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Happy Halloween Garland from Cereal Boxes- Tutorial

Updated on October 24, 2012
Happy Halloween garland from cereal boxes
Happy Halloween garland from cereal boxes | Source

While scouring the internet for inspiration and ideas for some DIY Halloween d├ęcor, I saw some very cute handmade Halloween garlands and banners. So, I was feeling inspired and made this very nice "Happy Halloween" garland/banner. I still do not know if it's a garland or banner but I'll just say it's a garland for now. It was actually very easy to do and I think it came out really nice so I've decided to share how you can make one of your own. You can have it say Happy Halloween or Trick or Treat or whatever you like. It's a great Halloween craft to get creative with and add your own personal touches. One of the best things about this craft is that the letters were made using cereal boxes I had saved so I already had everything on hand to make it except the gingham material and ribbon which was like 4.00 total at Wal-Mart but you could rip or cut an old shirt up into strips and use that if you wanted and it would still look very cute! So not only is making this Halloween garland easy but it's easy on the pocket book too.

Supplies Needed

  • Cereal boxes or other cardboard packaging (same as chipboard)
  • Jute or other thick string
  • 3 spools of ribbon (orange 5mm, black 3mm and silver 6mm)
  • 2 different halloween colored fabric materials (1/4 yard off the bolt)
  • Black spray paint or black acrylic paint
  • Orange Acrylic Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Spray or brush-on sealer
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie or similar marker
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Computer and printer

Did you know??

You may have already heard of using chipboard for crafts... so what exactly is it?? Chipboard is basically a thin cardboard that is not corrugated and you can buy it at any craft store. However, did you know that you can save money by using old pizza boxes, cereal boxes, cracker boxes, etc instead? Cardboard food packaging is basically the same thing as chipboard! I keep all of my old cereal boxes etc. Instead of throwing them out, I will take the seam apart which makes it one flat piece, cut it into large sections and save them to use later. Sometimes I keep the side sections. They are the perfect size to make bookmarks, embellishments, gift tags, small shapes, etc.

STEP ONE- Cut Out Your Letters

First off you need to cut your letters out. It's super easy to do.. just open up a paint program, like Photoshop or similar, and pick a font and pick the size you want it to be and print out each letter on regular paper. I used the font Ravie and the size was 400px. You won't be able to fit all of your fonts on piece.. you will probably need to use several sheets of paper**. Once you print each letter on regular paper, you can cut each letter out and use as templates to trace onto the cardboard cereal box OR you can do like I did and skip cutting each letter out of regular paper and just trace each letter a few times with the cereal box underneath using a black sharpie. The sharpie will bleed through and create the lines to cut for you- so then all the cutting you will do, will be cutting the letters out of the cereal box. (Whew....hope that made sense!)

**Don't worry about having to print multiple pieces of paper with the letters on them. Whether you cut them out or trace them onto the cereal box with sharpie... you can save them and use them again and again :)

***I used the font Ravie because I knew it would be easy to cut out. The more intricate the letter, the harder it will be to cut out.

****If you wanted, you could actually skip using letter templates all together and draw your own letters onto the chipboard and cut them out.

printed letter on top of cereal box- ready to trace
printed letter on top of cereal box- ready to trace | Source
letter is traced completely over top of the cereal box
letter is traced completely over top of the cereal box | Source
Cutting out the letters from the transfer of the marker onto the cereal box
Cutting out the letters from the transfer of the marker onto the cereal box | Source
perfect...time to paint!
perfect...time to paint! | Source

STEP TWO- Paint Your Letters

Once you have your letters cut out of the chipboard it's time to paint them. I just use spray paint on mine but you can use acrylic paint like Folk Art brand if you prefer. I just usually use spray paint because it's quicker and seems to cover better. The Wal-Mart brand spray paint is a buck and has always worked great for me. It covers beautifully and dries quickly.

Paint your letters (front and back) with the black paint and let them dry. Take your orange acrylic paint and put polka dots on the letters. I use the end of a paint brush to do this.. it makes perfect little dots. Once you have your dots on let them dry... Then take your spray or brush on sealer and apply this to the letters. Sit letters aside and let dry for at least a day.

