December 10, 2023

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.


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

  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.

  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.

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

  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.

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

  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!

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

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

  10. Very nicely done! Thank you for sharing!

  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.

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

  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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