Celebrate and give thanks this year by creating a pretty DIY Thanksgiving garland. A festive holiday garland can transform a space in minutes, giving it some pizzazz without overwhelming a room. Drape this on the fireplace mantel, window, doorframe, or dining room.
This garland is made of simple materials like felt and wooden beads and uses a free printable template for the lettering. You can source felt in craft and fabric stores and online retailers. The techniques are equally easy; you can create this garland with a child helping to string the beads.
Before You Begin
As you gather your materials, think about where you'd like to hang your garland. Consider the existing color palette in the room and how much space you have for your garland. The colors you choose for your leaves and letters should work well in your space.
When buying your wooden beads, ensure that the hole in the bead is large enough to accommodate the twine you get. Keep an eye on the proportions of your materials. Also, depending on how long you choose to make your garland, you may need more than 100 beads. The longest part of the construction process is the beading of the string and cutting out the letters. It's not difficult, but it takes patience. Enlist a young helper to do the beading to make it a family-friendly craft.
Once you learn how to make it, this garland will become a staple of your fall decor and a family heirloom that you can pass down for generations.
Equipment / Tools
- Large-eye embroidery needle
- Ballpoint pen
- Felt sheets in your preferred fall color palette
- Thin cotton twine
- Free printable "Be Thankful" template
- Printer paper
- Small wooden beads
Trace Your Letters
Download and print the "Be Thankful" template on plain printer paper. Cut out each letter of "Be Thankful" on the lines provided. You will trace the letters on the felt, but you will need to flip them over so it appears you are tracing the letter backward. You want to turn the letters over so that you can't see the pen marks from the tracing when you cut them out.
Cut Your Letters
Once all the letters are traced, use your scissors to cut out each letter carefully. Set aside the letters for now.
Cut Your Leaves
Cut out your fall leaves. Use a few different colors for variation; three to four colors are ideal. Freehand cut a leaf shape out of these colors; you'll probably need about 12 to 15 leaves of each color to create a garland that's about 3.5 feet long. To save time and cutting, stack three to four pieces of felt and cut multiple leaves at once.
String Your Letters
String your letters onto your cotton twine. Insert one end of your twine through the large embroidery needle. Be sure you are stringing your letters on so they all face forward. Keep pen marks hidden on the backside. String them on by pushing the needle up through the back of one side, along the top of a letter, and back through the front so that the string ends up in the back once you're done stringing that letter.
Leave a small space (about 1/2 inch) between letters and string the following letter similarly. Leave a larger space (4 inches) between the words "Be" and "Thankful." Continue this way until all of the letters are strung in order.
String Beads and Leaves
Cut another piece of twine to about 4.5 feet to create the second part of your garland. Insert one end of the twine through the large embroidery needle. At one end, make a thick knot, leaving a tail that's a few inches long. Then string five wooden beads on them. Next to the beads, fold two leaves together (in colors that match well) and string them.
Continue in the same manner as your garland fills up. As you string your leaves, be aware that they are directional or being strung in the direction you want them to face.
Stack the Two Garlands
Stack the two garlands together and join the ends. You can also choose to leave them separate.
Hang and Enjoy
Hang your garland up to enjoy and to remind you to be thankful all season long.