DIY: Paper Ribbon Garland

February 18, 2013

Images and text by Amy Christie for Design Mom

Sewn paper garlands have become one of my favorite items to make as of late. And a mini version? Well, the cuteness factor is off the charts! These little ditties aren’t just for hanging either. From wrapping gifts to wrapping around desserts, paper ribbon garlands are the extra wonderful bit you need. Don’t you just love them?

If you are able to cut paper (or punch or direct a paper cutting machine) and sew a straight line, you are well on your way to making an endless amount of adorable paper ribbons. Even after my old well-seasoned sewing machine stopped working, I soldiered on with the help of a friend’s machine because I just couldn’t help myself.

Best of all, I have an easy tip to share which will make even the tiniest garlands easily doable.

So find yourself a fun, punchy color scheme and let’s get making.


-sewing machine
-paper punch, paper cutting machine
-cutting blade
-washi tape or painters tape

First, cut the paper however you would like, using paper punches, scissors or paper cutting machine. All sizes of circles, squares, triangles, or little critters. Anything you like!  Of course, I like the mini sizes. (The little critters are from a Cricut Folk Art cartridge — the same one I used here.)

Then it’s simply about sewing them together.

For the larger pieces, feed the paper pieces through the machine continuously until the ribbon is complete.

For itty bitty pieces, I found washi tape helped to keep things organized.

Instead of fumbling over the little pieces and fretting over sewing my fingers to the paper, the washi tape held the paper in place as they were sewn and was easily removed afterward without ruining the paper.

Mini pendants, little squares, itty bitty critters and teensy weensy dots!! Make up a whole lot of them to give as a gift or keep and use them for you. They make any gift wrap pop and are perfect mini decorations for a birthday party or a baby shower. Happy making!

P.S. — We love making things! Find more of our tutorials here.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Giulia February 18, 2013 at 9:47 am

these are adorable:) i kind of want to buy a sewing machine just for that!


2 Amorette February 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I LOVE THESE!! I have tried to sew paper before and have trouble sometimes. Do you have recommended sewing machine settings you could share?
thank you!


3 amy c February 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I used a basic straight stitch, nothing fancy or special. If you have needle trouble, you might try a stronger one, like one made for denim. Good luck!


4 Mary-My Life in Scotland February 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I love this!! I’ve been wanting to make a little bunting garland in my son’s room but I just had no idea how to do it. This will be perfect!! Just what I was thinking of! Thank you!


5 mel mccarthy February 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Off the charts brilliant. I’ve always wanted to sew a garland & your washi tape tip makes me think I actually can. Thanks, Gabrielle! :-D


6 Geevz February 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I’ve sewn together bunting for several parties and at the end I just can’t seem to throw it away. It has come in handy for friends’ birthdays because I cut off a length of it and tape or thumb tack it across their front door. I love getting more use out of the bunting and it makes a simple candy bar on the door step that much more fun for my adult friends.


7 Lynet Witty February 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm

OMG those are such mini garlands! And the colors! Oh so cute! I always have such a hard time photographing garlands!!! These give me such great ideas. Thanks for this post! Love it.


8 This girl loves to talk February 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I love sewing paper! it is so theraputic! dont know why but it just is. I mainly do circles. Four different colours and feed them through the machine.. it is so fun.

These are just gorgeous


9 Dana February 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm

We just made heart garland for Valentine’s day! My 3 year old punched and I sewed…it was a fun project to do together!


10 Amy Hackworth February 18, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Adorable! I also just made a heart garland for Valentine’s and now your tutorial makes me want to sew all sorts of things together. I love this!


11 amy c February 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Thank you!!


12 February 19, 2013 at 1:34 am

Ohhh, gorgeous! Thanks Gabrielle for the great tip for decorating cakes and presents. I have to try this :) Riikka from Finland


13 Tasha February 19, 2013 at 9:20 am

OMGosh the cake! LOVE IT!


14 Tasha February 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

- But the paper touching the cupcake ones, not so into it…


15 Tan February 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

I am in love with those teensy critters! I feel some garland making in the works


16 Design Mom February 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I swear. I’m obsessed with this post! Makes me homesick for my sewing machine.


17 Megan W February 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Where can I find the little animal shapes? I love them!


18 amy c February 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm

The little critters are a Cricut cartridge called Folk Art. It is just the most darling set. The hedgehog is my favorite. :)


19 Michelle February 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I love these and all the ways you styled them! The cupcakes are adorable.


20 Deanna Kuroda February 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Thank you so much. I just bought some of these from Basic Grey and had no idea how easy they would be to make myself. You are very clever and your paper crafting is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your method.


21 spearmintbaby April 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm

OMIGOSH, Amy! this is so brilliant- the washi tape to hold them. I love this so much! & now i just need a cricut machine and then a folk art cartridge ;) shari


22 rheumatic heart disease May 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm

If you wish for to get much from this piece
of writing then you have to apply such methods to your won


23 Korrie June 3, 2013 at 1:06 am

Oh wow, the possibilities are endless!


24 Rachel | 52 Weeks Project July 21, 2013 at 1:25 am

What a perfect tip, I never would have thought of that! Lovely photos too.


25 Erica July 25, 2013 at 7:53 am

I have been making paper garland for years this way, but would not have thought to use washi tape to hold together little pieces! Thank you SOOOO much!! Great pictures, awesome creations, and a super cute blog! Thanks for the inspiration today! :-)


26 Dofus Kamas Hack Generateur Gratuit December 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm

There is definately a lot to learn about this topic. I love all the points you’ve made.


27 Jerry M. Hayes December 8, 2014 at 1:06 am

Off the charts brilliant. I’ve always wanted to sew a garland & your post made me love more and more about my work and passion .. I seriously loves this post


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