'F' for Freebies Crafty (& Handy)

Recycled Paper Bunting (and a Giveaway)

I have a great giveaway for you today (sponsored by Windows Phone 7), but more on that in just a bit. First I want to share a little project with you.


  • paper (can be new, or can come from magazines/catalogs)
  • ribbon (grosgrain works nicely)
  • ruler or drafting triangle (optional — see the second step for clarification)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • decorative edged scissors (optional)
  • glue (plain Elmer’s is fine)
  • sewing machine or needle and thread (optional)


  • Determine how long your garland will be and cut the appropriate length of ribbon (mine is nine feet long). Be sure to leave some extra length to hang down on the ends or to tie into bows.
  • Cut a triangle out of paper to use as a template. The sides on mine were seven inches long. You don’t have to measure, but a ruler is helpful for making straight lines. I used a drafting triangle, but that is totally unnecessary unless you are persnickety about making true equilateral triangles (*ahem*).
  • Trace your template onto different papers to make as many triangles as you need. I cut nine triangles from catalogs and nine from pink card stock.

  • Figure out which triangles are going to be the top layer (the patterned ones in my case), and mark off the top one inch from each. Fold it along the line and snip off the little ends that stick out.

  • Line up each smaller triangle with a larger one and glue them together along the top to make your flags.
  • After I made mine, I decided that they would look even better with a decorative edge so I used my pinking shears. You can leave them plain though, or even draw on a border (dots would be cute).

  • Glue or sew your completed triangles to your ribbon, remembering to leave some length along the ends to hang.

  • Finished!

And that’s how I made a recycled paper bunting using items from around the house, doing more with less. Speaking of which…

Windows Phone 7 Giveaway

The new Windows Phones are helping people Do More with Less, and I have one to give away to you! You can enter to win by leaving a comment on this post. One entry per person, per day, until November 29. Please see the official rules for more details.

This giveaway is brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Less tech tired. More tech trendy: Learn more about Windows Phone online and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.

* 11.30.10: Congratulations to the winner, TracyCK!

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Kate
    November 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Oh I’d love that windows phone! Mine keeps shutting off randomly which is a pain when I use it for an alarm or calendar.

    I think their commercials are really smart and thoughtful, I definitely feel like its great to have a device that helps you get more done, without having it take over your life.

  • lily
    November 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    oh, please, please! the battery on my phone is beyond dead. and this would be my first smart phone. :)

  • kat
    November 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    wow, that’s a big giveaway! My husband would be ecstatic if we won that, since I refuse to allow him to get an iPhone. I hate how people have stopped communicating when they have their phones out.
    That bunting is really pretty and I love that it could easily be changed up if you wanted to change the theme. You could easily make holiday themed bunting!

  • Snapdragon Inn
    November 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    We have our eyes peeled for DIY and penny pinching decorating ideas for the holidays. This could look great in holiday colors hanging on one of our many mantels.

    Thanks for the idea, once again!

  • Medina
    November 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    The recycled paper garland is so creative. And it looks simple enough that I might be tempted to give it a shot. I knew all of those magazines I’ve hoarded over the years would be useful one day.

  • Starling
    November 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    What a lovely craft idea – it can be done in a relatively short time, but it has such high impact. I would love to adapt this for the holidays – it would look lovely on my mantel in place of tinsel or branches.

  • caroline
    November 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    not sure if this would be considered thoughtful, but I love your posts :) and I was wondering what catalogs you got the pictures from and what camera you use? The lighting is pretty amazing :) my pictures tend to come out a little yellowish this time of year unless I use my happy light to brighten up the room…

  • Jill
    November 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Great giveaway!

    Here’s a quote for you: Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    My fav.

  • jodi
    November 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    wow! what an amazing giveaway!

    if i won this, i would gift it to my friend, deanna. she is already on t-mobile and could definitely use an upgrade. a smart phone is a must when living in new york city. she works a day job in insurance, but does some singing on the side. i’m sure this phone would help her organize her busy schedule and keep up with possible singing gigs. competition is fierce in NYC; you have been on top of your game to win!

  • Angela N
    November 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    WOW! What a great giveaway! I love making garlands. I made a couple for my girls’ playroom out of fabric remnants I had laying around. I love them! Never thought to use paper like this. So great for holidays, birthdays, etc. I will add this to my to-do project list!

