Introduction: Heart Book Paper Garlands

These heart garlands look beautiful as decorations for a wedding, party, or just to brighten up a room! They are quick and simple to make but very striking. Best of all, they are infinitely customisable - you can use so many different types of paper, and so many different stringing materials. You can make huge ones, tiny ones, change the number of strips that you use... but these dainty little ones made from book pages are my favourite :-)

I know some people will hate the idea of cutting a book up. The only books I craft with are ones donated to me, by charity shops and my local public library, that have broken spines, missing pages or are otherwise unsellable, and that are destined for landfill if I don't take them. There are plenty of books out there no longer fit to be read, and I believe that a new life as an awesome new item is a far more respectful end for a book than the dumpster!

Step 1: Cut Paper to Size

You will need:

  • Paper - I used old book pages, but you could use patterned paper, coloured paper, maps... whatever will co-ordinate with your chosen colour scheme!
  • Ordinary hand-held stationery stapler
  • Paper trimmer, knife and ruler, or scissors, to cut the paper
  • Hole punch
  • Something to hang your garlands from. String, twine, yarn, ribbon, fishing line... whatever you like!

And that is all! This is a really thrifty make ;-)

The first thing you will need to do is cut the paper you are using to an appropriate size. You can vary this according to your personal preference, the paper you have, the size of hearts you want etc. Whatever dimensions you choose, you will need five different lengths, and two of each length for every heart you want to make.

Mine were made of 5/8 inch wide strips, at 5.5ins, 5 ins, 4.5 ins, 4 ins and 3.5ins. I suggest that you cut some scrap paper and practise making a few with this size first - this size is easy to work with, and until you have made a few you won't get a feel for how changing the length of the strips affects the appearance of the hearts.

Step 2: Forming Your Hearts

To form the heart, take one of the second smallest strips and fold it over without creasing so that the two ends are pressed together. Take a strip of the next size up, and do the same round the outside of the first. Repeat again with the next two sizes up. You should now have four strips all looped over, and already looking like half of a heart. Add one of the smallest strips so that one end lines up with all of the ends of the strips, and the other end points straight upwards (this will be use to hang the heart). Staple the ends as close to the bottom of the strips as possible.

Repeat this process so that you have two halves of the heart.

Step 3: Fixing the Hearts

Once you have two halves of the heart, it is time to fix them together. Simply staple the two haves together as close to the bottom as you can, with both of the hanging strips in the centre. You have made your first heart!

Now, you need to repeat as many times as you need hearts. When I make hearts this size, I space them around one every 6-8 inches of garland that I need - so take the length in feet that you require of garland, and multiply this by 1.5 or 2 to get an idea of how many you need. As a rule, the more garlands you have, the further away you can space the hearts.

Step 4: Creating Garlands

To create the garlands, punch a hole through the top of the hanging strips and thread onto your stringing material. Once you have done that, your garland is complete!

I hope you like this instructable. The basic pattern is infinitely customisable, I would love to see what you come up with!

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