Monday, April 30, 2012

Birthday Banner

I'm finally getting around to writing about Sara Kate's birthday banner, yay!  About 2 weeks before her party I got a wild hair and started wondering about a banner.  I started searching Etsy and of course banners can be pricey (although adorable) plus I was on a tight time schedule.  So I started searching 'how to make a birthday banner' on Google.  I came across 2 websites that were quite helpful and I actually thought, I can do this!!  The websites I used for a guide are here and here and I kind of did a combination of what they both said.  I found the tutorials quite helpful (obviously) so I thought I'd do my own little tutorial, kind of like when I wrote out how I made Sara Kate's wall letters.   

First things first, I went to Hobby Lobby and pick out scrapbook paper which was actually quite a challenge because as you know, they have tons and tons and tons of paper to choose from.  I wanted to use lots of pink and turquoise and polka dots when possible.  I finally picked my paper and of course I bought way too much because I had no idea what I was doing and I am soooo NOT artistic.  I also picked out what ribbon I wanted to use, which I also bought way too much of.  So here's what I did next:

Step 1: When I was at Hobby Lobby, I bought a package of cardboard letters (which were like $4-$5) and traced them out on heavy scrapbook paper.  I debated on what exactly to spell out...Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday Sara Kate, or Happy 2nd Birthday.  In the end, I just decided on a generic Happy Birthday.  I can use it again in the future if I want and anyone could borrow it if they wanted to since it is generic.
Step 2: I used bowls from my cabinet to trace out the inside circles (and I could get 2 circles to a page) and then used the next bowl size up to trace the larger circles (and could only get 1 to a page).  The inside circles were cut from thinner paper, while the big outside pink and turquoise circles were cut from heavier paper.
Step 3: Once I had all my circles cut out it was just a matter of deciding what order I wanted the designs and gluing the small circles on the larger circles.  Of course I knew the large circles would alternate pink and turquoise but choosing the pattern of the inner circles was tough!  I know, I'm a weird perfectionist! :-)
 Step 4: Glue the letters in place!  I was so excited when I got to this step and saw it coming together!
 Step 5: Cut the ribbon pieces to tie the circles together.  I think I cut them about 8 inches long and decided to double up and use pink and white (I couldn't find the right kind of ribbon in turquoise or the right color for that matter).
 Step 6: Hole punch the edges.  There is absolutely nothing technical about this step, and I certainly didn't spend a great deal of time making sure everything was perfectly even.
 Step 7: Tie the lettered circles together!  I ended up double knotting the ribbon between each circle.
 Step 8: Hang it!!  I decided the bay window area behind our table was a good place.  There was plenty of room for it to hang and I already had good places to tie it to.  We had the cake on the table and we put the presents there initially so I think the banner made a nice background.  Plus you could see it when our family walked into the house.
 So there it is!  How to make a birthday banner from a NON artistic person!! I was nervous when I decided to start the whole project, but I was really happy with the way it turned out. Hopefully this helps somebody out there!

Since this is a 'what I made' post, I also wanted to share how I displayed Sara Kate's 13-24 month pictures.  Since I could only get 1 big circle drawn (the turquoise and pink background circles) I was wasting paper (see picture above in the tutorial).  I grabbed a picture and eyeballed how much 'background' paper I would need to mount a 4x6 picture.  As I was cutting circles, I cut out the corner rectangles (I put the bowl as close to the edge as I could so I had a good 4x6-ish rectangle).  I mounted the pictures with tape so I could pull them off and save them, I hole punched and secured the mounted pictures with ribbon (my mom helped with this part), and then we ended up having to secure the back with paint stirrers taped to the back to sturdy it (my mother-in-law's idea).  It's not perfect but I think it turned out really cute and it was exactly what I had in mind.  It was hung to the left of the banner.
The final 'artsy' thing I decided to do (very last minute) was make a wreath for the door using that Deco Mesh stuff (think that's what it's called??).  My mom made the bow (she needs to teach me how to do that!!).  I don't have a tutorial or anything for it, but I just kind of messed with the mesh until I got it looking the way I wanted to.  I also think this turned out quite cute!
So there were my artistic projects that I made for Sara Kate's birthday.  They weren't that hard and they weren't that costly and I gotta admit that I was proud of the way everything turn out (like I mentioned several times, I am sooo NOT artistic!!).  I might could even talk myself into doing some similar projects in the future! :-)


  1. Where did you find the cardboard letters at Hobby Lobby? I looked everywhere and couldn't find anything similar to what you used. Thanks!
    Your banner is precious!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I'm making a banner for my son's 2nd birthday and I couldn't figure out how to put the letters together. Lol