Updated: May 25
This week I crafted a DIY 4th of July garland for my mantle. Honestly, I love the patriotic holidays!! I don't know exactly when it became a thing to decorate one's mantle for seasons beyond Christmas, but I'm glad it did! My Equine Assisted Therapy business is up and running now that our California weather has normalized a bit, and I've been busier than in previous years. My therapy clients are primarily veterans and their families, so I am determined to decorate for the patriotic holidays - Memorial Day - last Monday of May, Flag Day - June 14th, and Independence Day - July 4th! As a military (retired) wife, and a military mom, I know how important patriotism is to the morale of our troops! Lucky for me, I know exactly where I have stored our outdoor decor and will get that put up this weekend. (...or so I keep telling myself.)
This year my front gate has taken a well-deserved break. Usually, every major holiday is met with my driveway gate decorated and dressed up. I decorated for Christmas, but I dropped the ball at Valentine's Day like a hot potato, and forgot about the ball completely by Easter. I'm trying to make up for that with a few ideas to decorate the inside of my home for 4th of July and other patriotic holidays. To get started, I collected my supplies. I found everything I needed at Joann's Fabrics. The 2" burlap ribbon was in the floral department, not with other ribbon. I'm not sure what it is typically used for, but the edges weren't finished. I wanted frayed edges on my fabric strips, so this ribbon worked perfectly.
Supplies: -1/2 yard red fabric -1/2 yard blue fabric -1 spool 2" burlap ribbon -jute string 1 1/2 times the length of your mantle (excess allows for draping) -jute tassles (I found mine on Amazon this past Christmas) -scissors
I started ripping my fabric into strips. I cut small slits at one end of my fabric, and commenced tearing it into pieces between one and two inches in width. This is the most fun part of the project - especially if you are angry!
After the strips were torn to width, I cut them in half. I ended up with piles of ribbon that were approximately 9" long. I then cut lengths of ribbon that were similar - though I did not measure. The lengths I used were easy to wrap around the jute and tie into a single knot. I didn't want my garland fabric to droop, and was concerned that anything longer than 9" would be too heavy to hold its own weight.
The piles of fabric and the strings that were left behind were a bit daunting, but once I started tying, and seeing the project come to fruition, I was encouraged to continue.
I started with an ABC pattern... but quickly figured out that I would have to modify this at some point.
I had more fabric strips than burlap, so I added another red and blue after each burlap piece. My final pattern is as follows:
After that was done, I had to choose: go to the store for more burlap and fabric - to make my very long garland; or figure out how to space things in order to make it work.
I decided to space it out. As previously noted in my blog posts, I'm generally lazy. (Or a bit agoraphobic - and afraid of wading into the foray for more fabric? I dunno. Perhaps both.)
I eventually opted to add the jute tassels I bought on Amazon for a Christmas project. These little things have made their way into many of my projects over the past few months. They are that tiny touch of Bohemian flair that is embedded deeply in my DNA - literally. (I'm descended from ancestors who were from the part of Germany/Austria formerly known as Bohemia.)
This post caught me in the middle of remodeling my fireplace. We live in an English Tudor home, but the fireplace was firmly Colonial. I just finished my new fireplace surround and over-mantle this weekend, so you get a sneak peek. You can even see that I'm not finished. The old adhesive and wood filler from the previous mantle can be seen on the drywall above the ends of the new. I should form a support group. My greeting will be, "Hello. My name is Jennifer, and I am a 95% - er." I will make an entire post about the over-mantle soon. Just trying to keep my head above water for now. Leave a comment below and let me know if you think you'll try the project.
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