Merry Christmas Garland

Here is a no-sew craft that I made a couple years ago that gets pulled out year after year at our house:

Christmas 2010

It’s made of paper, but with careful storage it’s been up for Christmas four years in a row now. I made this garland with some origami paper (that’s where all the fun prints come from), an exacto knife and mat, and a couple yards of green grosgrain ribbon.  Here’s a step-by-step if you’d like to make one.


1. Download the letters from Martha (that MARTHA! so. amazing.) by clicking on the “ABC Letters Template” in this article.
2. Trace the letters you want onto colored paper, wrapping paper, origami paper, whatever. I like using origami paper because it’s thinner and therefore easier to see the template through the paper. I’m pretty sure I bought my paper at Kinokuniya in San Francisco but their website is in Japanese and scares me so you’re on your own there, friends.
3. Using an exacto knife or small sharp scissors, cut out each letter. This is the Soul-Sucking Step where you might want to give up and die. Watch some Arrested Development to cushion the blow.
4. Cut two slits in each letter the width of the ribbon or slightly wider and thread the ribbon through behind each letter.

Christmas 2010
Christmas 2010

5. If using two ribbons, tie ends together in knot and hang. Enjoy!

Here’s a few more shots so you can see it in the kitchen (with new pendant light from company which will remain nameless for their ability to completely bungle my custom order not once but twice before getting it right. THANKS BUNCHES for that $25 off coupon though! *rolls eyes*).

Christmas 2010

OOP! Forgot the Halloween candy basket is still out. What can I say, we’re working our way through the treats as s l o w l y as possible. And now they’re so old even I’m not stealing them anymore.  Try to focus on my amazingly tacky white Christmas tree instead.

Christmas 2010

Let’s zoom in a little and take a better look. Notice anything strange about the ornament distribution?

Christmas 2010

Yes, that’s right, there’s definitely an excess about 3 feet from the ground. My little E is now old enough to exuberantly participate in tree decoration. And I mean exuberant: “This looks SO GREAT!” he yells. “Let’s put THIS one on the tree!” “I can do it!” I think this is quite possibly the first year that every single Christmas ornament I own has made it onto the tree. Makes. me. so. happy. !!!

And yesterday he gave the “Baby Cheezus” ornament a kiss. This may elicit gagging noises from the peanut gallery but I tell you when it is your own child it’s completely adorbs to see your child being affectionate to any baby, especially the Baby Jesus, even if it is a two-dimensional baby made out of popsicle sticks (I told some of the Crafters at last Thursday’s meetup — totally awesome again, by the way, pics to come — about this hilarious pronunciation and Lisa told me I need to watch the Modern Family episode with the “Baby Cheeses” pun throughout. Can’t wait!).

Christmas 2010

Is your tree up yet? Is your child saying adorable things that others just laugh politely at when you tell them about it? I promise not to make gagging noises. Even though I actually do have the stomach flu.

39 thoughts on “Merry Christmas Garland

  1. First–I want a white tree. the ornaments just POP on them.
    Second–I almost choked on water (I guess that's drowning?) when I read step #3. Too funny!

  2. I love your white tree. It looks very magical. This isn't Christmas related, but my 4 year old was so excited because we went to a "show-n-tell" this weekend. What she is trying to say is a hotel. I hope people don't get the wrong idea!

  3. i love the white tree. we when and cut ours down this weekend. but if i ever go fake, i am going white, this decides it!

    my son calls the puppy we sometimes watch "pooper" instead of cooper. love it!

  4. My daughter who is 2 loves to say her baby brother's name Thaddeus Xavier…of course it comes out more like fad-e-us a-er…so precious because she says it every time she sees him she says it.

    No, don't have the Christmas tree up…not very motivated this year since we're not having Christmas at our place.

  5. Such a sweet garland – I think I may even have some Japanese paper like that yours in my stash! Merry Christmas : )

  6. I got my tree up earlier than ever this year. Yay! But mine is conspicuously missing ornaments from the bottom 3 feet. That one year old of mine keeps eating the gingerbread boys off the tree. She's in love with gingerbread houses, but calls them binber-heads. It's gaggingly adorable.

    Also, the fact that you watch Arrested Development bumps you up from Top Ten favorite bloggers to "Far and Away the Smartest Crafty Person I know." RIP Arrested Development. You were the best thing that ever happened to TV.

  7. My Mom has done Happy Birthday garland every year for us 4 kids for as long as I can remember – each year we get a new one! And each letter was the full size of a sheet of paper! They got fancier too when scrapbooking paper became popular πŸ™‚

    It only stopped for me when I had kids – as we have passed the baton and she now makes it for them every year!!!

    Our tree is up, and I was so excited about putting my ornaments on it I actually posted about some of them – gag! Lol, I love it though πŸ™‚

  8. our sweet little one sang (signed) through the music at Church on Sunday. it was so so cute. She was non-verbal only 6 mos ago! Jee-jus. she kept signing baby baby Jesus and hat hat hat.(she had a new knitted hat on!)

  9. Your white tree rocks! For the most part, only I can tell what my 1 1/2 year old is saying, but whenever she's given some food, she always looks it over and then says "baby?" because she wants a baby bite – as opposed to a big bite πŸ™‚
    Sorry you have the dreaded stomach bug! That went through our house a couple weeks ago and it was wretched!

