Whimsical Christmas tree garland

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My daughter announced that this year we must have a big Christmas tree. Well, a big tree requires some new decorations. I love garlands and decided that what this new big tree will need is a whimsical garland full of bright colors.

Smoothfoam Christmas garland

I chose bright red and a yellow-green for a contemporary look, with dark green seed beads to add a dash of sparkle. This garland would also look really cute across the mantle or above a doorway. You can paint the balls red and green with black seed beads for a Kwanzaa garland, or light blue and dark blue with silver seed beads for Hanukkah.

Supplies for 5′ garland:

Thirty 1″ Smoothfoam balls
DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints - Cherry Red, Citron Green
270+ #8 dark green seed beads (silver-lined)
Cotton string
Sponge brush, paintbrush
Scrap Smoothfoam sheet
Beading needle, thread
Scissors, toothpicks
Tape measure, awl

1.  Push a toothpick into each of the balls to use as a handle and paint 15 of the balls red and the other 15 green. As you finish painting each ball, push the other end of the toothpick into the Smoothfoam sheet to dry. Give each ball 3 coats of paint so they’re extra smooth and bright. Allow to dry thoroughly between each coat.

Paint Smoothfoam balls

2.  Use the end of a paintbrush handle to add polka dots to each of the balls. Make red polka dots on the green balls and vice versa. Allow to dry.

3.  Use the awl to carefully punch holes through the center of each ball.

4.  Thread the needle with 6″ of thread and tie the ends together into a knot. Cut a 6′ length of cotton string and place one end through the thread loop. The thread loop acts like a large eye of a needle, allowing you to use larger yarn or string than the beading needle’s eye can handle. Tie a knot on the other end of the string.

5.  Pick up a red ball with the beading needle and slide it down the string, then pick up 9 seed beads and slide them down. Continue stringing, alternating red and green balls with 9 seed beads between them. Finish the garland by tying a knot at the end.

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