How cute are these! I'm not even sure how this idea came to me (and it has probably already come to someone else out there too...) but I started thinking about how sometimes when you stretch plastic it warps it and creates a sort of lettuce edge. I gave it a try and they turned out super cute. So with just using a cheap plastic tablecloth you can create bunches of darling ruffled streamers.
This streamer above was the white version I tried a few weeks ago. Now, these plastic streamers might not work for someone who is a total perfectionist and needs everything to look super finished and polished. For me, however, these are perfect! My first intro to ruffled garlands was from the radically talented Jenny of Hank and Hunt. Hers are made from fabric and are gorgeous but since my sewing skills are elementary at best, there was is chance that I could recreate those. If by chance you are a sewing maven, go check out her tutorial here. When I read it I thought for a very brief second that I might be able to, in fact, give them a shot. But alas, no way.
I have a bunch of plastic tablecloths on hand so I'm not sure of the exact cost but I would have to say each would be between $1 and $2. And because I get bored very easily when putting together a tutorial, I didn't cut the whole cloth to see how many garlands you could get out of it. Here is my estimate: a bunch, ok I'd guess about 15 depending on the width you cut. I'd also like to point out the wrinkles in my cute fabric tablecloth. Ain't no chance I'm going to be ironing things before I do a tutorial. Given that most of them take place during a nap time, and I'm lazy, chances are good that you will be seeing wrinkles in most of my instructions.
Do not unfold the tablecloth once you take it out of the package. You will want to find the side with the end of the tablecloth, not the fold, so when you cut you will get a strip. And thanks to that last sentence I could quite possibly be the worlds worst tutorialist. Cut as many strips as you want.
If only I had a third hand this portion of the tutorial would be more informative. Basically you will want to the plastic in one hand between your thumb and pointer finger and hold the plastic the same way in the other hand right next to the first hand. And pull your thumbs away from each other. Give it a test so you can figure out how much and how far you should stretch it. The good thing about these is that they are never going to come out exactly the same as the last stretch so variety is fine. Also, you will tear the plastic once in a while. As long as you haven't torn it clear through to the other side, it is also fine. The tear sort of ruffles as well and blends in. I wouldn't point the tears out to my party guests but I would totally use the garland.
Stretch down one length of the plastic strip and then flip the strip over and do the other side.
I did this when my husband was out of the house. When he got home he thought they were really cool but swears it must be too time consuming. Uh, hullo! I did it! It's totally not time consuming. And this is one of those party projects you could easily do while watching tv. I even tried putting two strips of the plastic on top of each other to stretch two at once. It worked great!
I'm not sure if you all have heard but California had some "weather" this weekend. It was freezing outside the day I did this (you guys, it was like 54). So I literally stapled these babies up, took as many pictures as I could and ran back inside. I could have hung them up cuter but quite frankly my fingers were beginning to get frost bite (yes, I'm a baby). But here is the amazing thing. They are still up in my backyard as we speak. They have been outside through rain, hail, wind and sun. They look exactly the same as when I first put them up. These would be so great for anywhere that is windy or has lots of moisture in the air.
They are also SUPER lightweight. Although I used my staple gun I am pretty sure that depending on what type of surface you are trying to attach to, most kinds of tape should be able to hold them.
I think what I like most about the idea of using a plastic tablecloth to make really cheap, really cute ruffles is that you can make a ton for next to nothing. I can see using a ton of them, all different colors for a crazy photobooth back drop. Which would cost you around $5. While it does take some of your time to make them, you could make a huge impact with these around your party.
I also wondered if you could do it around the edge of the tablecloth to get a super girly ruffly look. You totally can! Don't judge my composition. I was working against the clock here people.
Wait, what's that you say, Sharon. It was freezing outside the day you did this tutorial? Oh and there is your son barefoot out on the freezing concrete with no jacket. And to you I say, yes. You are right. I think this shall secure the sarcastic mother of the year award for me. But I just needed one quick picture of this last garland. This is made from a black utility trash bag. I just needed to see if it would work. It did.