Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's an Innaugural Event! Be Our Guest *Garland Tutorial*

Innaugural Be Our Guest Post On The Muse: Meet Kristen

So, you said you wanted to learn something new today? Something you could actually do without feeling like a bumbling idiot with three thumbs? Well, lo and behold, Kristen of By The Book Paper is going to teach you how to make a paper heart garland.  First though, a little bit about our guest poster:

MMuse: What’s the first thing you ever made? And how old where you?
Kristen: I have been making things for as long as I can remember.  I have made my way through all kinds of mediums- crayons, markers, paint, clay, yarn, beads.  You name it, I tried it.  My favorite has been cross stitch, of which I have completed many large patterns.  I haven’t had a lot of time to do any lately, but I’d love to just sit back and relax and sew for awhile.
MMuse: What are you creating now?
Kristen: I currently make all kinds of paper goods for my shop- magnetic and classic bookmarks, note cards, garlands and ornaments, bookplates, and so on-, and I just started to add some fabric items as well to help with a slight fabric addiction that I’m developing.  I’ve got some burp cloths and diaper straps in the shop, and I’ve got a few scarves and other things in the works.
MMuse:What’s the most important thing about ‘creating’ to you?
Kristen: That the end product looks like how I envisioned it and that I’m pleased with how it turned out.  If I’m not pleased with the results, I’m likely to edit, tweak, and sometimes scrap it until I’m happy!
MMuse: What are your favorite materials to work with?
Kristen: Lots of pretty, lovely paper and all the goodies that come with it (punches, stamps, etc.), and fabric. I’ve always been into fabric, but I’ve never really taken the time to learn how to deal with it properly, so I’m trying to work on that now.
MMuse: Where do you live? How long have you lived there? Why do you live there? What’s the best thing about where you live?
Kristen: I live in Connecticut and have lived here all my life in various towns.  We live here because I haven’t lived anywhere else and had a panic attack when my husband (a Texas native) suggested we move to Houston. Right now his job is here, so we’re here for awhile, but I’m becoming more open to the idea of moving out of state if we need to!  The best thing about living here is that we truly have four seasons and they are long enough to enjoy each one of them.  I really love the change of weather and the activities each one brings.  That and I have a lot of family here, so it’s nice to get to see them pretty regularly.
Now, without further ado..............

Be Our Guest: Kristen's Paper Heart Garland Tutorial

Hi everyone (that's Kristen, waving madly to you all)!  Today I'm going to show you how to construct this heart garland, which can be made for any season.  Each garland has five hearts, but you can certainly do more or less depending on the space you have.

Cute, right? (that's me saying that, Kristen isn't that boastful)

For this project you will need:

  • Two 1.5 x 12-inch strips, two 1.5 x 8-inch strips, and one 1.5 x 6-inch strip of coordinating quality cardstock or double-sided scrapbook paper*, per heart

  • Ribbon at least 1/2-inch wide and 48 inches long
*Double-sided scrapbook paper works best, since both sides of the paper show.  If you use single sided paper, you will need to glue two strips of paper together so each side has a pattern showing (if you use a patterned paper).

  • Hole punch, preferably 1/8 inch
  • Stapler
  • Ruler or measuring tape

To construct hearts:

Starting with the shortest strip, take the two long strips and sandwich the short strip between them with the pattern you want showing facing in and upside-down. If this sounds confusing, bend the top of the long strip down to the bottom of the strip and see what side is showing out.  The pattern you want should be showing and when bent should be right side up.  If it is not, turn the strip so it will look the way you would like.  Do the same with the medium strips, one on either side, so that in your hand you have a stack that goes: medium, long, short, long, medium.

Bend one of the medium strips down so the top of it aligns with the bottom.  Do the same with the long strip next to it.  That should construct one side of the heart. 

Holding those, do the same on the other side, bending both strips so the tops meet the bottom. 

Make sure all of the edges are lined up flush at the bottom and staple about 1/4- inch from the bottom. 

Punch a hole at the top of the short strip about 1/4-inch from the top.

Set aside.  Repeat this process for any other hearts you're making.

To assemble the garland:

Decide in what order you want your hearts to hang on the ribbon.  Measure about 6-8 inches from the end of the ribbon.  Tie a knot in the ribbon at that mark.  This knot will hold your first heart in place.  Rolling up the ribbon to fit it through the hole in the heart, slide one heart onto the ribbon and push it all the way to the knot. 

(see the knots on either side of each hole? that's what you're doing so the hearts stay in place once strung as garland)

Tie another knot on the other side of the paper strip as close as you can to the paper strip to secure the heart in place.  This will keep it from sliding around.

Measure 6 inches from the second knot you made in the ribbon.  Tie a third knot at that point.  This knot will hold your second heart in place.  Like the first, slide the heart onto the ribbon and tie a fourth knot to secure the heart in place.  Repeat these steps for each heart, measuring 6 inches between each heart.

Trim the ends of the ribbon so they are equal lengths from the end knots.  This will ensure that the garland hangs more evenly.

(Look how cute this is when using patterned paper....or even coordinating colors for specific holidays or occasions. Again, that's me commenting here, not Kristen)

There you have it!  This is a fun family project that can be completed in a short amount of time.  Have fun playing with different color schemes in different seasons! 

Of course, if you'd rather not have to go out searching for coordinating paper, please come visit my shop: I have a kit all ready to send to you! Click here.

And if you don't even have time to make it, I have one already assembled and ready to mail. Just click here. I'd love to have you stop in and visit.


And, I (yup, it's me again..........Pam) would love it if you checked out Kristen's links below, just to say thanks to her for taking the time to share her 'how to make a paper heart garland' tutorial with Mercantile Muse followers.  You guys are the best! Of course, Kristen is pretty high up on my list too.  Thanks Kristen!

Check out Kristen's links:
Kristen's Etsy shop: by the book  
Kristen's blog: life by the book
Kristen on Twitter
Kristen on Pinterest
You'll also find me on Pinterest now too.  If you're looking for me there, this is where you'll find me

Mark your calendars. Same time, same place, next week. Daena from BadRabbitVintage will Be Our Guest and will be giving a tutorial on creating a vintage style tray with transfers. Not to be missed!

Now, one more thing. This is when you leave a comment for Kristen (and me) - we both love feedback! Post away.

As always, thanks for being here-


  1. What a great garland tutorial, too cute!

  2. What a great idea...a cute tutorial right off the bat.

    I'm following you now.



  3. Hi Marilyn, love your blog and that you got together with other etsy shop owners for the fair this weekend! Great stuff.

    Marianne, happy to have you here.

    Really, I love Kristen's tutorial and that you could even make ones with different paper for each season.

  4. Hi ladies! Thanks so much for the compliments and thanks for having me here, Pam! I love the chance to share with friends on other blogs! :)

  5. No, thank YOU Kristen for taking the time to put such a great tutorial together. Pinned and facebooked. You're a peach.

  6. Wow, I love that garland - will be making a Christmassy version! I can remember the first thing I made was a bri-nylon nightie! It was hideous and when I moved in bed sparks used to fly everywhere - it was it's very own power supply for static!

    Have a great week.

  7. LOL Di!!! I'd love to see a picture of the bri-nylon nightie that caused sparks. That sounds like the start of a good story. Too funny.

    You'll have to share your garland when you complete it. And remember,if you get too busy, Kristen has kits. You gotta love a kit!


You comments make my day. Thanks for taking the time to visit Mercantile Muse and for commenting. I really appreciate it. ~Pam

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