December 10, 2009

Christmas Decorating with Upcycled Paper Garlands

I can barely keep my wits about me here, with Christmas and wedding preparations, plus a very clingy toddler this week. He is constantly saying "hold you, hold you, mommy!"--translation: "Hold ME, Mommy." I oblige more often that I shall admit.

So in the midst of the chaos, I decided to take this old book, found in a trash pile at the library, and cut some of its pages out to make a paper garland. I need to think of something to do with the cover, since it has a pretty design.
It's a Reader's Digest condensed book, and the titles crack me up, like The Winthop Woman below, or Murder on My Street.I was inspired by one that a friend made in her house when I went there the other day for a visit.
All I did was tie scraps of pine (from our outdoor garland) along a length of twine, spacing them about 6" apart, then stapled the paper pennants in between. To make the pennants, I tore out an interesting page from the book (this one had 1950s illustrations), folded it in half, and cut out a triangle. Then I folded it over the twine and stapled it along the top. Super easy!I can see these staying up all winter, since I didn't go nuts with Christmas-y colors. I hung one in the windows above our front door and front window too.
I dressed up our bathroom too with some more paper garland and scalloped scrapbook paper on each shelf.
I switched out some of the photos with more seasonal ones from Christmases past or snowy scenes. I love the one of my dad's first Christmas, in the silver frame on the bottom shelf. It shows him with my grandparents in front of their tree.
And a younger Mr. Geek above, doing carpentry work in the cold. The one of me and my mom in the teeny frame is from a photo booth when I was 1. The ones below are SoJo on the left, and Mr. Geek and his parents when he was a wee one on the right.
Little by little, I managed to decorate the house. It's so cozy and I love just sitting amidst the candles and twinkle lights.

17 comments:

  1. Really pretty and nicely non-traditional, too!

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  2. What great idea! Sometimes it is the simple things that make the most difference.

    Thanks for stopping by JDaniel4's Mom! I like my new look too.

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  3. Such a beautiful book! eeeeek.

    Doesn't it seem rather odd to you that just when we need solitude the most, someone needs our arms around them? I have come to believe that it is all a plot, contrived in the minds of children.

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  4. These look SO good! I am inspired! Thanks!

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  5. I love it! It's perfectly festive, without being over the top. Sometimes the simplest of decorations are the best. I love that you added the pine sprigs.

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  6. What a great idea! Your house looks terrific and festive.
    KUDOS!!

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  7. You amaze, Kathleen. I swear there is nothing that you can't come up with using that creative mind of yours.

    It is always such a delight to visit your blog and see what you're up to. It really does put me in the holiday spirit!

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  8. That looks amazing!I love vintage design:)

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  9. That's so gorgeous!! I love the fact that it's upcycled from a discarded library book :)
    You did a wonderful job!

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  10. Very nicely done! Thank you for sharing!

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  11. I like this idea. I'm glad that it's Winthrop through RD and not Seton's original novel (which I really liked, but I like the fire and brimstone, puritanical early American accounts). That's a neat picture.

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  12. You are so creative always! I just love the idea!

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  13. Will you please come decorate my house with your elegantly crafty ideas? I'm much too lazy to put in the work but want the same result. Yes?

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