a garland inspired by the boy scouts is my fave

March 5, 2012

Sharon’s confetti shooter tutorial was such a hit, I invited her back for some more DIY goodness and boy did she deliver. You know I can’t resist a garland.

A few weeks ago I was out on a play date and the mom pulled out some projects to do. One of them was putting kits together for her Boy Scout troop to make pace marker key chains (that help them always know where they are when frolicking in the forest. Alright, I guess Boy Scouts wouldn’t frolic but I’m not super outdoorsy so the only things I know about the forest is they should be frolicked in. With fairies). I immediately tried to see if I could translate the pace marker into party decor. The answer is yes! What I love about this garland is that it is customizable and there are tons of options.

You will need:
– Wood Craft Beads (1″ or under will probably work best. The larger they are, the heavier they will be and harder to work with when hanging.)
– String, thin rope, yarn (You can use just about anything. Just remember you will be threading each bead twice so your string can’t be too thick for the hole)
– Scissors
– 2 Needles (I used larger needles but any size will work, even the plastic kid’s needles are fine)
– Optional: Paint for the beads

If you’re painting your beads, tape off half of the bead with tape and use acrylic paint to add some color. It also looks pretty great left plain with this hot pink string.

When dry, let the stringing begin. Grab two pieces of string and knot one end together. This is where you will be hanging one side of the garland from so if you want to leave a loop, extra length, etc., it is up to you. Decide how long you want your finished garland to be and then leave a little extra string to account for the in-and-out through the beads the length of the garland.

Place the knotted end at the top of your workspace. It is easiest to work with if you put something heavy on it to keep it from moving around. A can of beans will work just fine or you can use something more ladylike like peaches. Put one needle on each string end and place your bead on your work space in between the two strings.

Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 11.23.14 PM
It doesn’t matter what side you start with but I am a righty so that is what was natural to me. Take the needle from the string on the right side of the bead and thread it through to the left side. Pull the length of the string all the way through. You want to make sure that you are keeping the bead with the holes to the sides as it will try to move around while you are threading it. Next take the needle from the left (or other side from what you just did), and thread it through the bead to the right side, pulling the string all the way through.

You will repeat the above steps for each of the beads that you want to add. Don’t worry about spacing them as you are threading. The cool thing about this and the reason the Boy Scouts use them (for keeping track of their location), is that the beads can slide up and down the string.

Next, tie a loose knot at the end of the strings at the opposite end from where you started. There will be some adjusting to get them to hang the right way against the way and it is easiest if you can re-knot.

When all of the beads are added, hang your garland. I just used push pins to put it up on the wall but you can use whatever method you prefer. You may need to tighten the top or bottom string to get the beads to lay nicely against the wall.

To further customize, I added my son’s name using stick on letters. As I like to use all my party supplies over, the best part about these beads is that they can be turned around so the letters face the wall. Then it just becomes a decoration or I could put another name on this side.

Since the beads are movable, you can scootch them around the garland until you are pleased with the look. I’m pretty sure you could even put them in to some sort of Morse Code type message. But no one but you, and Morse, will know what it says.

See more awesome from Sharon at Cupcakes and Cutlery.

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