Make a Garland With Scrap Fabrics

Do you need to recycle your left over bits of fabric? Is your fabric stash outgrowing its allotted storage space? This is an opportunity to up-cycle those fabric leftovers and decorate for holidays at the same time!


Preparing the Scrap Fabric

  1. Sort through your fabric stash.
    • Coordinate the scraps by their color.
    • Determine how much yardage you have. You will be able to make approximately 30 inches (76cm) of garland per yard (91cm) of fabric you have on hand.
    • Choose 2 to 4 coordinating fabrics to use for your garland.
  2. Prepare the fabric. 
    • If needed, wash the fabric. This step may only be needed if the intended fabric is dirty or smelly--such as those that are musty or reek of mothballs. Stained fabric usually can be used as the stained parts are usually simply not included.
    • If needed, press the fabric smooth. This project will work with fabric that is not perfectly smooth, but creates a different look.
  3. Cut the fabric into strips. The strips should measure five inches long by one inch wide (12.5cm x 2.5cm). You can cut them longer if you wish, but you will need to cut them all the same length for best results.
    • A rotary cutter and mat make this part of the project a breeze.
    • You will need approximately 24 strips per linear feet of finished garland.

Making the Garland

  1. Find the end of the twine. Tie a knot around 10 inches (25cm) from the end.
  2. Select a fabric strip. Place it under the twine, ready for tying.
  3. Tie the fabric strip to the twine on the side of the knot (described above) that is away from the end.
    • Use a simple overhand knot for best results.
  4. Slide the tied fabric gently against the knot in the twine. Then reach for your next piece of fabric and repeat.
  5. Continue to tie strips down the length of the twine. Tie until you have reached the length you like or until you run out of fabric.
  6. When you're satisfied with the length, simply tie a knot in the twine at the end of your fabric strips. Finish by cutting the end of the twine long enough to facilitate hanging.


  • A rotary cutter and cutting board can make cutting the fabric strips easier (and quicker!) than scissors.
  • This makes a good "lap activity" for times when you would otherwise be sitting or bored. Watch a movie, listen to music, enjoy the view in the yard... and get a garland done while you're at it!
  • Use your red and green colored fabric scraps for a Christmas Garland, your yellows, browns, oranges and blacks for a Halloween Garland, your reds, pinks and whites for Valentine's Day, etc.
  • This is a great activity for children learning to cut with scissors, as the cuts to do not have to be perfect and a lot of cutting fabric is required!


  • Use appropriate caution with edged tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric, preferably cottons
  • Rotary cutter and mat (optional, but they make the job a lot easier!)
  • Household cotton or jute twine. Rough texture is actually an advantage for this project, so don't pay extra for the smoother cordage.)
  • Scissors for cutting the twine

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