Happy Halloween letters painted black
Happy Halloween letters painted black | Source

STEP THREE- Glue Your Letters On

Once your letters are good and dry it's time to glue them onto the jute. Arrange them how you want them to read and lay the jute right above them so that you are sure you have enough jute. Then take the glue gun and glue the letters onto the jute.. making sure to glue them at the top of the backside of letters so they will hang correctly. Also, don't glue the letters too close to together- leave a little bit of space (1/2 inch to an inch) so that you can put your ribbon in between the letters.

I did two different pieces. I put "Happy" across one string and "Halloween" across the other so it's really two separate pieces which you can stack or leave straight across that will make one phrase. It would work fine all together along one string of jute.

You could also glue the letters onto the jute vertically if you wanted.. and just hang the garland vertically. I think that would be cute too!

glued onto the jute
glued onto the jute | Source

STEP FOUR- Cut and Apply Ribbon and Material to Jute

Now you should have your jute with your "Happy Halloween" glued on. It's time to cut the ribbon and fabric strips for it. I used three different colors of ribbon which were orange (5mm), silver (6mm) and black (3mm). You can use whatever size and colors of ribbon.. I just wouldn't go over 6mm in width of the ribbon.

Cut six inches out of each color ribbon for each letter on the garland plus 1 more (out of each color) for the end. Do the same with the fabric strips.

Once you have the ribbon and the fabric strips cut, it's time to tie them on the jute. Start out tying one of each color ribbon and one each of the material strips in front of the H.. Then do the same thing after the H (one of each ribbon and material) and move down making sure you do this before and after each letter. You can group them up and tie them around the jute all together or you can do them one at at time. I did mine one at a time and scrunched them all together.. I think the important thing is getting one of each color (fabric strips and ribbon) between the letters so that it all looks even when you are finished.

Tie some loops on both ends of your jute and you are ready to hang your garland!

tie strips of material and ribbon in between each letter and on the ends
tie strips of material and ribbon in between each letter and on the ends | Source


all done and hung up
all done and hung up | Source

Thank you!

Thank you so much for stopping by..... I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial. Happy Halloween to you and yours :)


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    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas

      Sharky11- Thank you.. I am really happy with how it turned out. Cereal boxes can be used to make so many cute things and although I used a die cutting machine to cut out these letters, they are not so intricate that they couldn't be cut out using scissors... so they would still look great if you cut them out by hand and talk about easy.. this was so EASY to do! I agree with you about the banner/garland thing.. It does seem to be more of a garland now that I think about it- a banner usually is just one solid piece. Thanks so much for dropping by!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      This is an awesome craft hub! I love how this is cheap and easy to make, but looks store-bought. Great instructions too! I'm not sure either if this is a banner or a garland. The terms may be synonymous. I would call it a garland because the letters are individual. To me banners seem more like something crafted onto a solid background. Voting up!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas

      Au fait- Thank you.. I was actually just getting ready to go and grab the box with the Halloween decorations in it from the closet and was just thinking about this garland and where I was going to hang it! I am really happy with how it came out and I'll probably use it for years to come. I really do LOVE using cereal boxes for crafts. They are the perfect crafting material. Thanks for stopping by, for the votes and for sharing this and even though it's a bit early, Happy Halloween :)

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Another perfect decorating craft for Halloween! And good really, for any holiday or special occasion. Good use for old cereal boxes too so that we don't add so much to landfills so quickly. Up, useful, and shared!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas

      Hi carol7777, Thank you! My favorite kind of crafts are those that are made by reusing and re-purposing things :) I don't really have much of a budget for craft supplies so I just try to use things I already have or things that would otherwise end up in the trash.. This garland was so easy and lots of fun to make.. I'm so happy that you like it!! Any kind of cardboard packaging would work for this, in case you don't have cereal boxes..I save a lot of frozen pizza boxes and they work great too. Take care and thanks for dropping by :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Love all your craft ideas. I love to recycle stuff and find interesting uses for them. Keep up the great writing. I just started here and am finding my way as I go along.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 6 years ago from Texas

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate your feedback. The garland was very easy to make and turned out super cute. Happy Halloween to you!

    • TheTruthasIseeit profile image

      TheTruthasIseeit 6 years ago from Virginia

      I really like this idea. It looks great and you explained it well. Thanks for the idea!