I've been saving up all of my opened security envelopes - you know, the ones with the great patterns printed on the inside to make them more difficult to spy through - knowing that one day I would come up with a use for them.
I've covered sketch books in them and used them to make designs on cards... but the other day, an idea came to me which I had to try out. The varying patterns on the envelopes make a great Christmas garland of snowflakes.
I thought you might like to try this at home as a cheap and eye-catching Christmas decoration, so I've written a tutorial on how to make this simple yet effective snowflake garland.Snowflake Garland Tutorial
1. Round up some security envelopes. It works best if you have a few different patterns otherwise your snowflakes won't stand out against each other.
2. Using a circle template, trace and cut out as many circles in various sizes as you'd like for your garland. Don't worry if you don't have a circle template at home. Just use anything circular you can find around the house to trace around: hairspray can, drinking glasses, bowls, food tins, formula lids... you get the idea!
You can also use square pieces to mix it up a little and to give your garland some varying shapes and designs.
3. Once you have your circles, you need to fold each one in half, over and over as many times as you can without it getting too bulky. You need to be able to cut through them with scissors without too much hassle.
4. Now the fun begins. Get your sharp pair of scissors and start cutting small shapes into the folded edges. You can basically use any edge of your folded shapes to cut into. You can also use a hole-punch to punch out areas in the middle of your surface that you can't get into with your scissors. Try cutting triangles, half-circles, half-hearts and squares. If you cut the tip of your folded triangle off you will get a hole in the middle of your snowflake.
5. When you're satisfied that you've cut enough cheese-holes out of your folded piece, set down your scissors and carefully unfold the snowflake making sure to remove any bits of cuttings still attached to your main piece.
6. When you have made enough snowflakes, it's time to get the creases flattened out. The best way to do this is to spray each snowflake with a little water from a spray bottle before carefully ironing both sides. You'll find this also stiffens up the paper a little. Make sure you spray each snowflake with water individually prior to ironing otherwise you'll find that the snowflakes waiting to be ironed will have curled up from the water which will make it harder to get them flat to iron.
7. Snowflakes ironed? Now it's time to string them together. Using white cotton thread in your sewing machine and a mid-size stitch length, pull out a decent lenght of cotton from the machine (top and bottom) so that you have something to string them up with when you're done. Insert your first snowflake into the foot of your machine and making sure to stitch through the centre of the snowflake otherwise you'll have a lopsided garland that doesn't look quite right.
In between each snowflake, let the machine run at least a dozen stitches to space the snowflakes out. You don't want them too close to each other or they will not hang or look right.
8. When you're done, you can hang your new upcycled Christmas decoration on the wall using blu tack or sticky tape - depending on your walls. You can hang a few strings vertically to create a feature area or string them up like you would bunting. It's up to you.
I hope you this inspires you to make your own garland and if you do, drop me a comment or email me pics of your finished garland. I'd love to see what different snowflakes you come up with.
For the full tutorial with all images, please visit: http://thecraftrevival-magdalena.blogspot.com/2010/11/tutorial-snowflake-garland.html
The Craft Revival