How to Make Wooden Block Christmas Garlands

How to Make Wooden Block Christmas Garlands main article image
Posted on December 18, 2021 by Julie Richards
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Any of you who read my articles know that I have a wonderful lumber yard that has a free bin of scrap wood. I stop almost every day that I am out to see what gems they have discarded that day. I was delighted to find some 2-inch by 2-inch pieces of lumber that I could use to make wooden block Christmas garlands.

I first saw this project in the display window of a local store. Their arrangement was for the Fall season. I fell in love with the simplicity of the design and knew I had to try duplicating it for Christmas. I didn’t want to pay $20.00 for one. I was determined to keep my cost to a minimum. I succeeded! All total, I spent less than $15.00 on all the Christmas garlands I made. Most of that was for the beads. And I still have enough of those to make so many more projects.

Supplies

If you do not have a steady supply of free wood, here are a few alternatives. I will explain how you can use each of these to make this wooden Christmas garland.

  • Tumbling blocks from the dollar store
  • Wooden toy baby blocks
  • Small, dried branches from trees
  • Stacks of cardboard

There are some supplies you will need to do this project.

  • Wooden blocks or an alternative
  • Heavy thread or twine
  • Large needle
  • Paint and a paintbrush
  • Wooden beads or an alternative
  • Drill with a small drill bit
  • Paint marker or permanent marker
  • (optional) letter cut-outs or stamps

Let’s get started!

Once we have all the supplies gathered, we can get to work. If you are using wooden blocks or tumbling blocks, start by drilling a hole through the blocks big enough so the thread or twine can go through with the needle. One letter goes on each block. However, when I use tumbling blocks, I put one word on each block. So I drill those from end to end.

If you are using cardboard, cut four pieces that are about 1 ½-inches square and glue them together to form a box. Allow the glue to dry completely before going to the next step.

Paint the blocks, or boxes, in the color you desire. Since we are making a wooden block Christmas garland, I paint my blocks white. Then I paint my wooden beads in the traditional red or green colors of the season. You may want to paint the beads white and use the other colors for your wooden blocks.

If you cannot find wooden beads for this project, you can use two or three pieces of cardboard glued together and cut into small circles. You can also use yarn pom poms, buttons, little paper flags, or just about any other thing you want.

I print out the words or phrases that I want to use in my wooden block Christmas garland. For the words, I use a large font in all capital letters and, space the letters far enough from each other that I can easily trace them. You can find some wonderful fonts on Creative Fabrica. That is where I get all my fonts for every project I make. My handwriting is just not that good! The printed fonts just give the Christmas garland that added touch to make it look more high-end.

Useful Tip: Trace the letters and words onto your blocks with a piece of carbon paper laid underneath the printed copy. Lift off the papers to reveal an exact copy of your words or letters.

Use a paint marker to paint over the letters or words you traced on the wooden blocks. You can also use a permanent marker or acrylic paint and a small liner paintbrush if you prefer. Just follow the lines that the carbon paper left on the wooden blocks. Allow the paint to dry completely before you make the garland.

This is the time that I usually play around with how many beads I want between the words or letters. I also decide if I want the beads another color besides white. If I do, then I paint a few in different colors. Once in a while, I may change out the beads to a different size to add a little more interest to the wooden block Christmas garland.

Before I string the wooden block Christmas garland together, I distress the edges of all the wooden blocks. I use 220-grit sandpaper and just go over the edges lightly to let some of that wood show through. You do not have to do this if you don’t want the distressed look. I also coat all the wooden blocks, and any painted beads, with a coat of polyacrylic spray in a matte finish. This keeps the garland from being damaged while it is displayed.

Now that everything is all dry, and you have your garland laid out the way you want, it is time to string it all together. I start with three beads and add a wooden block. I add three more beads and add another block. I continue adding beads and blocks until all my words or letters are on the garland. I end with the same number of beads I started with to make it even.

When I make a wooden block Christmas garland using phrases, I often add an additional wooden block that has an image of something that coincides with the phrase. For instance, I may add a block that has a snowflake, bell, or snowman to a garland that says, “Joy to the World”. I might add a Christmas star block to the “Oh, Holy Night” garland. If you have a cutting machine, consider getting an image from Creative Fabrica and cutting it out in vinyl. It is an easy way to add a unique twist to this project. This option is entirely up to you.

Let me know if you make your own wooden block Christmas garland. Post a picture so I can see your beautiful work. Remember, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


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