Look Alike Capiz Shell Christmas Garland

Mini chalkboards, birds’ nests, feathery birds, mercury glass, pinecones, chandelier crystals, twine, burlap, starfish, sand dollars, capiz shells, book-page-wrapped balls, and ribbon.  That is what my Christmas tree is made of!  How could one go wrong if she took every single trend of 2010 and threw it on her tree?  She couldn’t!  I absolutely love how my tree turned out, and this week I’ll show you how I did it without spending anything.

For the last eleven years, I have had a traditional red and gold theme going on.  This year, I just couldn’t do it.  I am not incredibly sentimental and I really had no desire to dig out all of those old ornaments from the basement.  So I shopped, borrowed, crafted, and stole from my house in order to decorate the tree!

The crowning jewel of my tree is this gorgeous garland that I moaned, whined, and cried about on facebook and twitter all weekend long.  My garland was inspired by the capiz shell chandy that Erin from The Little Apartment made awhile back. I won’t lie to you.  This thing was NOT fun to make.  It cost me $0.00 but around $1000 worth of time and patience.  Halfway through this project, I would have gladly paid one of you handsomely to have finished the darn thing for me!  But I love how it turned out, so for now I’m pretending it was all worth it!

If you are absolutely insane and want to make one of these beauties for yourself, all you need is the following:

  • Wax paper
  • Circle punch
  • White thread
  • Glue gun

I took a sheet of wax paper and folded it a bunch of times until it made a rectangle that would still fit in my circle punch.  Then I punched out a gazillion circles.  (Folding the paper over gives you about eight circles per punch.)

Next, roll out your string, place your circles underneath the string, and place two dots of glue on each circle.  Just keep doing that all day and night long and you will finally have yourself a garland!

It did match my mind’s eye perfectly though…

… and looks just dreamy in front of all those sparkly white lights!

Since I made many of the ornaments on my tree, I will dive into more tree details in my next post…including a tutorial on how to make those cute chalkboard ornaments!

Linking up with Kate!  Be sure to check out the party for more Holiday Home craftiness.

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  1. Chris says

    Oh man! I was totally going to copy this until you said it was NOT fun to make. I don't know if I can do it. Looks like I'm just going to have to sit back and marvel at your creativity AND patience! It's simply gorgeous!

  2. Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top says

    Your tree looks beautiful! The garland is very pretty but I would never try it, I do not have the patience. haha!

  3. Tara@JustDevineStyle says

    Oh My Goodness! It looks lovely I never would have guessed you used wax paper. It is great. Such a wonderful look it gives. You are very patient.

  4. Beth@The Stories of A2Z says

    Chris, If you have a really sharp, good circle punch, it wouldn't be that bad. My circle punch SUCKED. It squashed my paper, cut unevenly, didn't cut, etc. It just sucked. And tedious crafts bore me. It might just be me though. Maybe it would be fun in front of a good chick flick?

  5. Beth@The Stories of A2Z says

    No, I'm not patient! At all! I wanted someone to shoot me at one point :). But I am tenacious and I couldn't just NOT finish.

  6. this blessed nest says

    girl, you are crazy insane!!!

    but this looks fabulous. well done. such an impact for zero dollars. wow. so impressed.

    hey, on another note…you know you can sharpen those paper cutters by punch aluminum foil. ya know, the stuff next to your wax paper…:)

    i should sharpen your punch up after about 10 punches with the foil.

    again, so impressed.


  7. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says

    OK, I'm amazed, Beth! WAX PAPER, I can't stand it. I must have missed your whinefest on Twitter, cause this is the first I've heard of making this beautiful garland out of WAX PAPER. Gorgeous tree you've created out of what you have. Girl, you should be so proud, it's beautiful.

    I still can't believe it's WAX PAPER! You crafty girls just kill me. I have no patience for stuff like that.

  8. Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage says

    That garland does sound like waaaay to much trouble to make, but it sure is pretty!! Your whole tree is beautiful!

  9. Irene ~ RE~VINTAGED says

    I can see that garland made out of little hearts too, 'tho I would cut them out myself.
    They were worth it :)

  10. Jenny says

    You have to be the most patient person around! There is no way I could do that garland.

    The tree looks awesome, though!

  11. Karla says

    Absolutely gorgeous!! Seriously one of the coolest things I have seen this season, for sure!

    ~Karla @ It's The Little Things…

  12. Chari at Happy To Design says

    Hi Beth…

    Ohhh…your tree turned out fabulous, my friend! I love the natural feel and look! Ohhh my…I really can't imagine making that capiz shell look alike garland…but it's FABULOUS!!! Bless your heart…I would have been whining too…hehe! Can't wait to see more and all the tutorials! Thank you for sharing the tutorial for this beautiful garland…it really is fabulous! Hmmm…think I already said that! Hehe!

    Warmest Christmas wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  13. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says

    Beth – gorgeous tree. The garland is so clever, girl ~ Amazing! I had no idea what you used but would have never thought wax paper. Bravo, my friend =) Stephanie Lynn

  14. The Mulberry Girl says

    Oh my goodness, it looks breathtaking on your tree but the minute I saw the words "wax paper" I cringed. That is not fun to work with. Way to persevere for the good of all things decor!

  15. Urban Farmgirl says

    Oh, Beth…Beth…Beth. With my disposition of being one very impatient girl, I could never have done this – so cheers to you, my friend!!

