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Christmas Bead and Fabric Garland Tutorial

Christmas is a busy time and I love to decorate everything that stand still. Christmas garlands are a great way to cover a lot of ground quickly.

five strands of burgundy beads and unbleached muslin fabric over a white background

An added benefit is they’re easy to store because they don’t up much room. I made these Rustic Christmas Garlands because I loved the look of the scrappy fabric and twine garlands that were all over the place a few years ago.

But I needed lots of garlands and I wasn’t that interested in typing a billion knots. I bought the wooden bead garlands for this project from Michael’s.

The hardest part of this project is transferring the beads from the original garland to another piece of twine. The key is to make a very small knot, then you can slide the beads from the old string to another. 

Adding the fabric knots will make the garland quite a bit longer than the original one. If you’re ok with a shorter garland you can skip the transferring process and just take the beads off. 

You can use any woven fabric torn into strips. Clip a small notch at the selvage and rip it across the width of the fabric.

Then cut the strips in half, then in half and in half once more. They should be about 6 inches long depending on the width of the fabric.

I used unbleached muslin from Joann’s torn into strips.

Rustic Christmas Garland Supplies

Simple Christmas Garland Supplies
?  Twine

?  Beaded Garland (needs to be actually beads on a string, 1 piece pressed plastic won’t work here. I got mine at Michael’s for less than $3 with coupon/sales)

?  Strips of fabric


How to Make the Garland

Start by re-stringing your garland. It’s actually much easier than it sounds, promise. Carefully cut the end of the garland and slide off 5 or so beads, set them aside for now, you need some empty string to tie the string and twine together.

transfer beads from one string to another
Tie a knot between the original garland string and your twine. Make your knot strong but as small as possible.
Once you’re sure your knot is good slide the beads over the knot onto your piece of twine. When all the beads are transferred cut the end by the knot and slip on the beads you removed later. Tie a knot at the end, I like to leave a loop to make it easier to hang up.

Slide 3 beads over to the knot, try to get both pieces of twine inside the beads, it looks cleaner. Then start tying your fabric knots every 3 beads.
red and white Christmas garland

Now just keep swimming, er, tying until you get to the end and tie off with another loop.

Red and white country decorations
Pretty nice huh? And much faster than tying all those knots. I’ve put them on trees, across bookshelves and on the hutch in the dining room. 
Country Primitive Christmas Tree

I needed 2 used-to-be-9-foot-not-quite-sure-how-long-they-are-now garlands for this tree and hung another across the hutch.

Don’t forget to pin this to your Christmas board! Find more holiday projects on my Christmas page or start here:



Tuesday 12th of November 2013

too good and simple....brilliant one.

Debi @ Adorned From Above

Sunday 2nd of December 2012

This is so cute. I love the way this garland looks. I have a link party called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop and would love to have you share this with everyone. It' opened from Wednesday to Sunday nights. Here is the link to the party. Debi @ Adorned From Above

Amanda @Natural Living Mamma

Saturday 1st of December 2012

How cute! And such a simple idea. I can do this!


Saturday 1st of December 2012

This is such a great idea! I have bunches of this garland from years past and I am going to give them an update because I love the way yours turned out! And it looks so pretty around your poinsettia tree!


Friday 30th of November 2012

I had to re-read the instructions a couple of times to get it - couldn't figure out why you took off the 5 beads. I'm a little slow this morning. Your instructions are so detailed, I can actually see you doing it! I love the tree with the big white flowers!