Embroidered Book Page Garland

You guys!  This is Justin’s final week here – so sad.  Friday is his last day and then he leaves me for stupid stuff like friends and family and a college degree.  Whatever.  I am definitely going to miss his adorable face and his awesome DIY ideas.  Like, for instance, this garland, which I love so much.  When he showed it to me, I couldn’t stop saying “ohmigod it’s so cute!” and so I made him write a tutorial for you.  And here he is, cute little Justin and his garland tutorial . . .

Everyone knows that the environment surrounding a pregnant woman has a profound effect on her child.  For example, listening to classical music is said to make a child more intelligent.  I made a banner recently that would be perfect for giving a fetus a bent toward literacy. Using embroidery floss and the pages from an old book, I fashioned a party garland just perfect for a baby shower.

book page embroidered garland diy tutorial baby shower

It is fully customizable by content and color.  A vintage children’s book full of primary-colored illustrations would make such a beautiful garland with brightly colored floss. Or you could use the pink and blue scheme like I did for a baby shower.  Wedding color schemes could be incorporated.  It’s basically begging to be personalized.

At any rate, this is a simple, sweet, inexpensive ($3 total) and (imo) beautiful project.  Enjoy.

- Book pages (I find the age-browned pages of a vintage hardback work best)
- Embroidery floss
- Darning needle
- Scissors
- String
- Clothes pins

embroidered book page garland tutorial

In order to hide the stitching on the back side, I removed the pages by section (pages are sewn together in groups then sewn into the binding).  Remove a page couplet.  Lightly write the letter you want to sew on the page in pencil.  Thread the needle with approximately six feet of embroidery floss (amount varies depending on the letter).  Affix the end by tying the floss in a knot and sewing a backstitch before starting.  Begin following your pencil lines with a simple up-and-down (running) stitch.  The visible stitches should be about 1/2 inch long with similar size gaps between them.  Make sure you’re only sewing through one layer.  Once you have finished the initial shape, go back through the same holes (retracing the shape backwards) filling in the gaps.  The “under” stitches should now be covered by “over” stiches and vice versa.  To make the symbol thicker, go back and wrap the floss around your stitches at a diagonal.  Once you finish, tie off the thread.  Use a small piece of floss to sew the pages together. I used a simple “X” in the corner.  Attach to string with clothes pins and hang.

Use a light hand. Pulling too hard may cause the paper to rip.  If you find your pages are too fragile, try backing them with card stock in between the two layers of book paper.  If the page rips, you can cover it up by making a really long stitch and doubling up on the wrapping step.

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Filed under MADE IT

9 responses to “Embroidered Book Page Garland

  1. jess mccloud

    Holy Moly, I LOVE this idear ;-D It’s like both of my worlds mashed together, having managed a bookstore for 6 years and I know a thing or two about embroidery. Thanks for the sharing Justin! I’m going to do this for my baby shower in September. It’s going to be perfect. xo

  2. vsheaffer

    I totally thought the same thing, Jessica – it’s perfect for you!

  3. jess mccloud

    Okay, I have to share this toosle, because I am totally inspired by Justin ;-)
    My invitations will be old kids book pages, with the info for all the baby shower stuff, registry etc… and then I will embroider those. That will be the perfect start and intro to our baby shower. I’m so excited. Starting to make these like now….xo

  4. how adorable! i think these would be great for a spring tea party too :)

    goodbye justin! have a safe trip home :)

  5. This is such a sweet idea that could really be customized for any occasion. Love it! Thank you!
    Neaten Your Nest

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