how-to: use your pretty magazines to make a festive ball garland

When I am looking for inspiration for a project, I start by looking around my office or house for what I have too much of. What am I preparing to throw out that I could use in a different way? And like many of you, I’m sure, my eye always falls on the gigantic pile of magazines atop nearly every surface in my office. We all love to keep magazines–the layouts, the colors, the ideas and inspiration–even the pretty advertisements are inevitably ripped from their glued spines and pinned to our bulletin boards. But even the most ardent magazine hoarders (I’m looking at you, Mom!) have to clean house once in a while and pick some mags to let go of. Save your favorite pages and give them new life by making my new magazine ball garland.

Materials needed:

  • Sewing machine
  • A magazine or two–I used one with lots of beautiful, brightly-colored pages
  • Scissors

Below I’ve outlined all of the steps in photos–it’s quite intuitive and easy to make your own. Luckily, this isn’t a project that must be done perfectly to be successful!

This is a pretty versatile tutorial–you can use the same technique to make tiny garlands to embellish gifts, big color-coordinated garlands to wrap around your Christmas tree, or just do what I did and make something to liven up your workspace. You don’t have to use just magazines for this project either–here are some other ideas:

  • Use newspaper for a shabby black and white color scheme
  • Fringe the sides of the circles after sewing them–fan them out and fluff the fringe!
  • Cut the paper into different shapes–hearts, squares, flowers…
  • Vary the sizes of the circles from stack to stack as you sew
  • Make this project with other meaningful materials–cut big circles out of old greeting cards, saving the signatures of your loved ones. Reuse old school papers from your college years or artwork from a particularly prolific child in your life.

Make it project and upload your photos to our Princess Lasertron Projects group on Flickr. And if you like this project, you will also love the recycled magazine bouquet featured in the premier issue of Rock N Roll Bride’s new magazine. (Those flowers are next on my list to make and I will definitely share how they turn out!)

My outfit: Dress: Ann Taylor Loft // Jacket: Merona // Tights: Hue // Necklace: Erickson Beamon for Target


Comment View All

  • Pingback: Ula’s Favorites – Christmas Edition | Broccoli Addict()

  • Sarah Sue

    I need a sewing machine… Hope Santa pulls through

  • Pingback: Tuesdays with inspiration « post 2am()

  • Nan

    Thank you for sharing this great and fun tutorial.

  • Susanna

    This looks like a great project! But I’m not entirely clear on what happens in between each of the magazine-balls… How are they attached to each other? Do you just unwind extra thread and twist it?

  • Pingback: How-To: Magazine Ball Garland | My Blog()

  • Pingback: How-To: Magazine Ball Garland | make handmade, crochet, craft()

  • Pingback: how-to: use your pretty magazines to make a festive ball garland ›› Princess Lasertron | phowi()

  • Pingback: Magazine Garland | Marla's Art Page Blog()

  • Zim

    This is awesome…something I’d definitely love to try out ASAP!! Only that I’ll get my mom to sew it manually since we don’t have a sewing machine!! 😀

  • http://Oddydoodle.wordpress.com spookyzo

    brilliant idea- gorgeous pictures… what is the white contraption on the shelf? A camera? I am intrigued!

    • http://princesslasertron.com Princess Lasertron

      yes that’s a fujimax instax camera!

  • Bonney

    How many layer are sewn together? Very cute!!

    • http://princesslasertron.com Princess Lasertron

      around ten, I would say? doesn’t have to be exact.

  • http://www.flowerstudio.im Heidi

    Oh My goodness!! I have a sewing machine! I have a HUGE pile of magazines and newspapers! I can do this!!!

    • http://princesslasertron.com Princess Lasertron

      yes you can!!

  • http://www.thetshirtdiaries.com Robin

    I would never have thought of sewing magazines. It looks amazing. I would love it if you linked it up over at The T-shirt Diaries Upcycling Linky party: http://tinyurl.com/upcycled70

  • Pingback: Rock n Roll Bride · Thursday Treats – 10th November 2011 + New Vivienne Westwood/Melissa Shoes Available for Pre-Order()

  • http://Facebook/squandrygoods Diane kopke

    I made pinwheels out of old maps for my stores windows last summer. I am going to do this project using maps. Thanks ao much!

    • http://princesslasertron.com Princess Lasertron

      oh I LOVE that idea! maps would be awesome. we have a lot of maps and globes that I’m bringing into camp so that might be a good idea for me too.

  • http://www.birdhouseinteriors.com jess@birdhouse

    Those are pretty darn cute.

  • ellene

    love this! I’m a well known magazine hoarder and people donate them to my art room, which just feeds my addiction!!!

  • http://inezgill.com Courtney Gill Zurcher

    Ah I love this! Too bad through out my magazines!

  • http://makebelieve.virb.com Elizabeth

    Ooooo! Inspired to FINALLY set up my sewing machine! After the wedding, of course…one week away. Eeeeek!

  • http://www.rocknrollbride.com kat – rocknrollbride

    omg this is so cute! would be a perfect xmas decoration

    • http://princesslasertron.com Princess Lasertron

      I know! I’m saving the gold/bright yellow pages from more of my magazines to wrap around my tree.

Father’s Day 2015

It seems like the older I get, the more grateful I am for your influence, wisdom, and positivity...as you predicted often when I was growing up, to my fervent disbelief. Your devotion and love for my mom, my brother, and me is unmatched as my most influential example of stability, comfort, and family. You are never short on time, love, advice, or a moving truck when I need it. Not everyone I know is so fortunate, and it’s just amazing luck that you got my mom pregnant after you met doing Peter Pan at the Blair Community Theater. ...That turned out really well for me.

Ten Things I Learned From my Best Friend xRahRahx

My business partner Sarah is known for being full of kindness, compassion, and patience, but my favorite thing about working with her is that she has me constantly dying every single day because she is one of the most hilarious people in history. Besides just having lots of laughs, I feel like I've experienced a lot of growth thanks to her influence over the past few years. These lessons including but not limited to...

An open letter to restless young entrepreneurs who can’t wait any longer

“Follow your passion” is not exactly great advice, right? How is it helpful when you are trying to "follow" "something" but not really living? It’s not that I’m passionate about embroidering felt or coworking or helping independent designers gain exposure. I’m passionate about being independent and having freedom, and this is the means I’ve found to achieve that. A mentor of mine says that there is an art to finding success through entrepreneurship or freelancing, and that has to do with finding the overlap between what you like to do and what other people are willing to pay for. Not everything is marketable, he says (though some would disagree). On top of being useful and interesting to consumers, I think you have to be remarkably, extraordinarily good at what you do, which is only possible if you like what you do. You have to find your real motivation, because there is always going to be someone in the world working twice as hard as you for the same thing.

A Pretty Bridal Bouquet Inspired by “Dusty Jewel Tones”

About a month ago I was contacted by a bride to create a bouquet inspired by a muted, pretty palette of rich colors. I loved the combination and was excited to take on another bridal client, which led me to finish the bouquet (plus a few bonus boutonnieres) within a few weeks. It was nice to be working on flowers again, and I followed my whim and inspiration to do things a little bit differently this time. Each flower and leaf is much more highly embellished than work I have done in the past, and I created more types of flowers (many of them found in my book, Fabric Blooms) to arrange into the bouquet.

Embroidered Things for Rebecca

Lately I've been embroidering really small things--portraits, simple objects, flowers, but much more detailed things, and all at about three inches square. I made these three pictures and framed them for my friend Rebecca Forsyth on her birthday today.
View All