How to Make Paper Garlands for any occasion in not time at all.

If you’re anything like me, those little holidays and celebratory occasions seem to sneak right up on me. Sometimes I want to decorate for Valentine’s Day, or St. Patricks Day, or Cinco de Mayo – but I run out of time to get the decor I need.

This DIY paper garland project is going to save the day. You are going to love making paper garlands.

Paper garlands are so easy to throw together for any season, any occasion, any holiday. The options are so limitless and they cost next to nothing to put together.

If you can cut paper, then you can make a paper garland.

I’ll provide my tips for making the cutest paper garlands ever, but just know that you can totally customize this the way you want. The basic tutorial remains the same for any type of paper garland you want to make.

For this tutorial, I decided to make a paper Valentine’s Day garland. After all, V-day is right around the corner. I decided to make a cute ‘xo’ garland. So pretty and cute and festive.

Let’s go. Woot!

Materials Needed

materials needed for paper garland

Helpful Tips

I have two little tidbits that might help you make the most perfect paper garland ever.

First, it’s really helpful to use a template. It helps create a really nice, clean, professional-looking paper garland.

You can print out a template with your printer and then use it as a guide to cut out your paper items (letters, shapes, etc). You could also just use a stencil if you have one, then cut one shape out, and use that as a general guide for the rest of your cutting.

Second, and this one is important, is the type of paper you are using. Using regular paper for garlands is going to yield meh results. It’s flimsy and not really meant for hanging. For all your paper garlands, I suggest using a heavier weight paper such as cardstock or thicker.

I personally used paper made by Neenah, it’s 80lb and textured so it gives my paper garland some heft and dimension. I picked it up at Office Depot but can’t find it on the website. Amazon has tons of options. If you can grab an even weightier paper, do it.

Here’s a handy guide on the different weights of paper. It helps to know!

Ok, let’s move on to the fun part.

How to Make Paper Garlands

Folks, let’s not make this more complicated then it needs to be. Just use the right paper and make yourself a template, and you are halfway to paper garland nirvana. And you can do this all during a commercial break of The Bachelor. 🙂

  1. Print and Cut out your Template. Do you want to make this ‘xo’ garland? If so, then you can download the template for it right here. Print out your template, then use it or a stencil to trace the shape onto your cardstock.
  2. Cut your shapes from your cardstock. This is the most tedious part. You can fold the paper in half so you can two shapes out at once.
  3. Once your shapes are cut out, all you need to do is use your hole punch to cut two holes in each shape. Why two holes? Well, if we only use one hole, then the shapes will fall sideways and wonky and not lay nice and flat as we want them to.
  4. Now grab your string and string it through the holes you created in step 3. If you don’t want your shapes to move, you can apply a little piece of clear tape on the back of each hole, which should hold the string in place.
letters cut out of cardstock to make a paper garland

That’s it! You are ready to hang this up. See how cute!?

paper garland how to make

Like I said. I love paper garlands.

paper garland hanging on wall - valentines day
valentines' garland diy

Ideas for Make Pretty Paper Garlands

Now that we got the basic method down for making paper garlands, how do we get more creative with them?

Here are some ideas to get you started …

  • Use pretty papers! But keep my paper tip in mind – go for paper with some weight to it.
  • Baker’s twine is my personal favorite for paper garlands, and they have so many different color combinations and even glittery ones.
  • Try a decorative paper punch – they make these in all kinds of shapes, the circle being the most popular shape. Just keep in mind that with these paper punches, the max paper weight is usually 65lb or lower.
  • Use letter stencils or a homemade letter template to make banners for all occasions!
  • Instead of a hole punch, try using mini clothespins to hold your paper garland to your string.

Have fun and talk soon!

xo Karen

How to Make Paper Garlands

Karen Sloan

Karen Sloan is the founder, editor and syndicated content writer of She offers hints of inspiration for everyday living, including home ideas, DIY projects and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared on Google News, MSN, Pioneer Woman, Apartment Therapy, and Bustle, among others.