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Valentine's Day Garland

Andrea Sanchez

Today we have guest blogger Nikki Wagner, designer of the Sylvan Hat and Mittens from our Winter 2015 collection. She's the perfect person to be sharing this with you since she makes some amazing pom-poms!

I loved making this paper/pom-pom garland project with my kiddo. This year alone I did similar crafts for Halloween (candy corn shapes) and Christmas (Christmas Tree shapes). It takes minimal effort and has a high reward. In the supplies list I listed the items that we used, but if you have older kiddos you may want to add different decorating supplies like glitter, paper doilies, glue and confetti - or whatever you want! The most my little guy can do right now is color on paper. For this project we made a garland with 8 cutout hearts and 4 pompoms. The amount of hearts and pompoms is up to you! This amount just seemed like a manageable number. 

Supplies (at least what I used)

  • Washable markers
  • Red and white construction paper (1 of each)
  • One more piece of construction paper to make a heart stencil, color doesn't matter
  • Scissors (regular and with wavy ridges)
  • Scrap yarn  102" to hang garland
  • Yarn to make 4 pompoms (approximately 5 grams per pom-pom)
  • Pom-pom maker 
  • Paper clips -8 
  • Measuring tape. 

Step 1: Prep your materials

  • Measure the area where you plan to hang your garland. This will determine how long your scrap yarn needs to be. Scrap yarn is used to string the garland (referred to now as the "hanging yarn"). When I measured my window, I laid yarn along the bottom of the window and then added 4-6" for a total of 102". The extra inches will allow for any error in measuring and it will give you some wiggle room for tying knots. Then using the straight scissors, I cut the yarn accordingly. 
  • If you decide to make pompoms (and you have the ability to weigh yarn), weigh the ball of yarn you choose to use. My pompoms weighed 5 grams each, so I had to make sure I had enough yarn for the project. I am ALWAYS looking for ways to get rid of scrap yarn and this is a great project for it! You may want to make one pom-pom first and then determine how much yarn you'll need.

Step 2: Make Hearts and Pom-Poms

  • To make heart stencil, I folded a piece of construction paper in half and draw half a heart on the folded edge. It was approximately 3-4" in height and 1-2" at its widest. Older kids should be able to do this well, but here is a tutorial if you want some guidance. You only have to make one stencil heart.
  • Once the stencil is cut, lay it down on your red or white pieces of paper and trace your hearts. I tried to fit the shape as best as I could to make as many hearts as I could on one piece of paper. 
  • Decorate your hearts. Make these hearts pretty! The sky is the limit! I turned the paper over so that the traced hearts were downward while my little guy drew since he can't stay in the lines anyway. The older kids might like seeing the heart shaped lines as they decorate. 
  • Cut along the traced heart shaped lines using straight scissors or wavy ridged scissors.
  • Pom-Ppoms: I am in love with my pom-pom maker and made my 4 pompoms with a small maker. I wrapped my yarn 6 times around each side of the maker. If you do not own a pom-pom maker and want to try to make a pom-pom here is a helpful video tutorial by Bernat Yarns.
  • When you make the pompoms DO NOT trim the yarn used to tie it together. You should be left with two longer strands of yarn. You'll use these to attach the pom-poms to the garland. 

Step 3: Assemble Garland

  • First, lie out your hanging yarn so that it lies straight along the floor then place your pieces in whatever order makes you happiest on the hanging yarn. I placed mine in the following order: pom-pom/2 white hearts/ pom-pom/4 red hearts/pom-pom/2 white hearts/pom-pom.
  • A more technical approach: Take the measurement from the hanging yarn (102") and subtract 20" (because I wanted 10" on each side to be unoccupied so that my hearts and pom-poms hang more towards the center). This leaves me with 82" to hang my pompoms and hearts. In total I have 12 pieces to hang and I wanted them to sit equidistant from each other. Take the amount of space to decorate, divided by the number of pieces to hang and it equals the distance between each piece. In this case that is 82/12=6.81. I rounded up to 7". Start by placing your first piece10" in from the edge of the yarn an then the next 11 pieces 7" apart, measuring from where the ruler was placed. You should have roughly 10" of yarn left over on the other end. Then you are ready to attach all the pieces. 
  • Attach the pompoms: take the two strands of yarn on the pom-pom and use them to attach the pom-pom to the hanging yarn. Tie the strands around the hanging yarn and make a tight knot, twice. Repeat this step for all pom-poms. 
  • Attach the hearts: Take a paper clip and clip it to the hanging yarn and the V-shaped area on your heart. Don't bring the yarn all the way to the top of the clip; instead fit the yarn snugly toward the middle of the clip so that the yarn doesn't freely move (see photo). Repeat this step for all hearts. By the way, I usually staple the hearts onto the hanging yarn, but I wanted to class it up a notch for this blog. I use the paperclips just to keep it simple, but you could also punch holes in the hearts and tie them to the garland. 

Step 4: Display Artwork

  • Tie a slipknot at each end of the hanging yarn. The loops created by the slipknot will be what you use to hang your garland. I usually eyeball the height that I want to hang my garland, and then place thumbtacks in the wall. Then I hang the garland on the tacks with the loops created by the slipknots. In this case I placed the thumbtacks on the inside of my window frame so that the garland could be seen from outside with the blinds up or down. 

I love this project so much because it helps my little guy to learn how to draw better and I get to hang his artwork in a unique and interesting way. I would love to see pictures if you decide to make this project. Just tag me on Instagram @NikkiWagnerKnits. Happy Crafting!

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