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Paper is full of possibilities, and when it comes to creating holiday and party decor, the opportunities are endless. Paperchain garland has been around for decades, and while a fun and nostalgic addition to any room, it’s not typically used to dress out a room, Until Now!
Earlier this month, I was in charge of creating the decor for my daughters Scholastic Bookfair. While provided with a budget, it was a small budget, and I wanted to come up with something that provided a WOW! moment for the students. Paper is overall inexpensive, and I thought that paper chain garland would be a great way to fill out the ceiling but wanted to elevate the classic design.
With a paper punch and a little bit of patience (and a lot of reality tv), you can create beautiful vibrant “lace” paper chain garland in three easy steps.
First, you will want to select the perfect color palette for your garland. Think pinks and purples for a unicorn birthday, reds for Valentines Day, Blues for an Artic Ice holiday, even whites for a wedding!
You will want to purchase a lightweight, smooth cardstock. Construction paper will work, but cardstock is a heavier weight that will allow the garland to be used year after year.
Tip: Some colors are more difficult to punch than others due to the dye and weight. I experienced this with one of the blues in the mixed pack that I used. It’s easier to remove the color than try to battle it while punching your paper. TRUST ME!
Cut your cardstock into strips, for the garland I created my strips were 2.25″ wide x 12″ long. The size is up to you, depending on the look you are trying to achieve. If you want to create a more dainty lace garland, I would suggest 1.5″ wide, and you will need only paper punch on one side. You can play around with this and punch a few test strips before you commit and cut.
When you have your perfect paper strip size, I suggest using a paper cutter to keep your sanity and precise cuts. If you have a child in school, ask if you can use the one in the teacher’s lounge. Otherwise, you can invest $20 or so and add one to your craft closet!
It’s time to start punching your paper. I suggest setting up a workspace that has a television as it’s overall a mindless task, and this will help the time pass.
TIP: Make sure you when you punch the paper; it’s on a hard and secure surface. If you stand over the punch and push down, it makes the process easier and quicker.
Punch down both long sides to create a lace effect or create different patterns; you can see in my photos all the different designs I was able to create.
They make so many different paper punches from hearts, balloons, lace. Just Search “Scrapbooking Edge Punch” Play with your paper punch; don’t be scared. There’s no right or wrong!
Take your pretty paper strips, and just like when you were a child, interlock and staple! If you are assembling your chain at the location where it will be hung, you can make the chain as long as you would like. If you are going to install the paperchain garland at a different location, I suggest making each chain 15 links long and keeping extra paper strips to connect the chains, so they are not tangled in transit.
Below you can see the differnt patterns that I created with the paper punch. Every paper strip doesn’t need to be the same; the variation creates a beautiful texture when assembled.
To hang the chains from the ceiling, I used fishing line and command hooks to give a floating illusion, and no mess install. I also hung white paper snowflakes to fill out space and add some additional texture.
I put together some fun and easy pairings for holiday paper chain garlands below. Now go be creative and surprise yourself with how crafty you can be!