Recycled book garland

Our ‘Tawny Scrawy Lion‘ book fell apart (with a little help from a two year old)! It’s one of my absolute favorite kids books and the illustrations by Gustaf Tenggren are just wonderful.

I turned it into a garland to hang in our house. Even though it was in a sorry state I still felt bad about chopping it up!

It does look pretty cute though? I think it would look fabulous in a nursery or kids bedroom…especially if you are going for the retro look.

I’m going to hit the charity shops this week in the hunt for some more raggedy copies. You can read more about Tenggren’s amazing illustrative work here.


Share This:


23 Comments Leave yours

  1. I love garlands made from vintage books – this is great!

  2. I LOVE garlands, especially ones from recycled paper, and I love to cut up my kiddos’ beat-up books and craft with them–this project is the perfect mesh of destructive/productive.

  3. I love this idea because we have a few books that have been torn apart but the illustrations are so beautiful that I couldn’t thrown them away.

  4. Kate #

    Thanks! That lion is jut so lion-y I had to preserve him in some way!

  5. I love these! In fact my daughter and I made quite a few last week. Old books are the best as then they can be two sided. If you want more of tenggren’s pictures, you might find some here that you can print out…

  6. Kate #

    Thanks Emma! That’s a ripper of a site btw. Love your st pats printable – very cooool :)

  7. What a great idea. I have been holding on to the many book covers that come with most hardcover books, trying to figure out what I can make with them. I think this is a great idea. I can also use the DVD slip covers.

    Thanks for the idea.

  8. Can I ask, do you back them with some thing to make them last? I just know that it would risk becoming a cat toy in our house if it wasn’t sturdy!

  9. Kate #

    Hi Kelly…I didn’t but it would be easy enough to cut out two shapes and sandwich some cardboard in between IYKWIM? You could also make it so the garland is horizontal not vertical and tack it to the ceiling….

  10. Such a wonderful way to preserve a beloved book!

  11. I didn’t know much about GustafTtenggren until i looked here:-
    Thanks for inspiring me to find out about more of his wonderful illustrations and paintings.

  12. This is so cute! I included it in my weekend roundup post here:

  13. Hi Kate. Thanks for sharing this cute idea! I used it to create a happy little garland for my son’s third birthday. See it here, if you’d like. (

  14. Another great idea. And I loved that Tawny lion so. What a sweetheart.

    This would be a great idea for a window display…I could see a dozen of these, all different boks and characters, hanging down in the window of a children’s shop…or a library….or heck, maybe in my own window!

  15. Kate #

    Thanks you lot….erinmalia, your garland is ace….so funny cos i was deliberating between the tawny scrawny lion and a dr seuss book of ours that has seen better days. Love it anyway…wonderful gift for your son.

  16. so beautiful Kate! liony loveliness!

  17. Lisa #

    Hey Kate. Such a cool idea. Thanks. You might also like this illustrator I saw on D*Sponge. Is a similar vibe.
    Lisa x

  18. Kelli #

    Hi Kate! I am a children’s librarian and would love to use this idea in our library! What did you back it with? We noticed something on the underside but couldn’t figure out what it was. Also, what purpose does the zig zag sewing pattern serve or is it just decorative?


    • Kate #

      Hi Kelli. Sorry it’s taken a few days to get back to you. Anyway in answer to your questions: I didn’t back the paper with anything and the zig-zags were purely decorative.

      Good luck with your garland. Send me some pictures once you have finished. BTW I have also seen some triangular bunting made from old books….really nice too & very easy.

  19. zale #

    The Tawny Scrawny Lion is still one of my favourite books!
    There are a bunch of fabrics based on the book and a fabric book panel that have just been released to fabric shops recently.

    • Kate #

      Ooooh. Must check out the fabric :-)

  20. Carly #

    I have been holding onto the pages of a Richard Scarry book that my kids loved to death at least 2 years ago. Now I know exactly what to do with it! Love this! Thank you.

    (Now, should I cut apart the intact vintage little golden books we have on our shelf and never read…)

    • Kate #

      Hi Carly…your comment made me laugh…it’s a tough call!!

Leave a Reply

Geo-paper totem!! Watermelon bunting Watermelon bunting Paper diamonds Mini paper medallions Pencil crayon necklace Envelope templates (C6, C7, C8) // String-tie & standard designs Popup heart card

Click here to see heaps more....

MiniEco: A Craft Book

You can read more about my latest book here!

Mini eco book!

  • Cute and easy way to wrap and gift flowers.

  • diy macrame plant hangers

  • diy eye ornaments (lovely website by the way)

Follow Me on Pinterest