Wednesday, January 26, 2011

*Reader Request* ~ Vintage Crepe Paper Garland

I've had a few requests from readers to share how to make vintage-look crepe paper garland.   Betty mentioned that she saw some on Etsy but with shipping it was going to be over 6.00 a yard! Since you can buy an entire roll of crepe paper for $.99 she was pretty sure it could be made cheaper.  Well she was right...we sure can!

So here goes...

How to Make
Vintage Crepe Paper Garland


Crepe Paper
Sewing Machine or Thread/Needle
Deco Scissors (optional)
Glitter (optional)


1.  Pull of a long section of crepe paper from the roll.  I used approx. 5 yards. 

Gathered Crepe Paper Garland 001

2. (Optional) if you would like your garland to have a decorative edge follow steps 2 & 3.  If not, skip to step #4. 

Fold the crepe paper over and over until it makes a nice bundle.  This is just to help speed up trimming the edge.

Gathered Crepe Paper Garland 002

3. Cut one edge of the crepe paper with decorative shears.

Gathered Crepe Paper Garland 003

4. I'm going to tell you how I gather the crepe paper.  It's not the only way you can do this but it works for me.  I'll share a couple other techniques at the end.

Place one edge (straight end if you trimmed one edge with deco shears) of the crepe paper under the foot of the machine.  Pinch and push the crepe paper to create random gathers in front of the foot.  Begin sewing slowly while you continue to gather the crepe paper in front of the foot. 

Gathered Crepe Paper Garland 004

Continue slowly sewing and gathering the crepe paper until all of the paper has been sewn.

This method will create random gathers in the finished garland.  I think this contributes to the vintage look and feel of the garland. 

Gathered Crepe Paper Garland 005

Gathered Crepe Paper Garland 006

Here is a bit of the garland tucked under one of the heart lace doilies just to show you how cool it looks...

Gathered Crepe Paper Garland 007

TIP #1: You could apply a bit of glue to the exposed edges then dip these glued edges in regular or glass glitter for added texture and sparkle.

TIP #2: If you'd like a shorter of fluffier ruffle you could sew down the center of the crepe paper and fold it over.  This will give you a double shorter layer or you could use it flat with a piece of ribbon covering the stitch line.

Other Sewing Options:

As I mentioned above there are many ways to sew this garland below are two additional techniques:

1. For a more precise gather you could use a pencil or popsicle stick to measure and tuck each pleat. After you have gathered a few inches, press each pleat with a craft iron.  This will create exact and precise pleats in your finished garland.    I know some people like this more exacting pleated look but personally I think it looks machine made and not very vintage at all.

2. You could also use a needle/thread and use a running stitch ~ simply push stitch in and out every 1/4" - 1/2".  Once you have stitched the entire length of the crepe paper pull the thread through the crepe paper and gather as you pull.  This gives you a bit more control over the gathers without looking machine made.  It is a bit more time consuming but yields great results.

Tomorrow I'll share a couple Vintage Valentine Cards using some of this garland....
I may also tuck a bit of it into the Valentine goodie package ;)


  1. Roni -

    THANK YOU!! This is a great tutorial and I love how the garland looks. I've been seeing this all over the place and now I know how to make it!!

    Elaine Allen

  2. Very cute and easy! I'm headed to Dollar Tree for some crepe paper!

  3. you just have such a knack for making this look so easy! ty ty ty cher

  4. That's a great look and your directions make it so easy too. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  5. Thank you so much for the technique and the additional tips!

  6. Love this look and it's 'sew' easy to do!! (just can't help myself to a little pun humor!)

    This will be fun to add in other colors for other times of the year too! Christmas, or Halloween! I'm running with my deco scissors to the $ Store!!

  7. Thanks for this tutorial, Roni! I am going to try my hand at this!

  8. You always come up with such fun ideas. thanks for sharing
    stamping sue

  9. Great tutorial, Roni. Your instructions and pictures are clear and easy to follow. I like knowing how to do it now and it would surely be cheaper than buying a premade one!

  10. thank you for this! I'm lovin all these tuts I could spend hours on your blog!

  11. How clever! You've done it yet again,Roni -- I love this look!

  12. Love this! But now I might just have to get out my sewing machine and dust it off....

  13. Another reason to pull out my sewing it1

  14. Fabulous how to! Thank you.

  15. Fantastic tutorial! Here I thought I was gonna have to fight with the sewing machine again but gonna try that hand sewing technique first because this is must try! TFS, Paula

  16. If you want to make crepes you can choose to invest in a crêpe maker, but that is not totally necessary. A medium-sized nonstick skillet will work just fine for this process.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!