How to Make a Paper Garland With Scissors

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Cut a paper garland to coordinate with party decorations.
Cut a paper garland to coordinate with party decorations. (Image: child`s hand do paper chain image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com)

Make a paper garland with scissors and sheets of decorative paper to adorn your home for the holidays, celebrations and special events. The desired pattern of your garland is an image that is cut once and repeated the entire length of the chain when unfolded. Paper garlands are inexpensive decorations and new ones can be created for different party themes. The length of the garlands are custom-made to hang across a room, door or fireplace mantel.

Things You'll Need

  • Cookie cutter, clip art or coloring book shape
  • Lightweight cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Decorative paper
  • Tape

Trace or draw a cookie cutter, clip art or coloring book shape onto a scrap of lightweight cardboard. Choose a shape that has a mirror image. Cut out the shape. This will be the repeating pattern for your paper garland.

Place the pattern in front of you. Measure the widest section of the pattern from one side edge to the other. Subtract 1/4 inch from the measurement.

Lay a sheet of decorative paper on your work surface. Fold over one short edge using the width measurement of the pattern as the width of the fold. Continue to make identical accordion (back and forth) folds across to the other short edge. If the last fold is not the same width as those preceding it, cut off the last fold and discard it.

Lay the folded paper on your work surface with the folded edges running vertically. Place the cardboard pattern on the folded paper, centering the shape between the folded edges. Allow the width of the pattern to extend over the edges 1/8 inch. Lightly trace around the shape with a pencil.

Hold the folded paper together with one hand as you cut around the shape with the other. Do not cut the edges where the traced pattern extends past the folds. These uncut edges are your garland's hinges.

Unfold the length of the paper. The shape of the pattern is repeated along the length of the garland. This is one section of your garland. Cut additional garland sections and tape them together at the ends until the desired length of your garland is achieved.

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