Chinese Cookbook Garland Tutorial


This project is a great way to turn the illustrated pages of a cool book into a fabulously unique decoration. Great for children’s books, field guides (“Shells of the Florida Keys”), and vintage travel guides.

Materials: cookbook or illustrated book, cord, sewing machine, thread, exact-o knife, cutting mat, quilting ruler.


1. After deciding on which pages to use (I chose 10 pages for my garland), cut each page from spine with an exact-o knife, cutting as close to spine as possible.

2. Trim edges by laying pages on cutting mat and cutting with exact-o knife and ruler.

3. Determine where you want to sew cord to page and draw a stitching line in pencil on the top half of your page. (NOTE: the lower down the page that you stitch your cording, the more movement it will have, flipping around more.)

4. Thread sewing machine with thread that complements the cord/yarn. Use different thread color in bobbin, if you like. Using zigzag setting, set the stitch width to easily sew over the cord. (If you have a cording foot, use it!) Zigzag over the cording for 36″.

5. Feed the first page through and, with cord laid on stitching line, sew cord to page.


6. After first page is sewn, zigzag over the bare cording for 2 or 3 inches and feed the next page through. Repeat for all pages. Zigzag over bare cord for 36″.

7. Neatly cut each end and tie in a knot to prevent unraveling.

8. Hang and enjoy! (I highly recommend using this fun project as an excuse for a theme party. After making this Chinese Cookbook Garland I promptly threw a Chinese Beer Sampling party (with take-out dim sum because I can’t read Chinese).