After many MANY requests from readers and friends alike, I am finally finished with the tissue garland tutorial! There are a few tutorials out there, but mine is slightly different. I don’t know if one way or another is the best way, but I’ll try to address the tiny details to push the look that much further.
Firstly, we all must acknowledge that design credit goes to Confetti System. I was first inspired by them many months ago! I get the feeling that Nicholas and Julie want people to get together and make stuff, so please have a craft party with family and friends and enjoy this tutorial. :) However, if you think that $130 is a lot of money for a tissue garland, well, sure. But this is A LOT of work, at least for a beginner. Two 12 foot garlands took me and 4 other people about 15 hours. The 4 other people did not work on it the entire time, but I just want to paint the picture of how long this actually takes. If you want this finished in a few days, be prepared to do nothing else. This is for people who love tedious work like knitting sweaters, hand quilting and embroidery. Which I love. SO, I enjoyed the calm brought on by tending to each little tassel. If that’s not your thing, or you just don’t have time to dedicate to it, (and you have the money to spend) do not think twice about spending the money on a beautiful garland straight from the source! Visit Confetti System’s shop now!
Okay, now that the disclaimer is over, let’s get down to business.
1) A new pack of tissue in assorted colors. Do not wrinkle! This is very important if you want the lovely straight drapey-ness that really can make or break these garlands. Also, you will probably want some mylar/metallic tissue. In my opinion, the shinys are a crucial detail. :)
2) 4 yards of rope trim. I bought mine from the trim department of JoAnns for like $1.25 a yard!
3) Tacky glue. If you are using metallic/mylar paper, than you’ll (also) need hot glue.
4) A long pointy object to help you pick up the tissue. A knife, razor or even a chopstick will work.
- Rotary Cutter (*Tip* Don’t throw out your old and dulled rotary blades! Save them for paper! )
- A self healing mat
- A straight edge
Step 1: Cutting the strips. Open a tissue pack. The sheets of tissue should be folded in half horizontally, and then folded over vertically a few times. Unfold it until it is only folded in half. Lay the tissue with the folded side to the top of your cutting mat, and line it up with the guide lines. Place your straight edge along another guide line, and cut 4-5 1/2″ strips from the sheets of tissue.
Step 2: Picking up the strips. Using a knife, chopstick, or other thin and long device find the center of the first stack of cut tissue, and place them over your index finger. Firmly hold this stack while you do the same with the next, and gently place the second stack over the first. Repeat until you have four of five stacks (whenever you feel like you have enough strips to make a nice pouf).
Step 3: Twist the strips together. At the center of your stack of strips, bend inward, and begin to twist the tissue strips as if you are wringing out a rag. Continue to twist until the twisted part measures about 4″ total, with the center of the twist being the center of the stack of strips.
Step 4: Twisting on the rope. Place the center of the strips over the rope trim (It really helps to have your rope secured on both ends). Bring each end down over the rope. While twisting, bring the back piece over the front piece. Continue like this until you have 3 or 4 twists. *It is important to twist the tissue with each continual movement! That is how you get the nice tight rope shape that mimicks the rope trim, and it is an important, if small, detail * Note: The tissue may break a in a few spots at this point. Do not be discouraged. Save the fall out for a jar of confetti!
Step 5: Gluing. Squeeze a small dollop of glue at the point where the last twist meets. Let dry. (Use tacky glue for tissue, and hot glue for mylar. Hot glue is the only thing I have found that works for mylar! If you have any other suggestions, please let me know!)
Step 6: Fluffing. This is the finishing touch, and one of the most important steps. If you neglect to “fluff” your tissue tassel, it will look limp and lifeless. This is also potentially the most time consuming step. You need to go through each individual strip and pull it apart and away from the other pieces. Do this until you have a nice shape all around. When done right, they always remind me of little ball gowns or ballerina skirts. The tissue should come out at least a 90° angle from the twists.
Step 7: Trimming. Take your scissors and trim off the uneven pieces of the tassel as if you would trim hair. This way your tassels have a nice clean edge at the bottom. Collect the trimmings in your jar of confetti!