Monday, February 10, 2014

How To Make a Book Page Bunting

We {love} posting all of our pieces of furniture in their refinished fabulousness,
but we started thinking there are so many projects we have worked on over the years,
projects that allow us crazy, chaotic, creative people to try new things and see where it takes us. 
So we decided it's high time that we started posting some
"How To"
tutorials to share in our creative journey.....the good, the bad, and the ok let's try that one again projects.  So here goes Folks!  Hope you enjoy!

For our very first tutorial we thought we'd share how we created this fabulous book bunting a couple of weeks ago.  Bunting is such a great item to have.  It's perfect for easy every day decorating, fabulous for a photo prop, and you'll get rave reviews if you use something like this at your next party!  We know that there are examples of these are all over Pinterest and other blogs in a variety of versions, but we wanted to share what we tried and how it worked for us.

 A few weeks ago at a girl's night out with a couple of my besties, we decided to try our hand at an old book page valentine-themed bunting.  Here is how mine turned out above.  The thing I love most about this project is that there are no can pretty much do WHATEVER you want!!  I love projects like that that allow me to individualize what I'm creating.  So as you can see, it was a pretty simple project that took about an hour and a half....and probably could have been done much quicker if we would've focused more on the craft and less on the girl talk, dirty Diet Cokes and yummy treats that were available! :-)

I was so happy with how my first bunting turned out, I decided that I wanted to make another one.  However, this time I wanted to create something that would be the perfect staging accent when taking pictures of our finished furniture items.  I wanted something that was bright and colorful, that would blend well but still stand out on it's own.

Another thing I love about this type of project is that it was EXTREMELY inexpensive!!  In fact, the bunting I created cost me a grand total of $0.00!!!  That's right, absolutely nothing out of pocket.  Everything I used I found in my own home!  So it can definitely be one of those "use what ya have" projects!

First things first, you need to have old book pages.  Throughout the years I've purchased several books from local thrift stores (Deseret Industries & Savers are our local hot spots).  Most of the time you can find books for just a couple of dollars each.  They are great accent pieces for decorating, but I decided it was time to use these for another purpose so I grabbed a stack and went to work.

 Next you want to decide what "type" of pages you want to use for your bunting.  You'll find that some book pages are really yellowed from years of use.  Some have very condensed lettering while others have a larger printed font.  It's really a personal preference.  For this particular project, I decided I wanted something a little lighter so I took pages from what was likely the newest book in my stash to have pages that were more white without a yellow hue.

 As you tear your pages out of the book, you'll notice that sometimes they don't tear out as cleanly as you would like.  So what I do is just take a pair of scissors and trim the edges to make them all straight.

 Next up...embellishments.  I scoured my craft room to find buttons, ribbon, lace, flowers, and other accent pieces that I thought would coordinate and give me the look I was going for.  The beauty of this project is that you can really make your bunting as extravagant or as simple as you like.  So don't be afraid to try anything and see where your creativity takes you! 

If you do need to purchase items, scrapbook paper, ribbon & lace remnants, old jewelry, buttons and other odds and ends are a good place to start.  You could probably spend less than $10.00 at your local craft store and get more than enough for your project.

 Your next decision in this project will involve how you want your pages to be shaped.  As you can see, in my first attempt I did a combinationo of scalloped edges and pointed edges.  Again, it's really up to you and could depend a lot on what you're using your bunting for.  For this second bunting that I was creating, I knew I wanted to be able to use it when taking pictures of our finished pieces, so I didn't want a lot of paper that would cover up the piece.  Therefore, I decided to do a triangle shape for this project.

 So here's where you'll find out a little secret about me!  I'm not really a "math" kinda gal.  I don't like measuring things, I'm not one for figuring out exact dimensions of things to make them perfectly even.  Let's just say that I appreciate quirkiness and uniqueness...I think it adds character!!  Or at least that's my story and I'm stickin to it!  So rather than get out the ruler to get the exact measurements on this bunting, I created my own process, and let me say for the record...I think it worked just fine!  :-)

To find the center of the book page to mark where the point of the triangle would be, I gently folded the paper in half and with my thumb and finger pinched it together to create a small line at the bottom of the page.

 Here is a picture of the crease, barely detectable but enough so that I could determine where the bottom point of my triangle would be.

And here's where it gets even more scientific....I couldn't find a ruler in my house, so I just grabbed the straightest thing I could find that was long enough to cover the page, which just happened to be a pink file folder, and drew my cutting lines.  Don't judge! did the job! :-)

 So now you can see that even without rulers and exact measurements, we've still managed to create a pretty decent triangle shape to use for our bunting.

 You can create as many pages as you want, depending on how long you want your bunting to be.  It's a general rule of mine to do things in odd numbers.  It just looks better when complete.  And I knew I didn't want something that was really long, so seven seemed like a pretty good number to me!

 Now onto the fun part of the project....EMBELLISHMENTS!!  I love this part.  If you're more methodical and like to plan things out, you'll probably want to set out your book pages and design each one with embellishments before attaching everything together.  That way you'll get just the look you want.  Again, I'm more of a "let's see what this looks like" girl and so I enjoy seeing a project develop as I go.  I may have an idea in my head, but I just let my fingers go to work and see what happens. 

For this particular project, I really liked the way the pre-cut paper flowers and buttons added just the right amount of color without too much "fluff and frilly," so that's what I went with.

You can really use any kind of glue that you like --- Elmer's, rubber cement, spray adhesive, or even double-stick tape.  I use my glue gun for just about everything (as you can see by's not a pretty glue gun but it clearly has been a dependable sidekick for a long, long time!).

 Next up, figuring out the best way to string all the book pages together to create the bunting.
In our valentine bunting we folded the tops of the pages over some jute, which created the perfect look. 
For this bunting I wanted something a little different, so I opted to use some wide blue ribbon I had laying around.  I liked how the color complimented the embellishments and just seemed to give it a more "finished" look.  Again, I just used the glue gun to attach.

One thing to remember when using a glue gun is that its really hard to get a smooth finish.  Unless you use very little glue and spread it around as it comes out, you might get some bumps and ridges under whatever it is you are gluing.  Just something to keep in mind :-) 

 As much as I loved the blue ribbon, when I was done I still felt like it needed just a little something more.  I've had some white pom-pom trim forever and have been dying to use it on a project, but hadn't found anything.....until NOW!  This was the perfect way to finish off the bunting!  I love how the pom-poms add a touch of whimsy and fun!  Again, those were glued on with the glue gun, and after a few burned fingers {ouch!}....

 My cute and colorful book page bunting was COMPLETE!!  :-)

Easy peasy and I was done in just over an hour!  A great afternoon project that has a much greater impact on your decor than you would think!

Now all I had to do was find a cute place to hang it up so I could show it off!!

I can hardly wait to use this when I photograph our next piece of finished furniture! 
In the meantime...
I love it as part of my home decor -- it makes me so smile every time I look at it -- so I think it will stay there for just a little while longer!

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