Monday, August 8

I made stuff!: star garlands (+ OTM & Ana Alic)

Gather 'round, kiddies! Today I am going to tell you how to make an adorable star garland. You can use it to decorate your room, or your friend's room, or even a tree or something--I dunno. I'm just here to show you how to make it. Heck if I know what you should do with it when you're finished.

Right. So first you need to gather your star garland making tools. That is step one. The tools you need are: paper, a star punch, thread and a needle.

Now, you can go and buy yourself some nice crafty paper. Or even just construction paper. But I prefer free paper. And you know what's free?: paint samples. I know, right? What a good idea. Especially if your local hardware/paint store happens to carry Martha Stewart Living paint, because that bitch makes the BIGGEST paint samples. Thank you, Martha, for contributing to the success of my crafty project. (Note: Be careful when skulking in to Home Depot to steal--I mean, acquire your paint samples. The employees might notice when instead of just taking one or two, you take twenty samples of the same color. What? I'm really indecisive when it comes to what color to paint my dining room, okay? Also, I have no idea if this is considered stealing or not. I mean, they are technically free. Maybe not twenty at a time, though. Per color.)

You can buy the punch from a craft store. It doesn't have to be a star, but stars are a fun shape! They also have trees and squares and crowns and whatever else your heart could desire. Even animals. And you can guess who is to thank for the plethora of paper punch designs; you got it--Martha! Thanks again, Martha!

I used a somewhat thin embroidery thread and a medium sized needle, but you can use whatever suits your purpose. I think a pretty silver thread could look nice with the stars.

Once you have all your tools, you can start punching. That is step two. Huzzah!

The punching part is really straight forward: you put the paper inside, and then you push down and--voila: a star! The bottom of my punch had a plastic slider that would keep the punches from falling out. But because I was punching out hundreds (literally, not figuratively) of stars, I slid the cover off and punched while holding the punch off the ground. This allowed me to get rather speedy with the punching.

After some time, you should have a nice pile of stars. This isn't really a step, but maybe you want to pause for a moment to admire your star pile. You know what, that SHOULD be step four, dammit. And what a fetching pile of stars it is.

Once you're done admiring your star pile, and you have enough, you can start stringing them on to your thread. That is step five.

I unwound a yard or two and threaded the needle, and then threaded the stars directly on to the thread. It's sort of like threading popcorn chains at Christmastime. (Okay, I have never actually done this, but I imagine it is the same thing.) Also, I threaded the needle through each star twice: from the back out the front, and then from the front and out the back. I realize the verbal description is lacking in, well, sense, so I'm hoping the pictures help. Basically, if you just thread the star through once, it will sit sideways. This is especially bad because the back of your stolen paper says MARTHA STEWART LIVING and other such things on it.

Once you've thread all your stars on to the thread, you're all done. Congratulations, you have a beautiful baby garland. What are you going to name her? Oh, it's a him? Sorry. I couldn't tell.

Now, I wasn't just threading stars for fun, nope. I was actually making some props for a super-duper awesome shoot I had over the weekend with Off The Map, a Toronto-based online publication. The editors saw my work with Bicyclette and contacted me, which is amazingly flattering. Tara and Aimee (the editors) are wonderful gals with a fantastic vision, and it was great to work with them.

I can't really reveal much of the shoot, but I can show you these:

Kapow! Isn't it adorable? It might be one of my most favourite sets to date. And the very lovely girl that we shot in front of this very lovely background is Ana Alic. She is an actress and the host of her own webseries called The Diamond Life. Basically she's one of the coolest people I've ever met. She has a bunch of rad projects in the works, so keep your eye on her site.

The entire story will be in the September issue of OTM, so keep your eyes peeled for it. Actually, don't do that. It sounds gross. Bleh. Just . . . look out for it. Without the "peeling" part. Yeah.


  1. I've seen your blogs and sites and projects highlighted and recommeneded all over the internet. I must say, you just won me over with this one. I too, am now your fan! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this tutorial! These garlands are so very cute and you make them look easy. Lovely photo at the end of the post.

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