How to Make a Sweet Paper Dress Garland

by Trish Turay

My sweet niece is approaching a big milestone–her 2nd birthday is around the corner.  I wanted to do something special for her bedroom that was girlie and sweet.  As a bonus, this garland will be part of her birthday party decor on the fireplace, ready to greet guests.

I headed toward my stash and grabbed a bunch of my embellishments.


–Patterned Paper


–Decorative Brads, Pearls, Rhinestones


–Border punches



–Decorative edge scissors

–Wooden mini clothes pins


Template for Dress (click to download pdf)

Start by tracing this pattern onto decorative scrapbook paper and cutting it out.  Along the bottoms and sleeves of the dresses, I chose to use zig zag scissors and scalloped edge scissors for some variety.  Feel free to get creative and use border punches too.

As for pattern and color, I went for bright and cheery.  I did try to stick with smaller scaled printed paper, simply because a large print on a smaller dress looked off.

For a more girlie girl look, go with all pink.  For a tea party, you might want to try pastels and such to go with that fancy/frilly theme.  Easter is around the corner–you could make one of these garlands and call it “Sunday Best.”  Oh, the possibilities!

I ended up making 9 dresses for this banner.

You can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.  For some, I simply used a decorative paper border and a button or two.  I elected to not add bling on these, because of the “sweet and simple” dresses.  I cut a doily as an apron on one dress.  I used actual lace on a couple dresses.  It felt good to use what I had on hand, and I didn’t get hung up on making everything match.  Feel free to actually sew on the dresses, too!

When you’re finished, simply hang the dresses by clothes pins on a thin piece of ribbon and enjoy!!

And there you have it–a simple decorative banner at your fingertips.


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19 Responses to How to Make a Sweet Paper Dress Garland

  1. Jess March 23, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    I LOVE these :) This is definitely a project I’ll be working on to use as decoration at my daughter’s 1st birthday party. Using it in her room after that is a great idea :) THANKS so much for sharing the template and project plans!

  2. gabbe March 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    so super cute! thanks for the wonderful tutorial & pattern! my daughter (she’s 5) will LOVE making these with me! :)

  3. Karen Keiper March 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    judt gorgeous

  4. Raylene March 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    OMG! I love these! I will be making a set for my fireplace! At Christmas I hang Santa’s laundry up and this cute one with Spring dresses just made my day! In fact I might even use some of my quilting stash with heat and bond on cardboard . . lots of possibilities!!

  5. Lajuana Burkman July 27, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    This post is a walk-through for all the information you wanted but didn’t know who to ask. Thanks for the remarkable post.

  6. Erika April 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Thank you for this – adorable!

  7. Marthese April 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    What a gorgeous project….

  8. Sheryl August 3, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    I am planning a tea party this summer with some younger girls who did a book club. It will be our last time meeting so this will make a fun garland that they can help decorate before hand. I will hang it the following meeting. love your idea keep them coming

  9. Desiree December 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    SO adorable! I’ll cut them out of fabric scraps and glue on my sewing paddern folders. Thanks so much for sharing:)!

  10. Bonnie April 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    This was just great for my granddaughter of 9 years to work with me on. Very stylish & helps give her a creative mind for design. I love scrapbooking myself, do alot of photo books & box works.

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Suzette July 4, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Thank you for the idea and free template. I will be putting a craft table during my baby shower, offering these. The products will be displayed in the hospital room, on the baby candy buffet I am offering my guests who come to visit!

  12. Screendoorgirl 3 September 18, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    This is so beautiful..Great job!

  13. Gioia September 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Perfect! The women of our church are “buying” a dress for each little girl in a particular orphanage in India, (yes, outfits for the few boys as well!) Actually, we are raising the money and local Indian ladies will sew the dresses. We are having a Grace Party in January to have it all come together and we planned to make little dresses JUST like the ones above :) We hope to “buy” 100 little dresses for these girls. Each dress bought will be represented by a paper dress on the night and each person who “buys” a dress will receive one to remind them of the child who will be wearing it. Thank you for posting!!

  14. Vicki savva August 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea … could adapt it for boys as well with cute overalls ?

  15. Anika February 27, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    excellent points altogether, you just won a
    new reader. What might you recommend in regards to your post that you simplly made
    some days in the past? Any positive?

  16. Nancy January 20, 2019 at 4:40 pm #

    What a precious little girly banner. I think it would be so cute for a baby girl shower too.


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