  • Jayme
    November 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Great minds think alike… I have a recycled Thanksgiving banner on my to-do list today! Yours is lovely! I would absolutely love to win that Windows phone. It’s time to replace my very non-smart phone with something that has the features I need to run my business. :)

  • Felicity
    November 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I just bought a new iPhone, which I absolute love, but my husband could use a new phone soon. I’ve been considering a bunting to decorate our smallest room, but have been putting it off because I just don’t feel up to sewing a bunch of triangles. This is a much easier, albeit less permanent, option. I may have to try it out!

  • Amanda
    November 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I would love to win this!

  • Nikki
    November 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    What a great bunting! I realize they’re kind of the “it” thing right now, but they’re just so classic and cute. I also love the idea of making one out of old magazines and paper…thanks for the inspiration to do so.

  • Peaches
    November 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    What a pretty recycled paper garland! I love garlands and this one could be a fun, cheap way to decorate my home for the holidays. I’m definitely shifting towards a ‘less is more’ mentality, especially in the area of food. It’s easy for me and husband to go overboard at the grocery store (we love playing with food), but it gets expensive. So lately we are simplifying and finding that we don’t need as much food as we think. Thanks for the post!

  • Martha
    November 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I’m very curious about the windows phones, i haven’t seen anybody use them yet! I am the last person in the free world without a cell phone, I think. At this point, the cost is prohibitive but with a new baby I am thinking about how convenient it would be to have one. What a cute project, looks like fun to make!

  • Jessica J
    November 15, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Oh! I might have to do this garland for my sons nursery (with a little boy color scheme). So easy! And I Windows phone?! Wowzers. My phone has barely worked since my daughter was 6 months old and used it as a teething toy. :)

  • Kristina
    November 15, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I love the bunting! I especially love the idea that you made something beautiful with everyday objects found around the home. Just lovely! Ah yes, and the phone is nice too ;)

  • Kelly V
    November 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Wow, I love the garland. I just found out last week that I am also having a baby boy! What a wonderful way to welcome him into the world with a project like this. I may use family photos instead and think my step kids would love to help. My goal is one sewing/ crafting project per week for my boy and this is definitely an awesome one!!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    PS- Cool phone

  • Laura Seymour
    November 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I love this project! Great timing for New Year’s Eve or Day party! Looks very easy to make and I really like the ‘green’ factor of using recycled prints for festive color. Way to go!

  • Megan
    November 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Great idea with the banner! People need to do more crafts with recycled items!

  • Theresa
    November 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    What magazines are you using to make the banner? I would probably have to go out and buy a magazine for this sole purpose because I just couldn’t bear to part with any of my massive (slightly bag lady-ish) collection. Either way, it’s lovely

    • Kelsey
      November 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

      Maybe try a catalog if you’re attached to the mags?

  • rena
    November 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Oh, this is a great idea. I may have to try this with cutouts from old wrapping paper from kids birthdays. Or maybe even holiday wrapping paper. Thanks for sharing.

  • Leigh
    November 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    What a great idea the banner is! I have so many magazines and catalogs just laying around that it’s time I make something pretty out of them! A new phone would be great for me too, I’m getting tired of watching my husband have all the fun with his fancy work phone!

  • Jon
    November 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    This is a great idea. It’s another good way to recycle the gift wrapping paper that is used to wrap our Christmas presents. We can also re-use some of the ribbon or garland!

  • Kelsey
    November 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I have to laugh that “doing more with less” is what makes my work life so dang stressful! However, this would be lovely to accomplish at home, where I always try to keep our routines very streamlined…

  • Erika
    November 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Great DIY…I think I will do something like this for the Christmas holiday with some old wrapping paper I have left over from last year (scraps that I just couldn’t part with). Cool giveaway too…maybe I will be the lucky one to win.

  • Jill
    November 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve been thinking about making something like this for the nursery for a while. Baby is 6 months now and haven’t done it yet. Oh well. It’s amazing how much you seem to get done! I’m impressed.

  • Jessika
    November 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I would love that phone! I’ve dealt so long with so much of my information being on post-its, notepads, receipts, etc etc because I lack a phone that can do anything. This would be such a blessing and help my family out a lot!

