DIY: Waxed Paper Dot Garland

DIY Wax Paper Dot Garland

Today’s DIY is such an inexpensive way to add a fun pop of color to your wedding! Perfect for a ceremony backdrop, dessert table backdrop, photo booth backdrop or any other fun way you dream up! Big thanks to Jessica of Bramble Workshop for crafting up this DIY for us. I also wanted to introduce Jessica a bit. If you are looking for someone to help design + craft fun decor elements for your day, she is your gal! Jessica has previously worked as an Anthropologie display artist (in fact this DIY idea was created when she worked at Anthro). So if you love all the displays at Anthropologie and are looking to bring that design element into your day, email Jesssica! You can see more of her past work (including other fun decor ideas she has created for weddings) in her GWS artist profile. Thanks Jessica for sharing this fun DIY with us!

DIY Wax Paper Dot Garland Materials

Materials Needed:
Tissue paper
Paraffin wax
Kitchen twine
Rit dye (optional- I dyed the twine to match the tissue paper)
Embroidery needle
Large circle puncher (I used Fiskars Squeeze Punch X-Large.)
Old iron (I purchased one from a thrift store to use for this project)
Old crock-pot (a double boiler would also work)
Glue gun
4” chip brush

1. Cover the work surface with layers of cardboard and paper (this project is messy and the wax will melt through the top layer of paper.)
2. Heat paraffin wax in the crock-pot.
3. Spread out the first sheet of tissue paper and brush a layer of wax over the entire surface. It doesn’t need to be applied perfectly because the next step of ironing will spread the wax more evenly, but be sure that the entire surface is covered.

DIY Wax Paper Dot Garland Instructions

4. Lay a second piece of tissue paper on top of the waxed sheet (I used a slightly different shade of paper to add variation). Iron on top of the second piece, fusing the two pieces together. Most of the wax will have cooled before this step, but the iron re-melts it and saturates both layers. There will be wrinkles and imperfections in the paper – this is a good thing!

step 4 for DIY wax dot garland

5. Brush wax onto the second layer and place a third piece of tissue paper on top. Repeat ironing process. Two layers of tissue paper would probably work, but three layers makes each circle thicker and more rigid.

6. When all three layers have been ironed together, quickly peel the entire sheet off of the work surface. It’s best to pull it up before the wax has entirely cooled so that it doesn’t stick as much to the work surface. If necessary, flip the sheet over and quickly iron out wax splotches on the underside. Let it cool.

7. Fold one edge of the sheet over about 4 inches and begin punching out circles. Folding allows you to punch 2 circles at a time and gives you a clean edge to line up the puncher with. Continue folding and punching the rest of the sheet.

DIY wax dot garland

8. In order to make a bunch of strands that are the same length, mark this length with two pieces of tape on a table. Cut a piece of the kitchen twine to this length, leaving enough on either end for hanging. Tape one end down to the table to hold it in place.

9. Using the embroidery needle, push the thread through the centers of the circles. This doesn’t have to be exact – variation is good.

10. Spread the circles apart along the string at roughly equal intervals, flipped up or down.

DIY wax dot tutorial

11. Put a tiny dot of hot glue where the circle attaches to the string.

And you are done! Try layering different colors of tissue paper to create various hues. Making a bunch of strands that are the same length allows you to create a color block or ombre effect when they’re hung. Alternatively, you could hang the strands horizontally in garlands.

DIY wax dot tutorial

DIY wax paper dot garland tutorial

Thanks again to Jessica at Bramble Workshop for creating this fun DIY for us today! And if you love these but don’t have the time to make them, Jessica is selling them in her etsy store also.

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  1. This looks really cool! Looks a bit time consuming but fun!

  2. thanks for this post. It look neat and fun to make :)

  3. I think that circles of cardstock would offer a very similar look, but would require much less time and effort.

  4. Backgrounds like these are so fun! They make for such fun pictures!

  5. did i miss what the rit dye was for? I don’t see where it was used….

  6. This is so lovely! What a great idea to cover tissue paper with wax. Much easier to manipulate! I made a garland similar to this a while ago, but this one is MUCH better!

    Shared with my readers today:

  7. thank you!it look easy to make,but beautifull!

  8. This is extremely cute! I had no idea a huge hole cutter existed! I’ve got to go and look for one, great!

  9. love this idea!! can’t wait to try it!

  10. How do you think these decorations would hold up in the heat? I’d love to do this for my summer wedding, but I’m worried about the wax being in a hot car for transportation or becoming droopy at my outdoor reception. Any experience with hot weather?

  11. I love this idea. Are the circles just 2″ in diameter? Based on the recommended paper punch it looks that way, but they look bigger in the pictures.

  12. I am working on this project right now for my wedding. Quick question, is there a certain amount of time that needs to elapse before using the hole punch? I am finding that the hole punch is cutting most of it, yet it tears a little towards the bottom. Did this happen to anyone else?

  13. Jen, I love this idea. I did a chandelier that was made out of just plain white wax paper. I was wondering how I would be able to add pops of color to the next one I made, whether it be coloring it with crayons or what-not. But this seems to work wonders. One question…does the wax from the tissue paper transfer to your iron? When I did it with wax paper, I used parchment paper underneath and on top while I was ironing it.


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