Monday, February 10, 2014

Anthropologie Inspired Book Garland

These days, I find myself obsessed with old book pages more than usual.

I have been looking up paper garlands in Pinterest so I can make one (or two) for my friend's daughter who is getting married in April.
There are so many beautiful options.
One I found was from Anthropologie, used in a store display.
Of course, it's a photo on flicker and not from someone's blog giving me exact directions on how to duplicate it.
Of course, this is the one I want to make.
Of course.

Can you see why?
Well, minus the tiny clothespins.

All I have to do now is get it to hang without falling apart!
So begins a lesson for the not-methodical-me.

I went to an artist's group meeting last week and the guest speaker, Aeron Brown said one of his most favorite sayings is, "Every mistake is a portal to discovery."
It's kinda life changing for me.
These seven words allow me to breath a little more and to look at what I'm doing in a different light.

I have used an entire 380 page book with this much garland. I thought it was sturdy, but every time I lift it up, it breaks apart.

It looks kinda cool laying down, but only in the photograph.
It's much better hung up.

I thought I would pass along what I have learned thus far.
Your materials are simple:
a couple of old books and a stapler or two.

Take all the pages out of the book and begin by putting two of them together.

Fold each page outward and join at the top.
I used a tiny clothespin here just so I could get a decent photo.

Next, staple the two pages together at the top.
I started out by stapling each corner, but realized later that stapling three times across gives it a little more sturdiness.
Repeat this step a thousand more times while watching the Winter Olympics.

To begin putting the garland together, insert the top of a section you have stapled into the curved bottom part of another stapled section.

Now take your stapler and staple the top into the bottom, gently fitting your stapler all the way in so you can make three staples across, again, to give it more stability.

I have to say, I am in the middle of this project and I'll have to go back to the ones I have all ready put together and try to insert a third staple to see if it holds together a little bit better.

Otherwise, I think the trick is that the garland gets pretty heavy the longer you make it, so it will need to be hung in sections.
I thought about stringing it with fishing line down the middle, but the problem would still be the same: the weight of the garland would tear the paper from the string
Makes me wonder if they SEWED the top of the two pages together.
If that's the case, I have to start all over with about 500 pieces of paper.
Which is why I'm glad I have until April.

"Every mistake is a portal to discovery".
(and I'm not so far into the project that I need to scream and then burn it and start all over, so I can say this will all gentleness and totally believe it.)

So, unless you are from the design team from Anthropologie that created this gorgeousness and can tell me the secret to hanging it, I'll be O.K. to try it this way.
No, really.
Pretty sure I'll be o.k.
It's just for one of my best friend's daughter's wedding.
No big.

Linking up with


  1. Hi Lynn... I just made an excessive amount of these for my daughters class... I cut strips....similar construction. Wondering if you cut your pages in half...they would be much lighter..just reduces the amount they stand out from the wall. Anyway..mine are on my blog if you are interested.

  2. I think you're on the right track with fishing line,but a wider piece of grograin ribbon run through the middle and then a spot of hot glue to attach might solve the problem.

  3. These are so adorably vintage cute! I love them. It's amazing what a old book and a stapler can accomplish!!! (When YOU are around....)
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  4. That is fantastic. I saw the concept but not with book pages in a store window in Savannah and snapped a picture to send to a young teacher I know. I thought it looked like waves in the window and thought she could use it in her classroom somehow. Now that you've done it as a garland and with book pages, I would like to figure out how to do it myself. I love that. I'm also going to tell the aforementioned young teacher because, well... book pages and teachers just go together like peas and carrots.

  5. I love this so far, and good luck finishing.

  6. I love this. I saw this displayed in Anthro as well and enjoyed seeing it there. I loved that you were inspired to make one yourself. Great idea to sew it. The hearts are perfect for valentines day.


  7. I haven't seen this before...it would be so pretty for a wedding...

  8. How cool my friend. I LOVE the way it looks. And I am sure you will figure out how to hang it. You will have to let us know how it turned out.


  9. Love this idea for a paper garland! I know you'll have success in hanging it...I just know it!
    Thanks for the visit,
    Mary Alice

  10. So pretty and sure it well worth the time to put it together.
    Good luck.
    Audrey Z.

  11. I am blown away by this, Lynn...absolutely love it! In fact, I will hurry through the rest of my on line visits and scoot back into my studio to play. Thanks for the demo!

  12. hmmm...I wonder if you could run ribbon through it, sewn or stapled, to carry the weight? It is lovely! You'll have to show us photos of the wedding! I'll bet you dreamed of book pages. :) Thanks for sharing this at Thrifty Life Thursday at Revisionary Life!

  13. Really pretty and a perfect garland for a wedding!