When I visited my local West Elm store around Thanksgiving, I absolutely fell in love with these Circle-Stitched garlands from David Stark. But, I couldn't find them anywhere in the store! I guess I wasn't the only one who loved them so much and had to have them - they were sold out! (I'm not surprised, I found West Elm's entire holiday offering to be pitch-perfect, full of fun, and absolutely dripping with fabulous modern style. Excellent work West Elm!)
Leaving the store empty-handed, except for some gold pine cones, I realized that I had a ton of cool paper at home as well as a giant hole-punch, so why not try to make said garlands myself? Most of my papers come from Paper Source which is a dangerous shop to have in one's own neighborhood if you're crafty in any way. While a handful of the papers worked well with the punch, most of them were a little too thick to work, so I ended up cutting them into small squares & rectangles.
Now I know how this sounds, completely loony right? I don't generally spend my nights cutting up teeny tiny bits of paper, but it is kind of a fun thing to do in front of the TV. Before you know it, you have a pile of large-ish confetti that you can begin stringing together. Playing up the colors of my pink Christmas tree, I used a lot of pink/fuscia papers as well as a few simple metallics. A dose of olive and aqua green were added just to punch things up.
To do that, I just ran the pieces through the sewing machine. Yup. The sewing machine. It's a bit tedious since you have to feed each one through individually, but the feed dogs hold things into place and if you're careful the whole thing moves pretty quickly. I left long thread tails on both ends so I could tie them up and add a little something to the hanging ends. I thought I would use ornaments, but then I ran across a box of Pottery Barn's acrylic crystals I'd purchased last year...so perfect! I then strung up my gold pinecones from West Elm to complete the combination.
Some of the shorter strands I hung straight while the longer ones got looped across two hooks. Now I'll warn you: standing on a countertop and screwing hooks into the ceiling isn't necessarily safe nor practical. I have very high ceilings, so more than once I looked down and got a little freaked out. BUT, if you can do it, the resulting look is fabulous! I finished the whole look with some bright pink flowers and lots of pine branches. The rest is my collection of vintage holiday do-dads which made a very strong and chic showing if I do say so myself!
Festive and airy, the strands were the perfect decorating starting point, and the perfect way to enliven my apartment for my birthday/holiday party. Everyone was entranced and impressed - and isn't that the whole point? Indeed, the lovely Catie of Cuffington wrote about them on her blog too! So thank you David Stark and West Elm for the inspiration! I love it when something in the retail world inspires a successful DIY...n'est ce pas?