Lynne: Crafty Challenge 5 was a challenge for me. I don’t believe I have made any Christmas ornaments for several years and it was tough to get my mind back into that red and green groove.
I like long garlands and I like them to be lit. Strings of Christmas tree lights seemed to me to be the best way to start, so I bought a strand of 100 clear Christmas tree lights. I needed the light strand to be decorated and the longer I looked at them the more the bulbs looked like the centers of flowers. Why not put a flower around each light bulb? The flower I made for my Do It Best Purse in the hardware store challenge would be the perfect fit to go around the collars of the light bulbs.
I plugged in my strand of lights for two hours to check on how hot they would get. I could still hold them in my hand at the end of the two hours so I used red tissue paper. However, be safe and turn off your tree lights whenever you leave the house.
Tissue paper comes folded in its package. When you unfold the paper the creases are good guidelines for cutting the long strips. I cut through all of the layers at the same time, because there was less chance of the sheets slipping while they were still in the original folds. I used a rotary cutter and the resulting strips were about 3″ wide.
I folded the strip in half and then separated the layers into stacks of two strips each. (The number of layers can vary depending on how thick the paper is and how frilly you want the flowers.) I taped the unfolded edge with scotch tape. I put half the tape on one side then flipped the strip over and folded the tape up onto the other side. Then I used scissors to cut the folded edge of the strip into fringe.
Once you’ve fringed the length of the strip, cut it into 5″ sections. 5 inches worked best for me but you can make the sections longer if you want fuller flowers. Take each 5″ section and roll it around one of the light bulb plastic holders. The holders are plastic and I found that a dab of hot glue when you first start to roll the flower is strong enough to hold the flower in place. Once you have the flower rolled use a piece of tape to keep it closed. I put a flower on every other light bulb and I was just able to finish the garland in two hours.
I liked the results so much that after the challenge was over I made another garland and bought a white Christmas tree to put them on.