  • Suzy B.
    November 15, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Cute bunting!

    And okay, I can’t image what life would be like with a real cell phone that has even basic capabilities! My phone is so ancient that I’m embarrassed to use it in public. I seriously can’t even text. Really.

  • PAppel
    November 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Love that phone and love their commercials. My phone is so old my kids think it’s from the prehistoric era. No camera, no alarm, no bells and whistles.
    Love your new nursery color scheme, btw. So cute.

  • Laura in LA
    November 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    The garland is a very cute and colorful idea. This phone giveaway could not come at a better time. I have been unhappy with my phone since it was purchased. I will check this one out and see what great things it has to offer!

  • Rae
    November 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I would love to win this new window’s phone. I am always on the go and staying connected with my phone is a great way for me to do more with less. I hate that I can’t read my favorite blogs on my phone so I have to wait to read when I am at my desktop. I’m sure a new phone with remedy that!

  • Erin
    November 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Yes, Please! We are among the last in the nation without any cellphone whatsoever. Even elementary school children have cellphones, for crying out loud! We have encountered enough instances where not having a cellphone/smartphone was annoying. Finally, this would prevent one more person from exclaiming, YOU DON”T HAVE A CELLPHONE?!!!!

  • Kia
    November 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Cool give away. I check on your blog every day from my desk top if I won this phone I could upgrade to mobile.:)

  • amanda Whitley
    November 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    great Giveaway:) I have been enjoying your blog for about 2 years now, but have never left a comment! If I won that phone I think Hubby and I would fight over it;) I would LOVE to read blogs when I am upstairs in the playroom with my kiddos instead of waiting till nap time or bedtime to go downstairs;)

  • Pamala
    November 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I’m going to for sure be doing this banner thing. It will be great for christmas. And you can make like tons of them for like next to nothing seeing as I get so many magazines it’s not even funny. I can decorate my kids room and the windows that can be seen from the front. Seriously cool idea! As for the giveaway, wow!

  • Katie D
    November 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I would love a Windows phone! I also like the recycled paper bunting. This is a project I can actually do and it could turn out looking just as nice as yours!

  • Ashley
    November 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Super cute!! I’m def not that creative or patient. It would drive me crazy if all my lines weren’t exactly straight, so I usually don’t attempt such projects. Where did you hang them? They would be cute to make for a child’s birthday party.
    Can’t wait to see the finished basement!!!

  • crystal
    November 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I love your craft ideas, the banner is a great project for me to work on with my three year old daughter. I think I’ll do all the cut outs and let her do her ‘glue’ thing. And thanks for the seriously cool giveway!! xxoo

  • Jessica
    November 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    What a cute bunting!
    And, What!? Giving away a freaking phone?! This is awesome! My phone is a big fat piece of crumminess. I’d sure love a new one… Problem for me now is home renovation trumps new non-crummy phone purchases.

  • Kate Sommers
    November 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Happy to have stumbled across your blog today. I’m always inspired by new craft ideas and LOVE bunting. So Cute! Also, i really want that woodpecker door knocker. adorable!

  • Julie
    November 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    My husband would be shocked if I won this phone for him. His Blackberry keeps freezing up and it’s driving him crazy! He definitely needs to be able to do more with less time!

  • Carly
    November 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    What a great idea for bunting! Makes any room look super cute! I might be moving soon and I think I’m going to redecorate by putting one of these in every room!

    As for the phone…I haven’t done the smart phone thing yet, but I’m due for an upgrade soon…I’m excited but scared. :) I mostly want one so I have access to some sort of GPS because I’m always getting lost! :/

  • Leslie H.
    November 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I am making a bunting sort of like this for a Baby Shower in January. It’s so cute. Awesome giveaway, BTW!

  • Stacy
    November 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    This is a fantastic giveaway! I have refrained from spending the money on one of these fancypants phones, but would be ecstatic to win one. In addition, I have conceded to my daughter to get her own phone for her 11th birthday in December (of course, she would get my old one)!

  • the chatty housewife
    November 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I love the idea of using magazine pages for a bunting. I never would of thought of it, but I love the way it looks. Often there are so many beautiful patterns found in magazines and it is a shame to throw them into the recycle bin!

