knot one end to begin making the fabric garland.

9 Ribon Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Determine the color pattern for the garland and begin to use simple knots to attach fabric to ribbon.

10 Beginning Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

To create the knot, hold fabric strip in the left hand and insert index finger into folded section, creating a loop. Place ribbon under loop.

11 Create Loop Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Grab ends of strip with the right hand and insert into loop, ensuring ribbon is now inside the hole created.

12 Insert End in Loop Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Hold on to ribbon with the left hand and lightly pull on ends with the right hand to tighten knot.

13 Pull End Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Tighten knot further by pulling harder.

14 Tighten Knot Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Push knots together to create pattern.

15 Push Ends Together Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

While trying to follow the pattern, it’s possible to forget a color.

16 Missed Color Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

If that happens, simply slide the incorrect color over to create some additional space.

17 Slide Knot Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Determine the color missed, and grab that strip.

18 Add Strip Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Attach the missing strip as instructed above.

19 Insert Strip Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

When the fabric garland is finished, knot the ribbon at the opposite end to keep strips in place. This will create one fabric garland of about 7 feet in length, perfect for a 6 foot dessert table.

20 Finished Product Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

28 Joseph Dessert Table Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

DIY “Galvanized Metal” Letter

21 DIY Galvanized Metal Letter Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I came up with the idea to use galvanized metal in my son’s Monsters, Aliens, & Robots birthday party when I was searching for inspiration for his dessert table setup. I found this party from Carol of Partylicious featured by Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs when searching online. I loved the idea of using  a sheet of galvanized metal as the backdrop and quickly went to Menard’s to find some locally, without any luck. I still have no idea where I could get a sheet of that stuff!

1 Partylicious Robot Party

I decided on a different direction for the backdrop and then came up with the idea of having a big letter J for Joseph in the middle of the backdrop. I checked Hobby Lobby and Michael’s for anything that would work and came up with two options that were just way too small.

2 Hobby Lobby Big J Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 3 Hobby Lobby Little J Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Disappointed in the selection of sizes to choose from, I started thinking harder about the grooves of the metal and wondered if I could achieve the same look from a cardboard box cutout. I picked up a flat moving box from WalMart for less than $1.00 and started freehand sketching a big J on the surface.

4 J Cutout Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Using an X-Acto knife, I sliced through the cardboard to cut out my letter J. I’m always very cautious when using one of these blades, as my brother accidentally sliced his arm with one pretty badly when he was a teenager. Thankfully, it was nothing too serious!

5 Xacto Knife Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Next, I carefully peeled off the flat layer of cardboard, working slowly to try to remove as much as I could with each strip.

6 Peeling Cardboard Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

It got messy after a while, so I just had to start peeling everything I could get my fingers on.

7 Cardboard Layers Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

After I completely peeled off the flat layer of cardboard, I started meticulously picking off all the leftover pieces using a pair of tweezers. This part was quite tedious and time-consuming, but hey, if there’s one thing I have in abundance right now, it’s free time. This is a great project for someone who has a plethora of patience and a healthy dose of functional OCD – not a common combo!

8 Using Tweezers Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Finally I used the same Rust-Oleum Metallic Aluminum spray paint I used on the DIY Polystyrene Backdrop to cover the cutout in paint. The metallic silver gave the cutout the shiny, industrial look I wanted.

9 J to Paint Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I left the cutout in place for a couple hours, to ensure it was dry before touching it.

10 J Painted Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

To hang the cutout, I used pins to attach it to my polystyrene backdrop.

11 Pins for Hanging Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I really love how the final DIY “Galvanized Metal” Letter turned out. I was able to get it to the perfect size for the backdrop I was working with and it was light enough to hang from pins to the polystyrene.

29 Dessert Table Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party