Cotton Ball Garland


Your house may look a little bare this month, once you’ve packed up the holiday decorations. And you may find yourself home with kids who are eager for a craft or distractions on a snow day or weekend. Enjoy this activity, which uses things you probably already have on hand.

This garland can be as long and as spaced out or clustered as you and your child like, and the combinations of color and materials really are endless! Display it on your mantel, over a bookshelf, across a headboard or anywhere else that strikes your fancy—just be sure it is not low enough to be an entanglement hazard for small children.


  • Cotton balls
  • Embroidery floss
  • Scissors
  • A sewing needle (if you can find one)




  • Thread a needle with a long piece of thread or floss for the garland and set aside, away from tiny hands.
  • Cut a piece of embroidery floss about 24 inches long. Leave 3 to 4 inches of thread at the beginning, like a tail. You’ll use this to tie up the floss.
  • Show your child how to start rolling the floss around the cotton ball, in all directions. (Don’t tie up the tail.)
  • When your child is almost at the end of the thread, tie what’s left to the tail piece with a double or triple knot. (You may want to do the first knot and then see if your child can do a second or third knot.) Wrap more cotton balls or continue to step four.
  • Find the needle you set aside earlier. The balls will be too dense for the needle to pass through them, so slip the needle just under the knot you made and trim any tail that remains. (Or skip the needle step and tie the ball to the garland using the tail that remained after you tied the knot.)


VANESSA VALENCIA blogs at, where this craft originally premiered, and she has an Etsy shop of the same name.

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