  10. My lovely two year old is getting very excited about "Fatter Pissmass" coming! I think she hit the nail on the head!

  11. Ah, Rae, I love you for still having the Halloween candy on display in your kitchen! My Jamie is really outgrowing the cute mispronunciations. Just the other day, I called something "a-scusting"–the pronunciation that he used to use for disgusting–and he corrected me. So sad.

  12. I have heard a certain worship team repeat "Lord you're mighty" so. many. times that it eventually sounds like "Lord Jamighty" and I occupy myself with creating a backstory for this medieval fellow.

  13. My daughter loves 'Mucus.' She means music and when you ask her about it she says "Say Mew…. Say Sick…. Say MUSIC!" because we've tried to fix it. But the first thing she says is always Mucus. "I can has Mucus on please?"

  14. i *LOVE* your white christmas tree,and i want you to know that i am fully jealous. πŸ˜€

    we were out shopping last year and they were playing 'Feliz Navidad' on the store's speaker systerm. My 5 year old was singing along – singing 'Police got my Dad"! She wasn't trying to be funny, thats honestly what she thought the words were. When we corrected her she said 'Well! Thats better. I thought that was kind of a weird christmas song!" πŸ™‚

  15. I've always loved you and your blog, but you just gained further esteem by mentioning Arrested Development.

  16. my son just turned two and loves to read this book we have called "room for a little one" by martin waddell. he loves to look at the pictures and point out "baby cheesy". my husband and i accidentally laughed the first time he said it and now he thinks he is hilarious. he now brings me the book, points to baby jesus, looks at me out of the corner of his eye and confidently states "baby cheesy" and proceeds to fake laugh. still trying to figure out how we're going to explain this to my in-laws…sigh.

  17. I LOVE your Christmas tree! I wish I had been a bit more relaxed about Christmas when my kids were little. Bravo to you for letting him decorate the way he liked it. He obviously cared about what he was doing so much and you let that blossom. Very sweet!

  18. My 3 year old son found my grandmother's Nativity scene last week and very dramatically stated,"Mama, Baby Jee-dus needs help 'cause his bed is REALLY dirty!!"

    Our tree has been up for just over a week and has virtually no ornaments on the bottom third of it thanks to my little ones. The New York Yankee player ornaments were too busy playing baseball to bother hanging on the tree πŸ™‚

  19. We are going with a metal tree this year…real trees make me itchy-sneezy, and I wanted a lead/PVC free fake version. So there you go. My 3 year old daughter picked her friend's baby doll at playgroup today and said "Baby Jesus is hungry" then proceeded to hike up her shirt and nurse him. Which I thought was "adorbs" πŸ™‚

  20. Baby Chuwawa……No idea where it came from, seems much harder to say than jesus, have corrected her many times, really funny to me but no one else, Ha! I love it tho, because she loves it.

  21. My kids are just a little bit older than your two, and while our tree started out looking just like yours, it now is only decorated on the top half! The baby has pulled off everything, and broken several of the ones I thought were unbreakable! I actually shoved the fallen soldiers (and train, plane, cross, etc) in the pine garland sitting on the mantle in a fit of lazy/frustration, and it looks kind of awesome!

    In our house, "then one Froggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say…" I laugh everytime. And everytime my 18month old brings me the Baby Jesus from the Little People nativity and prclaims "behbeee" my heart swells with pride. Because recognizing this Baby is so different from recognizing that 3-year old at the grocery store??
    I love that all the other moms are just as nutty as I am πŸ™‚

  22. love your light fixture and the tree is so funny. Ours by Christmas last year had no ornaments at the bottom since they were removed by little fingers and broken. hahaha oh well!

  23. I love your white Christmas tree also, and I normally don't like white trees. The ornaments look fantastic!

    My 4.5 y.o. and I were watching Charlie Brown and when they started singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" she started laughing. She asked me why they were singing about ham because that's just crazy. I told her it was Bethlehem, not ham.

    I also agree with DJ Rose – I've been following your blog for a little while now and you more than reeled me in with the Arrested Development drop. And we both have sons named Elliot.

  24. we decorated our tree last night and my 3 and 4 old have taken complete creative control of the tree. The bottom of our tree is dragging from the weight while the top is bare. We have 10 different garlands none of which match. It's all in the spirit. Merry Christmas to you and your family

  25. My tree is completely top heavy because the Little Miss tosses ornaments over her shoulder. Last year I did a cull of all our ornaments and this year I'm sticking basically to baubles because last year it looked like Christmas vomited all over the tree. At least your cherub is getting in the vicinity of Jesus, mine referred to him at MASS (!!) as Baby Jason.

  26. LOVE the garland! The white tree? Not so much . . . but it's wonderful to see your family celebrating this Advent season in your own way. πŸ™‚

  27. Reminds me of the 24 sets of letters I cut out from old maps to spell "My Map Book" for my daughter's class last year. This seems like nuthin'. What I really want to know… how did you get those shelves in your kitchen all lined up perfectly?

  28. my son has been asking to watch 'The Grunch' at least once a day all week. I can't help but giggle every time he says it…

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