Here’s a good article on making “holly” garland for the upcoming holidays by Kim Hutchison and the Editors of Better Homes & Gardens.
You’ll need about 18 cardboard cartons to make a 5-foot strand.
The whimsical nature of this berry-brightened garland belies its humble recycling bin origins. Embrace your creativity and thriftiness to create a colorful Christmas garland made from cardboard egg cartons. We’ll show you how to cut the cartons to create holly leaves (use extra-sharp craft scissors for clean edges). Finish the garland with a few coats of green paint and use red and pink felt balls for berries. Drape the DIY garland on your decorated Christmas tree or hang it on the mantel as part of a festive holiday display.
How to Make an Egg Carton Garland
- Egg cartons
- Assorted green spray paints (we used three shades)
- Green craft paint
- 5/8-inch wood beads
- Tapestry needle
- Green twine or cording
- Hot-glue gun
- Fabric-wrapped florists wire
- Assorted small and extra small felt balls in reds and pinks
- Silver glitter spray paint
With a few supplies and these how-to instructions, you can create your own recycled Christmas craft. Customize your handmade holiday garland with your favorite colors.
Step 1: Create the Leaves
The “leaves” are made from the tall pointed dividers running down the middle of an egg carton. The easiest way to cut out the divider section is to cut down the length of the carton through the middle of both rows of the egg cups, using quality sharp scissors ($10, The Container Store). You’ll be left with a strip of five divider cones from a carton for a dozen eggs. Separate dividers, then trim the four corners of each divider to points to form a tulip shape
Step 2: Paint
Working in a well-ventilated area, spray-paint the leaves assorted greens. Let dry. Meanwhile, use craft paint to paint wood beads green. (They’ll be mostly hidden, so any green works.) Let dry.
Step 3: Assemble Leaf Sections
Poke a hole in the top of each leaf with a nail or wooden skewer. Assemble leaf sections: Apply a ring of hot glue around the inside of one leaf. Insert another leaf (like you’re stacking cups); hold for a few seconds. Repeat with four or five leaves. Repeat with the rest of the leaves, creating stacks of five or six leaves each. Let dry.
Step 4: Thread Garland
Thread needle with green twine ($3, The Home Depot). Push the needle through the center holes of one leaf section, a wood bead, another leaf section, then another wood bead. Repeat until the garland is the desired length.
Step 5: Add Berries
For berries: Apply a dot of hot glue to one end of a fabric-wrapped florists stem and push into a felt ball ($8, Etsy). Let dry. Apply a dot of hot glue to the end of a 4-inch length of florists stem and push into the garland where desired. Hold for a few seconds to secure. Let dry. Mist the whole garland with silver glitter spray paint.