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Monday, July 10, 2023

DIY Christmas Home Decorations

Step-by-step guide to making a gingerbread man garland for Christmas decoration 

Get into the festive spirit with our step-by-step guide to creating a charming DIY Christmas garland.  Perfect for Christmas enthusiasts, this DIY project uses simple materials like brown paper bag, paint pen, and hot glue to bring holiday cheer to your home. 

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Gingerbread man garland

Tis the season to wonder my dears!  Do you ever find yourself pondering, "What Christmas decorations can I make?"  Oh, the possibilities are endless, making it quite the conundrum to narrow them down.  But fear not, for I am here to help.  Today, I'm absolutely thrilled to share with you our piece de resistance: The Gingerbread Man Garland.  I know, I know, it's only July, but hey, have you ever heard of Christmas in July?  No?  Well, buckle up, because I'm about to enlighten you!

Ohhh... Christmas in July - a magical occasion that brings tidings of joy and festive home decor inspiration!  You see, during this enchanting time, we get a sneak peek into the world of holiday decorations and gather ideas for adorning our homes when the jolly season arrives.  It's like a special prelude to the grand festivities, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the spirit of Christmas a little earlier than usual.  So, whether you're seeking inspiration for tree trimmings, dazzling lights, or whimsical ornaments, Christmas in July is the perfect opportunity to indulge in holiday decor daydreams and begin planning for the most wonderful time of the year!  

Now, you might be wondering, "Which countries celebrate Christmas in July?"  Well, my curious friends, we are not alone in this festive madness.  Believe it or not, several countries partake in this merry occasion, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA, Canada, and the UK.  We're in good company!

The siren song of Christmas movies on Hallmark and Great American Christmas...  admit it, you've succumbed to the temptation and snuck in a few festive flicks this month.  I know I have, and let me tell you, it has been pure bliss.  Christmas is the one holiday that always catches me off guard, no matter how early I try to prepare.  That mischievous creative brain of mine takes over, and I can't seem to stop myself.  It's a Christmas zombie situation - I must decorate more, more, more!  

This year, as my obsession with Trash to Treasure items continues, I decided to infuse a little Christmas cheer into the mix with a brilliant idea that struck me.  I couldn't bring myself to toss aside a large brown paper bag from my recent barn sale purchase.  Naturally, my husband asked, "What on earth are you going to do with that bag?"  Little did he know, my devious plan was forming in my mind.  That heavy brown paper was destined to become the most epic Gingerbread Man Garland of all time!  

Now, let me walk you through what you'll need and how I brought these cutie pies to life: 

DIY Christmas decorations

  1. 1 large brown paper bag 
  2. Scissors
  3. Gingerbread Man template 
  4. White paint pen
  5. Hot glue
  6. Hot glue gun
  7. (3) Plastic bags from your grocery order
  8. String of your choice 

  • You'll need a gingerbread man template to ensure your creations line up nicely.  You can trace a cookie cutter or free-hand it, like I did (because who needs perfection?) 
  • Cut open the bag on side to maximize the number of gingerbread men you can get from it
  • Lay the bag flat and start tracing the gingerbread men from your template
  • Once you've traced as many as possible, start cutting them out.  Aim for an even number of men
  • Decorate your gingerbread men to your heart's desire.  I kept mine simple with a dashed line all around and added eyes, buttons, and those mischievous smiles 

Holiday crafts

Christmas garland

Festive home decor

Homemade holiday ornaments

Christmas crafting ideas

Now on to part two: 

The assembly!  I must admit, this part was not nearly as fun as the first half.  I broke it up into two days to complete this crafty endeavor.  If you're a frugal decorator like me, who enjoys saving money while still adorning your home, keep reading.  
  • Choose a delightful red and white baker's twine for your garland. Unroll about 12 inches of string, then place your first gingerbread man
  • Since both sides of the gingerbread men will be decorated, you can place the less perfect ones towards the back of your garland
  • Apply two dots of hot glue on the face-down gingerbread man's hands and press the baker's twine into the glue 
  • Next, hot glue the top of your gingerbread man's head and place another gingerbread man facing up on top.  Now, I decided to stuff my gingerbread men to give them a little extra oomph.  I achieved this by adding small pieces of cut-up plastic grocery bags.  
  • Work your way around each gingerbread man from the head down, stuffing him with plastic bag pieces and hot-gluing around his form to keep everything securely in place.  Keep repeating these steps until you've successfully added all the gingerbread men to your twine.  

Gingerbread-themed crafts
Hot glue the string in place, then glue around the head

DIY garland tutorial
Place gingerbread man on top of hot glue facing up

Christmas in July crafts
Work around gluing sides and stuffing plastic bag inside 

Christmas garland

Christmas garland DIY

DIY Christmas garland
Continue working around until you have the desired stuffing and have glued the entire form

Christmas in July crafts

Christmas in July crafts
Yeah!  We have a Gingerbread Man!

The beauty of our approach - no buying, only DIYing!  I've fallen head over heels in love with creating and recreating, upcycling and recycling my way around this cozy cottage, all while thoroughly enjoying myself.  I was tickled pink with how these little guys turned out, and now I am left wondering what kind of mischief they'll get up to, because we all know gingerbread men have a knack for it.  So, my friends, embrace the creativity, spread the Christmas cheer, and let the gingerbread fun begin!   

Don't forget to Pin! 

Christmas in July crafts

Wait, if DIY is not your thing, I found some mighty cute Gingerbread Men Garlands already made up for you on Etsy, check them out!  They are adorable! 



Would you like to comment?

  1. This is just the cutest thing ever! Can you please make sure I am on your e mail list, for some reason, I am not seeing your e mails :(((( Love these sweet gingerbread men.

    1. Thank you so much Wendy, I will look into why you are not receiving my emails! I am thinking it may be time to make a change with the emails. I enjoyed making these little guys.

  2. Cara, Christmas in July is so fun and this garland is adorable! Pinning it now because I would love to make something like this! Thanks for the inspiration! Blessings, Donna

    1. The little guys were a lot of fun to make, I love Christmas in July, almost as much as Christmas itself. I think it is because I do not feel the pressure of getting everything decorated at the same time as sharing projects too. I am looking forward to seeing your project, I have fallen in love with trash to treasure.

  3. These gingerbread men are too cute! You made it look easy to make them so I will give it a try. They are going to look adorable hanging around the house this Christmas!!

    1. They are really pretty easy Cathy, just a bit time consuming tracing and cutting them out, then gluing them together. I like knowing I am keeping another item from the landfill. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  4. This is such a cute idea. These little gingerbread men would look adorable hung across a window. Bonus - they are super affordable to make!

    1. They are so affordable Anna! I really enjoyed myself while I made them. I thought they would be cute on the mantel too!

  5. I am a banner junkie and your little gingerbreads are the sweetest. I pinned this one for December ...or maybe a rainy Christmas in July!!

    1. I love Christmas, I am looking forward to getting these up for Christmas soon. Well, I guess I have a bit of a wait, but I am ready now! Ha! Hope you enjoy your rainy day craft Kim!

  6. Love this idea, adorable snow men garland.

    1. Thank you! I enjoyed making them, especially when I can reuse what I already have here. Have a wonderful week!