When my husband commissioned these felt elephants for my daughter and me a few years ago, he had quite a few 2" samples cut from several bolts of wool felt. He asked me if he should get rid of them and I of course told him not to and that I would eventually do something with them. Well, this year was the year to finally do just that. My daughter made a paper chain at school that she was very proud of and it was the inspiration for this project!
I hung the one I made on our mantel, but the garland would also be perfect on a Christmas tree. Made in a different color way, it would be a cute everyday decoration for a child's room draped across their ceiling or swaged across across a window top.
Though the actual process if fairly simple, you really have to keep track of your pattern to make sure you are sewing in the right order. You could make it easy on yourself and use only one or only two colors. I made it difficult and used 6 because that is just how I like to torture myself.
Scissors Craft: Felt Paper Chain Garland Tutorial
a) Cut your felt into strips that are no more than 1" wide by 5" long. You could make them longer (for more open circles), but any wider would be a bit too bulky.
b) Now that your strips have been cut, lay them out in the pattern in which they will placed in the final sewn chain.
c) Pull aside every other section of individual colors. Those will be the strips of felt that you sew first into loops in step 2.
a) Fold the strips (that you set aside to sew into circle in the first round) in half.
b) Sew as close to the ends as possible and reverse your stitches to secure the seam. This step I found was very important when turning the loops over--loops made with a single stitch came apart when I was assembling and had to be resown.
The end result of Step 2.
What the loops will look like when you turn it right side out.
Lay your pattern out in the order in which you will sew them together. Loop, straight piece, loop straight piece, etc. (Note the Starbucks in the back. Totally needed that for inspiration.)
Take your first loop and run a straight piece through it. Hook you next loop over the straight piece. Each straight piece will always connect two loops.
Fold the straight piece (now looped with the two other loops) and sew the edges together. Reverse stitches to secure the seam.
Continue the steps above until all your straight pieces and loops are connected.
Turn the loops right side out and make sure the seams are hidden in the neighboring loop. Now, decorate with it and enjoy!