With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I got to thinking about a craft I could make with my 22-month old that could act as decor and came up with this fun garland idea. I recycled the idea I had used for Valentine’s Day where I had used some of my son’s artwork to cut out hearts and make a garland. I ended up loving it so much, I decided to continue making garlands with my sweet boy’s help for the next holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, and will probably continue to do so until we have a year’s worth of holidays in DIY garlands.
Our household just welcomed a baby girl 7 weeks ago, and I have been making it a goal to carve out one-on-one time with my toddler. He enjoys crafting and coloring and I love having his artwork on display. My criteria for crafting these days are as follow:
This DIY garland is less of a step-by-step explanation, because it is that simple, but hopefully, this inspires you to repurpose your toddler’s artwork into something sentimental to pull out each year. For his first Christmas, I made a handprint wreath and pulling it out this year was so much fun. Check out that project by clicking HERE.
The things you will need are:
- Kid-friendly paints or markers/crayons in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black/silver, gold
- Tape or glue
- A Cricut machine OR scissors
- A hole punch
- Piece of yarn or string cut to the length you want your garland
- Optional: Baby wipes
I got all of my pieces of cardstock ready to go as well as my paints. The size of the cardstock depends on how large of shapes you want to cut out for garland, but I cut my cardstock sheets into rectangles roughly 4×6 inches. I knew I wanted lots of four-leaf clovers and opted to not cut my cardstock down and have my boy paint two large pieces of cardstock with green paints.
On a side note here is a tip: My mom has been a preschool teacher and worked with littles for most of her life. She taught me this trick: buy a nice quality spiral notebook (I used a mixed media sketchbook like this one here: Mixed Media Spiral Notebook)* and have your toddler use that for coloring and painting. Always add their name and date/age to the page. This is an easy way to keep their artwork organized and look through it later, versus having random papers scattered everywhere. Random pages of artwork are great too! But keeping the majority of it in a spiral-bound book is kind of like your toddler keeping a journal. It is fun to flip through and see how they progress over time. *We may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using our links. Thanks for your support!
Have your little one paint/color each chunk of cardstock with each color listed above for your DIY garland. Between painting with the different colors, I quickly baby wiped my son’s hands so that the paint colors wouldn’t get muddy from mixing. It only took him about 20 minutes to paint all his cardstock chunks and he loved getting messy. He thought it was super funny how I kept wiping his hands clean between colors and really got into the process. I let his paintings dry by the fire since he had some pretty thick globs of paint on there.
After letting the painting completely dry, I pulled out my Cricut to cut my shapes. You do not need a Cricut for this project! You can totally hand cut out the shapes and it will be just as cute. But since I got a Cricut for Christmas, I have been thinking of ways to use it and this is a great project for it. I quickly grabbed a four-leaf clover shape, rainbow shape, and pot of gold shape to cut. Cutting these with the Cricut probably took more time than cutting the painting by hand, because of how many colors I had to sort onto mats. I learned very quickly to tape the cardstock paintings to the cutting mats because the paper was slightly warped from the thick paint and wanted to detach from my cutting mats and clog my machine (and ruin the precious artwork!).
Once my pieces were cut, it was time to assemble! My boy stood in his helper stool and said “WOW!” as he watch the Cricut do its thing. (We love our helper stool! We have this one from Amazon: Helper Stool) While I could have had the Cricut cut the holes needed to string the yarn through, I was feeling lazy and a hole puncher could do the job just as well. Using the hole puncher (a great dollar store find if you need one!), I popped two holes through the tops of each clover as well as the rainbow then strung my yarn through. I opted to tape my pots of gold under the ends of the rainbow, but you could put them wherever you like on your DIY garland as well.
Now my son’s artwork has been transformed into a festive St. Patrick’s Day piece that proudly hangs in our tiny living room. I love this project so much for its simplicity and how fun the final piece turned out. It took us no time at all, we had fun doing it. The best part is that it is sentimental to me! I hope you try this out for St. Patrick’s day or any other holiday and tag us on Instagram so that we can see. For Easter, we will definitely be doing this again with some pastel colors to cut some eggs and bunny for an all-new DIY garland!