Paper Garland Tutorial

(View this tutorial in the Spring issue of Romantic Country)
Although some might consider it a sacrilege to tear apart books, we did just that to make our window valances.   It may not be politically correct but, trust me, these were books headed to recycling bin.  Our valances were a hit when friends would visit so we began making paper garlands that we offer in our shop.   It's such an easy project!  The hardest thing is finding a place to sit after you crumple all the pages.  

Step 1:  Select your Books.  The number of books you'll use will depend on the size you want the garland to be and what types of books you are working with.  Paperback books are a nice size for smaller garlands, like for draping over a mirror or a doorway.  Hardback books have thicker heavier pages that are good for larger garlands, like for window treatments for a fireplace mantle.  Vintage books have yellowed pages that are lovely against a white backdrop and most resale shops have an inexpensive selection of used books.  But they can be brittle and may fall to pieces when crumpled.  You should do a test on one or two pages before tearing all the pages out of the book.  Newer books are easier to work with and can be purchased at the dollar store.  You can always age the edges of newer books using a damp tea bag.   No matter the books you choose you should plan to use about 400-500 pages for a 4 footgarland and about 800 pages for an 8 foot garland.

Step 2:  After you've torn the pages out of your book (take them completely off the binding so you have individual pages), then taking small sections fold the pages in half and cut about a 1" slit in the center of the pages.  Be sure to do this step before crumpling the pages.  It's easier to cut a few pages at a time when they are not crumpled up.

Step 3:  Loosely crumple your pages - individually.  Believe me, trying to separate groups of crumpled pages without tearing them is not fun.
We incorporate the kids' help, put in a movie and let the paper fly.  

Step 4:  Un-crumple the pages.  I know, like you couldn't have guessed, right?!

Step 5:  Cut a length of twine as long as you want your garland, adding about a foot.  Then tie a large looping knot in one end.

Step 6:  Begin stringing the twine through the holes in the pages. 

When the garland is the length and fullness that you want, tie the other end with the same looping type knot.  Use the loops for hanging your garland.  You can add ribbons or lace if you like.

If you're the kind of person that's always looking for a fun crafty project, you've got to hop over to RandomTutorial!     It's a new site that directs you to simply click a red button and each time you do, it brings up a tutorial of a project from within the blogging community (you can search for specific projects if you want too but I personally like the little red button!). Seriously, you might be there all day so bring sustenance.

And don't forget to check out all the great handmade items at French Cupboard!


  1. Oh What A Cute Idea~ You know I have not seen this anywhere yet. I love it. Thanks for the tutorial. I am going to check out the random project site, too! Hugs- Diana

  2. Traci and I love using them for weddings! They make a great statement!

  3. So pretty!
    a beautiful and fascinating idea with little material!

  4. I love love your paper garland!! Thank you for showing us how you did it :)

  5. Darling blog!! Love your garland & tutorial :)


  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This is so pretty and looks like a great project for me to do with the grandgirls! Love getting books from the dollar store for 1 buck and ageing them myself! Great tip!

  8. Thanks for the site!
    I sat down last night and read your article. Glad you showed the pics here of doing the garland.
    They did a great job of showing your home in the mag....loved it!

  9. Great tutorial Polly....You're such a creative Polly Ana...

  10. Love Love LOVE the book page garland and so in love with the tutorial site, just went to check it out "quickly" and an hour later I'm back to say thanks, lol. Happy New Year!

  11. Wishing you all the New Year Blessings you're dreaming of - and much much more!!

    I've just become your newest follower - and I love love love your blog!!!
    If you get a minute to spare please come and visit me sometime - I'll get out my prettiest teacups and make you very welcome!

    A great tutorial - thank you - I'm going to make one to take to my daughter in France!!!

    Live, laugh, love and "be happy"!
    love and hugs
    Shane xo

  12. I adore this garland!! Thank you for sharing!!
    xo Tami

  13. thanks for sharing this is wonderful. saw these selling for 75 dollars apiece. I made it for FREE :)

  14. ¡¡Muy original¡¡


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