Love felt Christmas garlands? This adorable gingerbread and candy cane garland is the perfect way to decorate your tree, mantle or doorway—and it comes with a free printable template to help you easily make this craft at home!
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If this is your first time here, there’s something you need to know: I LOVE felt crafts.
There’s just so much you can do with felt. Have kids? Create a homemade felt board and felt shapes for story time and imaginative play. Love Christmas? Create pretty felt garlands for your Christmas tree.
As it happens, we’re starting to have quite the collection of felt Christmas garlands.
I just can’t help myself—they’re so pretty and versatile, and fabric garlands also a lot less likely to break when our kids tug on them or our cats try to climb up the Christmas tree and end up knocking it over instead.
(I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be able to keep breakable ornaments for quite some time. We even had to take down all our bird ornaments this year because our cats kept trying to hunt and kill them… but I digress.)
If you love felt as much as I do, you’ll love this DIY gingerbread Christmas garland. And because I like to make things easier for you (and myself), I’ve even created a free printable craft template for you to download.
So break out the felt and start making this beautiful homemade decoration that can hang on your tree, mantle, doorway or staircase—or, if you’re crafting with kids, consider using paper, cardboard or foam and giving them free rein to decorate all the shapes!
How to Use a Felt Template
There are several ways to cut felt from a template, but as far as this project is concerned, I have two suggestions for you to use (and one is better than the other). For more detailed instructions with pictures, check out my full tutorial for making a DIY Santa’s Clothesline Garland.
1. How to Cut Felt Using Freezer Paper
The first method is the freezer paper method.
Freezer paper is similar to wax paper, but it has a paper size and a wax side. The freezer paper method of cutting felt involves printing the template on the paper side of the freezer paper and ironing it onto the felt. (I recommend placing a layer of parchment paper between the iron and the freezer paper to protect the printed lines.)
The heat from the iron will melt the wax just enough to make the freezer paper adhere to the felt. When this happens, simply cut along the printed lines with sharp scissors and gently peel off the freezer paper to reveal your shapes!
This is my preferred method and the one I recommend, as it involves fewer steps and makes it easier to make precise cuts.
2. How to Cut Felt Using a Fabric Marking Pen
If you can’t find freezer paper or don’t want to have to take out an iron for this project, you may prefer the fabric marking pen method.
This method is quite simple. Simply print out the template on regular printer paper, use scissors to cut out the shapes and trace them on the felt using chalk (for dark-coloured felt) or a fabric marking pen (for light-coloured felt).
Then, use sharp scissors to cut along the lines you traced and create your shapes.
The ink from fabric marking pens usually disappears as soon as it’s exposed to water, or after it’s been exposed to air for a certain amount of time. So there shouldn’t be any trace of it on your finished craft.
But I personally avoid this method because it involves more steps, and it makes it harder to make precise cuts.
Like this project?
Get the templates to create the accompanying garlands:
…or get the whole set (including the extended Santa’s clothesline template with socks and undergarments)!
How to Make a Felt Gingerbread & Candy Cane Garland
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own felt gingerbread garland at home:
- My free gingerbread garland template, which you can download using the form below (there’s another form at the bottom of the article if you’d rather keep reading)
- Freezer paper and iron (if using Method 1 as described above)
- Fabric marking pen (if using Method 2 as described above)
- Felt in red, white and brown
- Sharp scissors (sewing scissors will work best)
- Tacky glue
- White puffy paint or dimensional fabric paint
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- String or yarn (I used red, white and green yarn)
Note: When working with felt, it’s best to avoid regular white school glue as it tends to soak through the felt and leave dark patches. If you don’t have any tacky glue and are wondering whether something else could work, click here to find out more about glueing felt.
1. Print Template
Start by downloading and printing my free gingerbread garland template. If you’re using Method 1, print it on freezer paper; if you’re using Method 2, print it on regular printer paper.
2. Cut Felt According to Template
Using one of the methods described above, cut the felt according to the lines on the template. Simply cut around the outlines of the shapes and ignore the details—they’re there to help you assemble the candy canes, but you don’t need to worry about them just yet.
The gingerbread cookies should be made from brown felt. As for the candy canes, you’ll need four white ones and four red ones. (Pages 3 and 4 of the template each contain four candy canes, so you should use a different colour of felt for each.)
3. Assemble Candy Canes
Match up the white and red candy canes into four pairs.
Then, lay the white shapes down on your work surface and start cutting along the lines of the red shapes, carefully placing all the pieces on top of each white shape until it’s completely covered.
Once you’ve cut and laid out all the red pieces, use tacky glue to glue half of them to the white base, alternating pieces to create red stripes on the white candy canes.
Keep the extra pieces in place to help you position the ones that you’ll be glueing. Once all the stripes have been glued on, feel free to remove and discard the extras.
4. Decorate Gingerbread Men & Women
Using white puffy paint or white dimensional fabric paint, decorate your faux gingerbread cookies the same way you’d decorate a gingerbread cookie with royal icing. Feel free to get creative with your designs and/or let your kids have fun with this!
5. Let Dry
Let the fabric paint dry overnight. Once it’s fully dry, you can move on to the next step.
6. Braid Yarn (Optional)
It’s almost time to assemble the garland! But first, there are a couple different options to consider.
If you want to keep things simple, you can use a regular piece of rope or yarn to assemble the garland. Feel free to experiment with colours like white, brown or green depending on how much you want it to blend in with the branches of the Christmas tree.
If you want to dress up the garland a little, you also have the option of braiding several pieces of yarn together like I did—I chose red, green and white because it seemed like the Christmasy thing to do!
If you do this, just make sure to cut longer pieces of yarn than you think you’ll need, because they will become shorter when braided.
To make things easier, start with a knot and tape it to a table to prevent the braid from sliding all over the place as you work.
7. Assemble Garland
Arrange the gingerbread boys, gingerbread girls and candy canes in whichever order they’ll be placed on the garland.
Mine went: boy, candy cane, girl, candy cane, boy, candy cane, girl, candy cane, boy. I also chose to alternate the direction of the candy canes because I liked the way it looked.
Use a hot glue gun to attach all the felt shapes to the rope or braided yarn you’ve chosen to use. Since hot glue dries almost instantly, you’ll be able to immediately hang your finished garland on your Christmas tree or mantle!
Doesn’t it look so cute? I attached mine on either end, but you can also hook it onto multiple branches if you prefer.
Related Christmas Garland Ideas
Looking for more felt garland ideas to hang on your Christmas tree? Check out these templates:
- FREE Printable Template for Santa’s Clothesline Garland
- Printable Template for Mrs Claus Clothesline Garland
- Printable Template for Santa’s Elf Clothesline Garland
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