Life before Vietnam:
In my life before Vietnam, I was a fabric hoarder. I had worked at a creative re-use/discard centre* in Brisbane, Australia, and whilst it was a place of wonder, it was a very, very dangerous place for a hoarder such as myself. You see, every week we would receive around two tonnes of amazing materials – clean offcuts, disused stock, factory overruns and other incredible industrial discards. The donated materials would be sifted through and sorted, before making their way on to the warehouse floor for sale at low cost. My textile antennae were always on high alert and, as soon as new fabric stock was on the floor and purchase-ready, I would be out there, combing through the offcuts, swatches, sample books, disused rolls… It broke my hoarding heart when my prized fabric collection, with which I mostly did nothing aside from occasionally stare at in awe, was eventually donated back to my workplace as I prepared to leave Australia for Vietnam.
Well, those hoarding days are behind me now, mostly due to the fact that there is nowhere like my former workplace in Vietnam. However! In our Very Ngon workshop, we do have quite a good stash of fabric offcuts. While we always try to minimize the amount of waste we generate, sadly we always have offcuts. The pieces that we can’t upcycle into new products such as coasters, phone pouches and other smaller items, we keep ‘just in case’.
Fast forward to the mother of all lockdowns:
On 9 July, Ho Chi Minh City went into lockdown – curfews, no venturing out for exercise (just food and medical emergencies), fines for breaches, and so on. As the weeks rolled by and, unsure how long lockdown would last, I started to ponder product shots I could take in home. I needed a simple decorative backdrop – we had excess fabric in earthy colours & shades; there was a length of rope from previous bazaars; we had scissors; I was inspired; we were all systems GO. Et viola! A delicious looking garland in off-white, creams and beiges.
Easy peasy garland creation:
While I have added a couple of links below that include garland-creation instructions (each with slightly different attaching suggestions), it really is very easy to do. All you need are some scissors, a length of something to attach the strips to (twine, rope, ribbon, a strip of material, perhaps even wire) and some fabric bits and pieces. Or go crazy and re-use your children’s outgrown clothes, your old party frocks/shirts, those kitschy kitchen curtains you can’t bear to throw out, your well-worn vintage table cloths, those gorgeous pieces of fabric that are gathering dust, perhaps even your retired tea towels …
You just need to tear the fabric lengths into strips and attach by tying onto the length of rope. It’s a quick, creative way to repurpose fabric offcuts or previously loved household textiles into decorative photo backdrops, décor for the boudoir, decoration for a child’s party or celebratory decor (think Christmas, baby showers, birthdays, weddings), etc, etc. So, go get your creative on and get garlanding.
PS. Watch out for my garland featured as a backdrop in future social media pic posts.
DYI Fabric Garland: https://www.hgtv.com/design/design-blog/how-to/diy-fabric-garland
Little Miss Momma: https://www.littlemissmomma.com/2013/07/diy-fabric-garland.html
*Reverse Garbage in Brisbane: https://reversegarbagequeensland.com.au/
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