    Thanks for the chance to win an awesome new phone!

  • katrina
    November 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I love the bunting, especially with the pattern detail pictures you used for each triangle.
    The phones look interesting, I’m looking to get a ‘smart’ phone soon because my job just expanded, and it’d be handy to have email and internet at my fingertips.

  • iris
    November 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I am a tremendous fan of buntings/garlands. For Christmas, I decorate with blanket-stitched felt garlands. I really love fabric buntings, but these are cute and doable in a pinch.

  • conny
    November 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    what a darling bunting! i like the use of recycled magazines! i really love the ribbon too. i’ve been looking for an excuse to pick up some pinking shears. love it! thanks!

  • Laura Mae
    November 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Oh I sew badly need a new phone. I would love to be able to integrate my small business, work e-mail and personal life all into one smarter than me phone! Organization and ease would be a huge blessing! Fingers crossed.

    Now to make this bunting to drape my craft fair table!

  • Nicole
    November 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I photographed a wedding, and they made a bunting, with Just Married written on it. Your idea with some lettering for any occasion would be delightful! Fun to bring out every anniversary too.


  • Ellen
    November 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Haiku for a cell phone

    A phone so lovely
    (My own is truly ugly,
    Ancient and broken.)

    Windows to look through
    Surf and text in bright colors.

  • stacy
    November 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    What a awesome giveaway! I’m not sure if I won if I would keep it for myself or make someone else’s xmas with one heck of a present. Thanks for making me think about it, oh what fun it would be to win.

  • Sarah Q
    November 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    What a generous giveaway! If there is a phone out there that can actually help me to do more with less then bring it on! Cheers!

  • ashleyD
    November 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    wow! what an amazing giveway! i’d love to gift this phone to my husband for christmas because he’s been eyeing my iphone! hah!

  • Carla Schmidt
    November 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Would love it, thanks

  • rena stefanidou
    November 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    that phone is sooo cute i would love to win it!!

  • Carole
    November 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    very pretty! whenever I use decorative scissors, it never looks that even (when I get to the end of the scissors and have to move, I always end up with a messy transition). I like those closet doors, too, I’m going to see if I can find the source in your list!

  • sunny
    November 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    The bunting is adorable! I have just the spot for something similar. Would be fun to create.

    The windows phone looks so handy. I do love the commercials – which make sense. Use the phone as a tool – not as your best friend that excludes all other people/things/situations!

  • Jean
    November 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    The bunting is great — so crafty.

    Should I win the Windows phone, I absolutely promise to give it to my husband as a Christmas present. He’s been wanting a new phone for a long time.

  • Amy
    November 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Love it! You always have such great ideas on adapting current trends. I stumbled onto your blog a month or so ago and have been hooked ever since.

  • Cathy
    November 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    My husband would love a new phone.his has died and he has been using an old phone in the meantime….

    The garland is so cute! My sister did a similar one for my baby shower and I have been able to use it to decorate for multiple parties

  • Emily
    November 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Loooove the garland, I made one for my youngest son, Roman, with his name.

  • Jesse
    November 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I love bunting! These are really really cute. good job! something about bunting makes everything look so festive and amazing. I’ve made them with flat edges, but I never considered using the shaped edge, so much better!

  • erin / dfm
    November 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    remember my neanderthal phone from our SF trip? you, my dear, have the power to change that. ;)

    p.s LOVE the garland, you cute thing.

  • anna
    November 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    What a great giveaway! I really enjoy your step by step tutorials on the various projects around your house. I like that you typically do projects that I haven’t seen elsewhere on the website.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Anita K
    November 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Fantastic! Love it, and thanks for the giveaway!

  • Elaine
    November 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I’d love to win the phone. Thanks for your great blog filled with inspiration!

  • Breenah
    November 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I keep seeing the commercials for the Windows phone and they always make me giggle.

  • Veronica
    November 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I would love to win that phone! :-)

  • Jeannie
    November 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Cute project, I will definitely try it. This could be a great way to keep my “inspiration” magazine pics top of mind. Great giveaway too! I’d love to have that new Windows 7 phone…

  • tina
    November 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    what an absolutely lovely idea! i have stacks and stacks of magazines that would be perfect for this. thank you for the inspiration!