    It looks amazing!


  16. Centsational Girl says

    I loooooove it! I admire your tenacity too! It really does look gorgeous! One of those crafts to do in front of a good movie, or two! I tried wax paper snowballs this year and it was a disaster!! So glad you created something lovely out of something so affordable, bravo! I love all the creativity in blogland!

  17. Marianne@Songbird says

    How funny. We both made a 'filler' garland for our non-red-and-gold tree. And I cut so see myself doing my project with wax paper too.
    If I can find a good paper punch I might just go for it… Only just :-)
    Was busy linking you up when I saw your link already there.

  18. Haley K says

    hi there! I'm your newest follower…and now a HUGE fan! You have one lovely blog my dear :) And some fantastic ideas! Your garland was well worth the time and effort…absolutely STUNNING!

  19. Kim says

    You've truely outdone yourself little sis! Frugaliciously GORGEOUS!!!!! I am so very impressed. And I'm having tree envy in the worst way. I'm going to repost your project on FB today!!

  20. Lemonade Makin' Mama says

    It's so fun!! Your tree looks more like my tree from last year (which I loved) and this year, I went back to traditional red! Just a fabulous look.

  21. Angie says

    Are you kidding? THAT is just wax paper?! INCREDIBLE! It really is an amazing garland. I'm curious though, and hope you post about how you're going to store it so the pieces of paper don't get bent or crushed. Good luck! I would hate for anything to happen to it…it's just too beautiful!

  22. Kim @ Starshine Chic says

    Wax paper? Ingenious!!! Who thinks up these things? I never could. But your garland turned out fabulous!!! I'd say it was worth all the trouble and effort. But then, I didn't make it.

  23. Richella says

    Well, Beth, even if it was a pain to make, your garland is just gorgeous. Really beautiful. Congratulations on persevering through the drudgery and getting to the beauty!

  24. Becca says

    Ohmygosh, that tree is fab! And, that garland … wow! It's so unique; however, you forgot one item necessary to make it … one LARGE bottle of wine. LOL. Thanks, as always, for your incredible inspiring projects! *Becca*

  25. Kim @ Savvy Southern Style says

    Wow, you were very patient to work on that. I probably would have thrown it out and just said forget. It looks great and so worth the work. Such a great idea. Hope you will stop by some time.

  26. melissa * 320 Sycamore says

    It was all worth it! Kind of like childbirth…you'll forget the pain soon and start some crazy project again. :) Soooo gorgeous and I would have never guessed wax paper either. W.O.W.

  27. Jenoe says

    I am soo excited to make this-i was looking for free-ish garland ideas and this is perfect!!! You are a crafting-genius! I think I might sew the thread through-we'll see if that takes less time or not ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. cherylclaudine says

    This is GORGEOUS! I can't believe that you made that out of waxed paper! I would have never guessed – it totally looks like the real thing! I'd say it was worth it (but I haven't done it myself …yet)

  29. ha! says

    It looks great, I can't imagine it took any longer than an old fashioned popped corn and cranberry garland. Hot glue burns vs needle pricked finger ???

  30. Natalia says

    Yes, I really think you could sew that with a sewing machine, using a long stitch. I know you can do this exact thing with regular paper, so I don't know why you couldn't with wax paper. I just love the translucent look of this and am really inspired to do one (SEWN of course, lol) Thanks so much for the great idea!

  31. b.zinter says

    I'm your newest follower!!

    I L.O.V.E. cheap/free craft ideas. I will save this in my idea file and MAY try it – not for a looooong garland, though. lol


  32. Summerland Cottage Studio says

    Okay, it may have taken forever to create this amazing garland, but it is sooo beautiful, you will treasure it for years and I LovE it…
    thanks for sharing & happy holiday !

  33. Papi and Wee Granny says

    Here's another way:
    Fold waxed paper w/waxed sides together. Iron. Cut into 2" wide stips, fold a few times, then run through your circle punch. The stiffer paper should cut easier. Then sew the circles end to end to end to end….

    Cathy M.

  34. says

    The garland is beautiful and way cheaper than real capiz shell garlands. I see the previous poster suggested ironing the waxed paper before cutting the circles. I wondered if the circles could be punched, then ironed together with the string between the papers. May give this a try. :) A great idea and it really does look gorgeous. Thanks for sharing! ~~Rhonda

  35. says

    I am thinking I want some on my tree. :-) But thinking I will cut out and just sew together… I sewed paper leaves together to make a fall garland so this should work and make it go faster. I hope. lol…

  36. says

    Did you ever think of cutting them, doubling them over the thread, and ironing them to melt them together over the thread? If you put the two layers of wax paper between two sheets of paper and iron them on a lower setting, you can melt them together, no hot glue!

  37. julie says

    i personally think it was well worth it..and ur right…it would’ve been easier to do while watching tv or something..i’m going to try this…btw..ur tree turned out so beautiful!!..congrats!!!

    • Beth says

      Hi Shannon! I’m glad you found me too :). I did this post nearly 2 1/2 yrs ago and the garlands are still usable! I wrapped them around Coke cans to store.

      • says

        Thank you so much for your quick reply! It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas crafts! Good to know these store well. Thanks for the tip, be sure to check out my blog around Christmastime to see how these turn out, and of course, a link to you!

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