Before you add to the landfill, consider upcycling that old, worn-out (well-loved) book into a whimsical book-page banner decoration for your home. You just need very basic sewing skills and an hour of free time to create your own.
Things You'll Need
- Book (preferably a damaged book)
- Poster board
- Double bias tape
- Thread to match the bias tape
- Sewing machine
Select the pages you wish to use for your banner.
Double bias tape is 3 yards long, so that is the maximum length you have to work with; you may want to leave up to 3 inches between pages, based on your own preference.
The book used in this banner had oversized pages, so five pages was plenty to work with. If you are using a smaller book, you may find that you can fit several.
Measure and Plan
Find the page that has the widest and tallest section that you want to use. Use a ruler and pencil to draw a rectangle around the section you intend to use.
Measure the rectangle you have drawn, and use the ruler to draw a rectangle the same exact size on the poster board. Cut out the poster board rectangle.
Create a Template
Now it's time to create a template for your banner. Your flags can be shapes such as triangles or scallops, or you can keep them rectangular. A nautical flag shape has a little more detail and was used for this banner. To create a nautical flag template, Find the center of the bottom of the rectangle using a ruler. Come up about 1 to 2 inches (it doesn't need to be precise), and draw a dot.
Using the ruler, draw a line connecting one bottom corner to your dot.
Repeat for the other lower corner, making a triangle.
Cut out the small triangle, and you are left with your poster board template.
Trace Around the Template
Use the template to trace the flag design around each section of each page that you wish to use in your banner.
Use your scissors to cut out the pages, following your traced lines, and repeat for each page.
Prepare to Sew
Lay out the double bias tape, and leave at least 1 foot on each end so that you have some length to tie it up when you are done.
Open the fold of the bias tape and insert your first page.
Fold the bias tape over and secure in place with a clothespin. Measure your spacing and move on to the next page. For this banner, 3-inch spacing was used.
Continue until all pages are secured to your double bias tape with a clothespin.
Sew Your Banner
Now you are ready for the final step, sewing your banner. Select the zigzag setting on your machine and use the recommended stitch length settings on your machine. On the machine used here, the narrow stitch was 5 and the length was 1.5. Place the bias tape in the machine with the foot down right before the first page.
Begin sewing along the bias tape, removing the clothespin as you approach. Continue sewing even when you have completely sewn in that page so that you close the bias tape. Continue sewing until you reach the end of the last page. You do not need to continue stitching along the remaining end that you will use to tie the banner.
When your banner is done, you can hang it in your home over a dresser or desk or even draped over a piece of art. Now you can again enjoy the pages of what was a tired and broken-down book.
Cassie Bustamante graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in English and Communication. She's always had a passion for writing and creativity which to led designing, DIY-ing, and documenting at primitiveandproper.com. When she's not designing for her home, she can be found merchandising her vintage shop, Sweet Clover.