Sometimes you just need a fun project for a rainy day. Or maybe you’re having a poetry tea time or book club meeting and want to use books as decorations. Or, perhaps (gasp!) a pet or a child destroyed a book, and you can’t bear to throw it away!
If you find yourself in any of these situations (or if you, for some other reason, have a book that has fallen apart but that you’d like to use in a creative way), this step-by-step tutorial on how to make a book page garland is for you! This is a simple and inexpensive way to repurpose an old book. It’s perfect for decorating the fireplace mantle, a reading nook, or a homeschool space. This is a really fun project and can add an unexpected bit of creativity to any room.
Written by Erin of Nourishing My Scholar.
Last week I discovered that our cat had mangled a beloved copy of The Lord of the Rings! Not only had she shredded numerous pages but also threw up on the back cover for good measure. Then, our dog got in on the action and ate a chunk of the pages! Our pets seem to have a personal vendetta against this particular book.
I wanted to cry!
We are a family of book lovers. Library visits and read alouds are a major part of our homeschool. To see a book desecrated in such a way just about broke my heart. This has never happened before, and I just couldn’t throw it away.
So, I started thinking of a way to salvage or repurpose what was left of the book. (We homeschoolers are a creative bunch!)
How to Make a Book Page Garland
I got it into my head that it would be lovely to create a paper garland to hang on our fireplace mantle. I would never tear up a book on purpose, BUT if I already had one that was torn up, then I wouldn’t feel guilty about this type of book craft.
This paper garland actually turned out to be a fun mom project! It’s something you could do while the kids are reading quietly or later at night after they’ve gone to bed. However, it’s also an easy enough craft to do with the kids if you want to!
The supplies you’ll need to make your own DIY book page garland are pretty simple and affordable:
- an old worn book you don’t mind cutting up – Our book was over 1,000 pages and was 5×8 inches. Your garland will vary based on the number of pages and size of your book. You could also pick an old dictionary or favorite series from a used bookstore. I’ve even found great old books at a local-to-me thrift store.
- hole punch
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Book Garland
1. To start, you’ll want to pull the cover and binding off of the book.
2. Next, you’ll want to crumple each page. This will give it more of a rumpled look when finished.
Don’t worry if the pages tear a little while you are making the garland. Trust me, if my cat and dog can shred bits of ours, nobody will notice if parts of yours aren’t perfect. I think it adds character!
3. Then you’ll fold each page in half. Not perfect folds, but a little off-center. I made sure I wasn’t folding them all the same.
4. Using the hole punch, punch a hole about an inch from the fold.
5. Cut a piece a twine the length that you would like your garland to be. Tie a knot at one end leaving about 12″ for hanging.
6. String the pages onto the twine.
7. Once you’ve got all the pages on the twine, give them some turns here and there. Fluff them out a bit so they are not perfectly lined up. Then, tie a large knot in at the end of the twine leaving 12″ on the end to use for hanging.
8. Drape it wherever you’d like and enjoy it!
It’s pretty neat to have the entire The Lord of the Rings trilogy decorating our mantle! It’s something special that I’ve read aloud to my children many times, and now it has found new life enhancing the beauty of our stone fireplace.
Have you ever found the need to repurpose an old book? If so, what did you do with it?
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This article is perfect for all ages! Just adapt the books, themes, and snacks accordingly!
Or maybe you’d rather start a book club? You’ll find some information here about why it’s a great idea and how to get started!
Erin Vincent is a homeschooling mom to two intense kids. They are child led with a heavy emphasis on read alouds, games, art, nature hikes, and hands on science! They traded the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet farm life where opportunities for exploration in nature abound. When they're not homeschooling you'll find Erin curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book!. You can find Erin at Nourishing My Scholar.