If you prefer treats to tricks and sweet to ick, this project is for you! Maker Team member Jess of @otterbeestitching found the best parts of Halloween and made them into a spooky cute garland. No need to be frightened - she's included the pattern and tips all along the way!
In the past, Halloween has not been my favorite. I’m a very sensitive person and don’t find a lot of joy in a season that’s meant to be scary. However, in the last few years - while leaning into the kawaii aesthetic I love so well - I’ve found quite a few things to love about October. Halloween color palettes are so much fun, with the vibrant oranges, poison greens and witchy purples! Pumpkins and ghosts and cats are everywhere and can be just as adorable as they are spooky. We don’t have much in the way of Halloween decor at our house, so designing a garland that’s spooky AND cute was the perfect project to dive into as Fall really settles in.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Time: 10 - 15 hours
Garland Template (click to download)
1. Print Garland Template above and cut out pieces. Cut pattern pieces from felt one element at a time or all at once and set aside in a safe place.
Garland can be made with one face and one plain back panel or double-sided. Stitching technique can be visible or hidden blanket stitching. Directions are written for double-sided garland using a hidden blanket stitch.
2. Assemble all of the pieces. Begin by using one strand of DMC B5200 and a
running stitch to secure the face to the base layer. Repeat this step for as many
faces as you need. I made two double-sided ghosts, which required four faces.
For this entire pattern, you will be working with a single strand of floss for each step. I recommend threading the needle and tying thread ends in a knot. This will keep the needle from slipping out inside the pieces.
3. Attach eyes, mouth, and cheeks using coordinating floss and a running stitch. Repeat this step for each face.
4. Line up the pieces and pin together. For the hidden blanket stitch, insert thread through the interior layer of the front piece and pull taut. Bring the needle through the interior layer of the back piece (or through just the back piece if garland is single-sided) and the interior layer of the front piece, exiting from the beginning hole. Pull until you have a small loop of thread left and pass the needle through this loop. Pull tight. You’ve made one stitch!
5. Continue making stitches in this fashion, being sure to bring the needle through only the interior layers of the piece. This technique gives the crisp blanket stitched edge along the sides of the piece, while keeping the front fluffy and smooth. To continue, bring the needle through both interior layers. Pull until there is a small loop, and pass the needle through the loop. Pull tight.
6. At the final stitch, pass the needle between layers next to the final stitch and bring it out anywhere on the front of the piece. Pull a bit snug and trim thread close to the surface. You’ve finished a ghost! Repeat steps 2-6 for as many ghosts as you like.
7. Assemble all of the pieces. Use DMC 581 and a running stitch to secure the stems to the base layer.
8. Pin the face to the base layer. Secure using DMC 741 and a running stitch.
9. Use a Frixion pen to draw curved lines for the pumpkin segments. Use DMC 741 to back stitch each curve.
10. Position eyes so that the mouth lines up with the center of each eye. Use DMC 920 and a running stitch to secure each eye.
11. Pin the front and back pieces together and blanket stitch using the hidden blanket stitch technique. Refer to steps 4-6 if needed. Use green floss when stitching around the stem and orange when stitching around the pumpkin. Repeat steps 7-11 for as many pumpkins as you like.
12. Assemble the pieces. Begin by stitching the purple face to the black base layer using DMC 35 and a running stitch.
13. Secure inner ear pieces with DMC 3042 and a running stitch.
14. Pin the head piece in place and secure using DMC 35 and a running stitch.
15. Position the eyes, nose, and cheeks. Secure each piece with coordinating floss and a running stitch.
16. Use DMC 310 to make whiskers. I stitched three whiskers per side, angling all three out from the points on the left and right sides of the nose.
17. Pin the front and back pieces together and blanket stitch. Refer to steps 4-6 if needed. Repeat steps 12-17 for as many cats as you like.
18. Gather the finished pieces and pom-poms. Lay everything out in the order it will go on the garland.
19. Cut a length of perler cotton that measures approximately 3 yards. Thread perler cotton onto the darner, leaving a 4-5” tail.
20. Beginning with the piece on the far right, string from right to left, leaving 15” of string on the right side. Keep your fingers on the needle even while it’s inside the piece. Scrunch the felt along the needle and string to get the needle out the other side. String the components about 1/3 of the distance from the top so they won't flip over once hung. I recommend stringing the ghosts even with their cheeks, the cats just below their ears and the pumpkins near the top of the shorter side.
21. Continue stringing poms and felt elements in the order laid out, spacing each item about 1/2" apart. When you reach the left end of the garland, you should have about 15” of string left. If not, trim the ends to the same length so everything is centered once finished.
22. Tie a loop on each end of string. Position knot and pull tight. Trim off any excess from the tail of the loop.
You’re ready for Halloween decorating with the perfect blend of spooky and cute! This garland is fully customizable as well. Want a gaggle of ghosts or a parade of pumpkins? Go for it!
Looking for a more vintage/muted palette instead of Halloween brights? Benzie’s got you covered! Feeling a little more artistic and want to design your own spooky cute characters to add to your garland? We’d love to see!