I have been meaning to make this garland for more than five years! I'm not sure why I never got around to it as it is silly easy to do and super sweet to look at. It's a happy little bit of a memory boost as well since I made it from the holiday cards friends and family sent last year. Every year happy holiday cards arrive in the mail and once the holiday is over I fret over what to do with them. My cloudy middle-aged memory brings up a wee me creating a placemat with my dear Aunt Kathy using mod podge and happy hippy cards from the 70s and well who needs more place mats? One day as I was taking the cards down from the door of the tiny casa I thought, I should turn these into a happy garland to use to decorate next year! So I saved said cards only to not be able to find them the following year and then that year I saved those cards only to misplace them as well, and so on and so on. Of course, now that I had saved last year's cards in a place where I could find them (with the decorations, of course) I seem to have fallen of a great number of holiday mailing lists. But still, in a burst of creative energy, ridiculously stoked to find the sewing machine not only plugged in but also all threaded up with room on the craft table I got to it!
Here's what ya do...gather up your holiday cards and separate the fronts from the backs. Most cards do not print on the back so all you need is the happy printed front. Use an assortment of paper punches or one circle punch to punch out happy bits of color. If you have a stockpile of photo cards, punch out those smiling faces, if you have cards with embellishments on them, remove the embellishment in lieu of a circle (see the owl?). Gather up your punched pieces into a bowl, basket, or tray and bring 'em to your sewing machine. Set your stitch length to the longest there is and keep it on a straight stitch. Place your first shape under the foot of your machine and stitch a little forward and back to lock it in. Continue stitching at a slow enough pace to feed your other shapes under the foot with a little space between them. Don't let too much space happen unless you are all scientific-like and know how/why to adjust your tension (I am not and do not) or else your thread might jump and get all tangled causing you to abandon your project in search of a cup of hot tea or a pinterest perusal before you realize the light is fading and you should finish your project now before you abandon it for another year. Ahem. Stitch out a back and forth on your last circle and liberate from your machine!
Hang in a happy place perhaps over (or under) the mantel or on your tree. Another nifty idea would be to use one card per garland and use that garland to wrap up a gift for the person who sent you the card in the first place. This would be especially fun for those photo cards! Drats! Now I wish I did that! Sigh. There's always next year!
**the painted and stitched newspaper garland is also easy to make. I wrote up a diy for you back in 2010 and we still bring it out each Holiday season!