How To Craft a Bouncy, Curly Valentine Garland

As I mentioned earlier, my Valentine tastes run towards the sweet-n-silly, with a nice dash of tackiness thrown in. A bouncy garland is the perfect perky way to say "I like you lots!" — and the clashing pink and red just make me so, so happy…

I made yards and yards (let's say hundreds of yards) of these garlands for the windows of the shop I worked at last year — it's amazing how much of something you need when working in a professional context. I think I watched a few movies while making these at home. At home, a much smaller quantity would have a sufficient impact.

The key to the loopy quality of this garland — my favorite part — is the wood ribbon. I'm not sure how to describe it any better than that! FLAX Art & Design carries it (this year they have pale pink for &.25/yard) but the helpful ladies in the ribbon department said it didn't come with a name or description. They've never seen anything like it, and neither have I. Anybody know more about it? It's like ribbon made of the thinnest possible wood, and it holds its shape so nicely. If you can get your hands on some, proceed as follows:


  • First, I bought two large sheets of fancy Italian paper at Flax Arts on Market street. I could live in their paper section. The sheets are unbelievably luxurious, but seem to range in price from only $2-7/each, for approximately 2'x3'.

  • I used spray-adhesive to adhere them together back-to-back, as I had a ventilated basement to work in. If I was doing this at home, I would probably cut the paper down in to smaller sections and use a trusted glue or glue stick.

  • While the adhesive was drying, I made a little heart template out of cardboard. This was the trickiest part for me: it's really easy for hearts to look really stupid. Don't give up.

  • I sat on the floor and traced a million hearts on the paper, then cut them out one by one. Nice, snippy craft scissors work best for me, but you could also use an X-acto knife on a cutting surface.

  • Then I unfurled my wood ribbon, gluing on hearts as randomly as I could. The curls of the ribbon help, since the hearts will stay at the various points around the loops, if you see what I mean.

  • Once the garland is complete, I draped it back and forth across a window, attaching it with hidden pushpins. At home I would loop it between two brackets of an existing shelf, nail it to the wall using existing holes (which are plentiful at my apartment), or fluff it around the French press and heart-shaped waffles on the official Valentine's Day Morning Breakfast Table.

Images: Tess Wilson