  • Raija
    November 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    What a great giveaway! I love your blog and read it everyday!

  • Felicity
    November 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I just knew I needed a pair of pinking shears and this is definitely going to be a project tackled as part of the girls’ bedroom makeover.
    I think one will feature horses the other lovely pink, blue and grey textures from mags.

    Thank you,

    Felicity x

  • Lindsay
    November 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    This is such a cute project. Simple enough for me to do and enjoy. =)

    The phone would be an amazing prize also. Thanks so much!

  • Emily
    November 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Fun bunting and great giveaway!

  • Lemon
    November 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Ooh, that bunting is pretty but that ribbon is faboo. I spy the West Elm catalog, lol.

    That’s a sweet giveaway! :)

  • Overfriendly Concierge
    November 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I love the bunting. So cute! I would also love love love to win a new phone. Can you believe I still use a stone-age clunker that doesn’t do anything but text?

  • heather f
    November 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    a phone like that would save me bundles in post its, lost slips of scrap paper and I could take photos of my new grandbaby!

  • Amanda
    November 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    My favorite place to buy craft supplies is at Marshalls or TJ Maxx – the end isles beyond the home goods usually have some interesting things!

  • Diana D
    November 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Would love a new phone and this one looks like it is fabulous! Thanks!

  • Heather J
    November 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    What a great idea for all the catalogs that we get!

    Also, that phone is wonderful and I would LOVE to offer it to my husband for Christmas :)

  • Kathy
    November 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Beautiful bunting!

  • Katharine
    November 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Wow! The garland is fabulous! I just dropped my iphone the other day and am now using a not-smart phone. I can’t afford to buy another fancy phone right now, but I do miss it. Would love to win this one!

  • deanna
    November 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    We have a birthday party coming up – and the bunting would be such a cute decoration!

  • May
    November 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    My husband’s iphone is on the fritz. Would love to surprise him with this!

  • michelle
    November 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I’ve been thinking about a circus theme party for my 6 & 8 year olds in the spring and this is a great idea!

    My phone fell in the toilet on Saturday! Perfectly timed giveaway!

  • Dani
    November 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Love the bunting and the giveaway!!

  • amber
    November 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I’d love to give this phone a spin! I love my iPhone so much that I’ve been afraid to try some of the other smartphones that are out there. If I won one, I’d certainly have no problem taking it for a test drive!

  • Meredith
    November 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Hello, I think the give-a-way is a great idea for this blog because this arts n’ craft, sweet as it may be, is really not the level of maturity I thought you were.
    Don’t take this the wrong way, yes I think you’re better. But I would have never posted or even glimpsed at today’s entry.

    THANK YOU PHONE give a way!

  • Jenna
    November 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Cute (and simple – love that!) bunting and super-cool giveaway! I’ve been begging my honey for a new phone – maybe he won’t have to buy me one!

  • Robin Grey
    November 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I’m loving the bunting tutorial, and the phone’s a nice bonus to this post – thanks for the giveaway!

  • Stephenie T
    November 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Oh, I would really like a new phone. I have a Blackberry, but it really isn’t what I had hoped for. With a busy schedule and busy kids I need something that will make my life easier.

  • Cassie C
    November 15, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Windows Phone! Funny story, my boyfriend was at the mall of america {possibly ring shopping! eek!} but he went into the apple store and left because it smelled terrible across the way was the windows store and it smelled heavenly…he stayed and is now smitten with the windows phone!

  • Katy
    November 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    The bunting is beautiful, will you be doing more of these for the new spaces in your home?

    And thanks for organizing this giveaway! Whoever wins is going to be thrilled!

  • Kaelin
    November 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I love this idea! I just discovered buntings a few months ago and have made several sets out of fabric to hang for the holidays. This would be a quick & cute project for birthday party decorations…I’ll have to bookmark this for later! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Tarcia
    November 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I did a similar garland for dd2’s bday, with scrapbook paper.

  • E @ Oh! Apostrophe
    November 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I’d love to win!

    Also, love the bunting :)

  • Tanya Reah
    November 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Love the banner…and so many uses! I can do one for the holidays and then another for my daughter’s nursery.

    Also, Love the phone giveaway as well ;)

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