A garland wand or bubble garland, as it is sometimes called, is a variation of the tri-string wand made up of a series of looplets that that allows the creation of a multitude of small to medium-sized bubbles at once. They are great for filling the air with bubbles. 6-inch (15 cm.) looplets can create basketball-sized bubbles. With the right bubble juice and a little wind, you can create hundreds of bubbles with one dip of a garland.
Great for windy days! They work great even on windy days where standard tri-string wands fail.
Keith Johnson invented the Garland Wand in 2005 when he released a YouTube video announcing and open-sourcing it.]]Garland wands are easy to make. A large tri-string can be quickly converted to garland-use with twist-ties, little clips, or zip ties, but you will probably want to have a dedicated garland wand.
Types of Garlands
Regardless of the design, single strands of twine are generally not a good choice for the wand material (wick) as the loops tend to twist on themselves. Somewhat heavier/thicker or non-twisted materials (like hollow diamond-braid cord) tend to work better than string.
There are many variants of the bubble garland.
The most basic garland is a large tri-string converted into a garland by spreading out a large tri-string and gathering the midpoint of the bottom string and connecting it (with a ziptie or twist tie or by tying a piece of string to the midway point of the top-string. Continue to divide the loops in half until you have looplets of the desired size.
Keep in mind that the smaller the looplet, the more wind that is required to create bubbles. Looplets smaller than 4 inches or so across the top require quite windy conditions.
Diamond-braid cord and cotton twill have become very popular for garland construction. Cotton twill is cotton "tape" used in upholstery and clothing and can be purchased very inexpensively on the internet. (Finding appropriate twill in fabric stores can be challenging.) Composite garland looplets with diamond-braid cord for the top and t-shirt yarn for the bottom have been reported to work well also.
Looplets separated by swivels reduce the tendency for foldovers. Brian Lawrence, of SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group (RIP), has been credited with a nice modular, segmented garland design that features looplets that you can chain together to adjust the size of the loop on the fly. The design also has the advantage that the loops are less likely to become twisted together than 'standard' garlands. Essentially, each looplet has a jump ring on one side of the looplet's top-string and a fishing swivel on the opposite side. Brian uses cotton twine to secure the swivles. The smallest size cable ties (pulled very tight) are very useful for quickly securing the top and bottom strings of the looplets. Read more about Brian's design here and here.
Garlands are great fun when there are a lot of kids that would be inclined to interfere with the creation of giant bubbles. So many bubbles get produced by a nice garland that kids can gleefully chase and pop bubbles without ruining the show!
TIPS! Glowby the Bubbler recommends using the swivel without the "snap" that often comes attached. He prefers size #0 stainless steel ball-bearing swivels rather than the more common brass barrel swivels.
Tangle Resistant Garland Designs
Quick-dirty-garland wands and garlands made from twisted materials (such as twine or yarn) have a tendency to get twisted over time. To reduce tangles, use non-twisted wick materials such as diamond-braid cotton cord (with the core removed) or t-shirt yarn.
Twill/cotton tape garlands. Mr. Hisao Oono has come up with a very nice design that uses cotton twill (cotton-tape). You can use cotton twill and fabric glue or hot-melt glue to make a garland in minutes. Find out more about it here.
Other tangle-resistant designs. See A Tangle Resistant Garland Design for step-by-step guide to making another tangle-resistant garland. It is also discussed in this SBF post. Rick Findley has posted his take on the anti-foldover garland. See the Garland category index for a complete current listing of related projects.
Plastic Chain Garland
Garland wands made of plastic chains are widely used in Japan. This is a useful tool, especially if you want to generate a large amount of bubbles repeatedly. Very lightweight, and prevents muscle soreness the next day. Find out more about it here.
Many variations of the basic garland are possible.
In this video, several garlands are attached to two poles and a child's wading pool is used for the bubble juice container.
See a listing of all articles in the garland category.
Read this SBF discussion for some interesting thoughts about bubble garland designs.
Swivels (Glowby's thoughts). Glowby the Bubbler recommends size #0 ball-bearing type swivels without snaps to go between looplets or looplet groups (he uses them every two or three looplets) to reduce tangling. He notes that barrel swivels and snap swivels are more prone to getting stuck or tangling than ball-bearing style swivels. These swivels can be purchased from stores and web sites that sell fishing tackle.
Bottom/Top String ratio explorations. Some materials are more prone to "foldovers" and/or tangles than others --- in such cases having a bottom:top ratio of more than or less than the common 2:1 ratio is advantageous. Glowby discusses some experiments in this SBF post.
See more at Wands.
See this discussion on SBF.
All articles in the Garland category.