Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm a bad blogger. And I've got a craft to share.

I KNOW!  I've been really horrid about posting things.  With the move finally over (though we still have a bunch of crap in the garage to unpack), I'm hoping to get back to posting.  We've been working hard to get the house up to "home" standards, which, unfortunately, included scrubbing to death the "professionally cleaned" house.  Um, yeah.  It's not very professional to leave sticky substances gluing kitchen drawers shut, or flippin footprints in the showers.  Nor is it professional to say you've even cleaned the doors, when clearly, the doors continue to sport the decade of dirty, grimy, greasy fingerprints on the face from the handle down. 

We do still have to paint EVERY ROOM, but that will come.  We decided to just live with it instead of depleting the bank account for a while.  Though it's incredibly annoying to move into a place where every. single. vertical. surface. is painted with flat paint.  And then 'touched up' with semi-gloss.  Um, okaaaaay.  The landlord said she was the handy one.  I have to wonder what she was handy with.  Certainly with metal L-brackets and drywall anchors (as evidenced by the multiple weenie shelves hung willy-nilly all over the place).  But I digress.

I've been busy laying out wall groupings, taking bad cell-phone photos and sending them to my husband to put up while I'm at work.  He's done a pretty good job, though we have a difference of opinion on the need for the other skinny shelf in the grouping over the couch.  You'll see what I mean when I finally get around to posting the big reveal.

I've dressed my empty soffits, and started to decorate for fall.  But I've realized that,

1. This mantel is a JOKE and totally unsuitable for anything wider than an inch.
2. I don't have a cute table or ladder or anything for my cute porch stuff
3. Much of my fall stuff is a decade old and needs a refresh.

With that in mind, I've got a quickie project for you today.  I was inspired by this garland tutorial over on Remodelaholic last week, and decided to tackle the project over the weekend.

I've always had a thing for garlands.  Our last house had a very long, very drab/boring/fugly banister composed of an industrial metal spindle/grate, and a plain jane pine handrail on top of a knee-height pony wall.  I was never inspired to pretty it up for the holidays.  In fact, the only holiday I ever decorated it for was Christmas, because the bushy green garland, lights and ribbon I used pretty much covered the entire fugly travesty of a railing.

Fast forward to the new house.  Much smaller railing, but MUCH cuter.  I know, it doesn't show well in my naked house photo, but use your imaginations people!  I knew I couldn't afford any kind of new fall garland, and I wasn't about to use the old green stuff.  I was surfing around Pinterest and noticed a pin from Remodelaholic that showcased a project from 2009 - a cute fall garland made from stuff you'd likely have on hand anyway!  SCORE!  I totally wanted to do it.  So here is my version of the awesomeness that is Remodelaholic.

I used the following supplies:

1 - old tablecloth that fits not a single table in my house
2 - yards of fall themed fabric I bought two years ago on clearance
1 - roll of teal duct tape
1 - pair of scissors (actually, I couldn't find my fabric scissors, so I had to use my kitchen shears)

I started out by simply folding my tablecloth in half to figure out the amount of uncut fabric I might have to work with.  I very scientifically held it up to the bannister and eyeballed it before I decided to cut.  I decided to use a double-length of fabric to ensure I had a nice swag to my garland.  And the ability to use it elsewhere if I got the itch.

 Once you cut your length, you'll be left with two identical pieces.  It doesn't matter if you cut it straight or not, because you'll be covering up that mess with the next few steps.  (You can see how straight I cut).

Once you've got your first length folded, it's time to secure it.  The tutorial I was loosely following called for sewing and such.  I'm not big on sewing.  I can if I have to, but I generally choose not to.  I know, lazy.  So, enter the teal duct tape.  For some reason, we've had two partial rolls of this floating around for years.  Not sure where it came from, but it holds any-flippin thing, and will remove your fingerprints if you aren't careful!

Keep on wrapping pieces of tape at intervals around the fabric.  To join the ends together, I just opened up the folds, overlapped the ends a bit, re-folded and taped.  Again, this would have been easier had I thought to cut off the hemmed edges first!

Now that you've got your garland "form", it's time to make it pretty!  I happened to have a couple yards of fall-themed fabric lying around.  I suppose I had grand notions of making a table runner or something, but, now that you know how I feel about sewing, you can see how that went!

Yeah, I know.  I don't sew and obviously I can't cut a straight line to save my life.  Whatever.  It's not like I'm making my living doing this stuff.  Just, overlook the deficiencies and use your imagination - you've gotten this far with me!

Now it's time to start tying.  And tying.  And tying some more.  It took me about an hour to tie the whole garland.  You'll need to turn your form over and over to make sure you are getting an even "fluff" of fabric, unless you need something with a reasonably flat back.  Then don't turn it.  Since this was going on my stairs, I needed a more uniform flouf of rags.  Start at one end and tie until your fingers cramp.

Once you've hyperventilated a few dozen times thinking you are going to run out of fabric, you'll decide to cut more strips.  Another 15 minutes later, you'll be glad you did!  I ended up using the entire 2 yards of fabric to make this 7-foot garland. 

I'm toying with the idea of adding lights, but haven't sold myself on it yet.  Hubs is the light nazi, so it might be a lost cause.

I have to confess.  I hung this with zip-ties. 
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