Whether it be a birthday, a baby shower, a wedding or a holiday party, a pretty garland always brings instant joy and screams, “It’s officially party time!” Garlands are classic party decor and can be made from paper or fabric pennants, felt (and sequins!), burlap, crepe paper, or just about anything you can string onto a length of twine or ribbon. I wanted a special Christmas-y garland as part of the decorations I made for the Hot Cocoa Dessert Bar I hosted for my daughter’s school staff last week and this paper straw + cotton ball garland turned out so sweet!
PAPER STRAW + COTTON BALL GARLAND // Supplies: paper straws (these gold ones are from Target, but see my wrapped hot cocoa cup post to see my favorite source for paper straws), cotton balls (you could also use craft pom poms, but they are much more expensive), thread or thin twine, needle, scissors
Step 1: Working with one straw at a time, cut a straw in half and then cut each of those sections in half so that you have 4 equal pieces.
Step 2: Cut thread to the length of your desired garland, including an extra 6-8 inches at each end for hanging. Thread your needle. Starting with a cotton ball, slowly push your needle through the center (twist a bit as you push the needle through, if the center of the cotton ball wants to push out). Slide cotton ball to the end of your thread, stopping 6-8 inches before the end. Next, thread one piece of straw onto your needle and push to the end. Tip: I found it easiest to hold both my needle and straw vertically and let the needle drop through, since my needle was shorter than the straw segment.
Step 3: Repeat, alternating cotton balls and straw segments, pushing them down the length of your thread as you go. Remember to leave 6-8 inches empty at the other end of your thread when your garland is almost finished. That’s it!
You can use this darling garland to hang from the ceiling or a wall or draped across a frame for a party, tie it around a gift package, or decorate your tree. Such a sweet decoration that’s inexpensive, easy and quick to make! It took me about 15 minutes to make my garland, including stopping to take photographs as I crafted it. This garland would look cute with just about any pattern of paper straw–I’ve shown red and gold for the holidays, but you could use chevron or polka dots or stars too.
I’m loving the look of the gold stripe, but red is always a classic candy cane-inspired choice for the holidays. If you use long plastic needles from the craft store, this would also be a wonderful Christmas craft for kids! If you’re having a woodland themed party, either this winter or for a Red Riding Hood or Snow White theme, this garland would look awesome with birch tree straws!
Instead of cotton balls, you could use wooden beads, plastic pony beads, tinsel craft poms, or even candy. The options are endless!