I've been busy. Verrry busy lately! I'm working on making my doily bowl centerpieces and all other things wedding, as inexpensively as possible. This means I'm utilizing my local dollar stores and I've been going over them with a fine-toothed comb to find just the right balance of economical and "not-dollar-store-ish." I wanted some type of garland-banner to hang around my wedding reception area. I'm also trying to combine Stefan (the fiance)'s love of literature and my love of art in subtle ways that aren't kitchy. Hence, the book garland.
(Please excuse the messy house background. Like I said, I've been immersed in crafts!)
Book from the dollar store (Dollar Tree has an abundance of books, surprisingly good selection!)
Heart-shaped paper punch
Twine (preferably not the scratchy, splintery type, but that's just my preference)
Paper cutter or scissors, if you are patient
Wax paper (optional for cleanliness)
First, disassemble your book. Tear off the front and back cover and tear off as much of the actual binding material as you can, until you get down to the pages. At this point they are still all connected. Take 5-10 pages at a time and tear off the full pages of the book. Using your paper cutter, cut into even sections (since my book was 9 inches on the longest side, I cut three sections, three inches wide each. At this time, if you haven't yet, you need to separate your pages into individual pieces of paper. It is kind of like tearing pages off of a small notepad. Remove the excess book binding material by just pulling it off. It should come off cleanly.
Once you are sick of cutting paper, start folding those pieces in half width-wise. Then take your folded papers (one at a time), and turn it so that when you look at the edges of the folded paper, the crease is at the top and the open end is at the bottom. Then use your heart-shaped punch to punch out a heart shape in the paper, being sure to punch through both sides of the fold at once. Rinse and repeat.
Now you need to unwind some of your twine and lay some wax paper on your workspace. Keeping your punched papers at the same orientation described above (the hearts should be right-side up), unfold one paper and put glue on the whole thing (I like things to be secure!). Leave about a 10-inch tail and lay your twine across the crease you see inside the paper. then you fold the paper back together, trying to match up the hearts as closely as possible. Repeat this process, spacing the "flags" about a "flag-width" apart from each other. You can space them how you like, but I hate measuring things, and this was an easy width to estimate.
Now you may lay the banner out to dry and clean up your mess--but WAIT! Don't throw away your heart-shaped clippings you have strewn about you. I plan to scatter them down the aisle as decoration, and put them around centerpieces at the reception. You could also use it as confetti to throw in lieu of rice. Enjoy!