Monday, February 13, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Heart Garland

It's Valentine's Day! I'm excited to share my new favorite handicraft with you today! If you are as addicted to Pinterest as I am, you have probably seen something like this:


 And, if you're a sucker for whimsical paper creations like I am, you probably pinned it. This particular garland, with four hearts on it and with personalized paper, is selling on Etsy for $15. Cheapskate that I am, I took one look at this listing and smirked to myself, "I can do that for waaaay cheaper!"

These hearts are fairly easy to make. If you wanted to, you could just look closely at the picture and figure it out yourself. That's what I did with my first one. But, just in case there's someone out there who doesn't want to figure out all the measurements and what-not, take heart! I've done that part for you!

You will need:
A stapler
A craft or utility knife
A straight-edge cutter
A book that you're willing to cut up (at least 9 inches tall)
A hole punch
Something to string the hearts together--twine, wire, ribbon, etc.
(Please note that the pineapple is optional. I just thought it might add to the sweetness of your crafting, actually, I was too lazy to move it out of the way.)

To make one heart, cut several pieces of paper out of the book using your utility or craft knife. Cut each page into strips that are 1.5 inches wide. Trim one strip to 5.5 inches high. Trim two strips to 6.5 inches high. Trim two more to 8 inches high, and another two to 9 inches high.

More bars, more places...even if it's upside-down!

 On your 5.5" strip, make a mark 2.75 inches down. Take a 6.5, an 8, and a 9 inch strip and group them together at the top, shortest to tallest, with the shortest strip on the outside. Still keeping the shortest strip on the outside, align the tops of the strips to the line on your 5.5" strip. Do the same thing with the remaining three strips, aligning them to the same place on the opposite side (opposable thumbs sure come in handy here!). Staple all the papers together near the middle of the shortest paper.

 The 5.5" strip should now be in the middle, with the other strips flopping above it. Kind of like a tree. Or a bouquet of flowers. Or maybe not. It's rather late right now, and my brain is tired...

Can you see the staple? Hopefully that gives you a better idea.

Using your handy dandy opposable thumbs again, fold the outside strips down to the bottom of the middle strip. Holding them in place, fold down the next two strips to form the second heart. Repeat with the last layer to form a third heart. All the strips should line up with the bottom of the middle strip. Staple near the bottom to hold all the layers together.

Ta-da! You now have a lovely heart. Repeat the steps above to make as many hearts as you desire. That's the great thing about this project. The supplies you need won't run out for a long time (depending on the size of your book), allowing you to make just 4 hearts, if that's what you want, or 40.

Use your hole puncher to make a small hole near the top of the center strip. Thread your choice of stringing material through. Now it is ready to hang up!

I decided to use my garland as a small accent under my shelf. I like it so much, I might leave it up for a long time.

This is such a cheap, quick, and versatile project! I spent a total of $4 on it: $2 for the twine, $2 for the dictionary from my local thrift store. You can use many different kinds of paper--cardstock, construction paper, music sheets, maps, etc. This garland would make a great gift, or you can use it as an elegant touch to a bridal shower or even a wedding reception. I can see a road of endless possibilities opening up before me...which I shall leave for you to explore further. It's late, and I'm going to bed!

Have any ideas/tips to add? I'd love to hear them! Every comment makes my day a little brighter!

Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. Looks SO cute! Did you glue the papers together to get them so long or is it just a big dictionary? I got a little lost after that, but maybe because I don't get measurements that well! Lol :)

  2. The dictionary is pretty big, so I didn't need to glue them. You need a book that is 9 inches tall. Sorry if I didn't do a great job explaining it. Once you figure out where all the pieces of paper go, this project goes really fast!