Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How To-zday: Fall Garland~*

As I mentioned the other day, Thing 1-- my 19 year old, living-in-an-apartment-down-the-road daughter-- came by Cecilia for a fall decoration craft day on Sunday.  Well, technically I crafted, she baked stuff...

Mmmmm....pumpkin bars~*
and made a diorama for a set design class she is in.

She can glue gun fake trees like a junior in college. WAIT, she is a junior in college!  There ya go then, our college tuition dollars at work~*

I did a bunch of stuff, & started a bunch more stuff & will be posting all the stuffs as the days go by.

For today's post I'm focusing on Part I of Project Mantel.  

Here is the summer mantel. 

Actually, its more accurate to call it the mantel that summer left behind than it is to call it a summer mantel.  What had been a clean & crisp summer mantel-scape has become a repository for whatever.  Why is there a heart garland?  I got bored, that's why.  You may recognize the monkey & squirrel I painted for a post a while back {& the painted-blue brother squirrel's tail that I also painted but didn't post about is visible on the left}.  Thing 2 bought me a vintage 1977 issue of Aquaman while on a track trip a few weekends ago.  Yeah, I like Aquaman.  I know, I know, but he could hitchhike on dolphins so that makes him at least a little cool right?  It will eventually be framed and displayed proudly in my office.  The tin soldiers {in blue on the left & brown on the right of the mantelpiece} are my husband's collection from the World War I era.  Things 2 & 3 were using the candlesticks as battlements & at one point had created a cardboard dividing wall & a full blown skirmish.   Yeah.  Now they are on a well deserved leave.
The artwork is from Etsy artists Eszter Schalle & Cori Dantini while the partially squirrel-obscured piece is a book illustration by Dan Adel.  The bust on the hearth is of Augustus-- why, where do you keep your bust of a Roman emperor?  The black thing next to him is an old wooden violin case, just because it is.  The other who-zee-whats-its are bits & pieces amassed, collected &/or created as the summer rolled by.

Part I of Project Mantel focused on doing a fall inspired garland.  


1.  Fabric scraps in fall colors
2.  Firm fusible interfacing to attach to fabric to prevent fraying & give the leaves a little body
3.  Jute twine

4.  Paper leaf pattern-- feel free to copy, paste,  then print up in the size you need

For whatever deep & profound reason, odd numbers are the most visually pleasing.  I used 5 different fabrics & 3 leaf patterns & made each leaf one time in each fabric for a 15 leaf garland.  You could also use felt or heavy paper which would mean you could skip attaching the interfacing.  As it happened, I had ordered a bunch of fabrics from Fabric Mart a while back for skirts & as a bonus they threw in a metric ton of interfacing {I'm exaggerating only slightly}, so I was good to go.  I rifled through the scrap bin at the fabric store to supplement my scrap supply at home, ironed the interfacing to the backs of the scraps, then I got to cutting & creating.

Part I of Project Mantel accomplished in record time.  Augustus totally approves.   

Right after I took the pictures, I stripped the rest of the stuff off the mantel {I had taken down the capiz shell chandelier earlier}.  I should have cleared it before I took the pics, but I was excited with how the garland turned out & didn't think of it.  The logical order for projects doesn't get much play in Cecilia...

Got any autumn decor ideas to share? I'm always looking for new trouble to get in {I guess that is where Thing 1 gets her diorama skillz lol}~*

Polka Dots and Lemonade
Polka Dots & Lemonade


  1. What a brilliant idea! I'm having a craft night on Friday and think this garland could be my project. Thank you for the inspiration- it's book marked.Rx


    PS- why, where do you keep your Roman bust- so amused!

    1. Yay! I'm thinking you'll post your crafts on your blog, right? I'd love to see how yours come out!

    2. Yup, I'll defo post on it. Two other things- firstly what is 'interfacing'? I'm guessing you used it to make the leaves stiffer, but what is it? If you used card instead would you just attach it with fabric glue? Secondly, nominated you for 'Bitten by the bog bug' if you have a chance to check it out on my blog.xxx


    3. You are the best ever-- thanks for the nomination {and giving me something to post on tomorrow lol}! Interfacing is this stuff you iron on the back of fabric to firm it up a bit without making it..er...crispy? You wouldn't need to use it at all if you used something {like cardstock or felt} because it would have enough natural body to keep the leaves from sagging in on themselves.

  2. That looks great- perfect fall garland!

  3. I love everything about this post... you've given be great ideas for fall! New follower. :) Stop by and say hello.


  4. This really turned out great! Looks awesome!

  5. The Fall garland just changed the look of your mantel in an instant. That's so nice of you to be sharing your leaf patterns, too!

  6. I love the fabrics you used - perfect for fall. Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Mondays Linky party.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! It is most appreciated~*