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“DIY Happy Birthday Banner for Kids”

Hey Everyone, I’m Megan, a regular guest blogger on Modern Day Moms. Every saturday for the next few weeks, I’ll give you the how-to for some of the party decorations that I’ve made over the years. Banners, invites, piñatas, garland and the whole how-to for throwing a polka dot themed double birthday celebration!

Ready for more handmade birthday ideas? Hopefully you caught my idea last week about making your own invitations. Here is my next how-to… the Happy Birthday Banner!

Who wouldn’t want to make a cute handmade birthday banner for their kids? Something that could be put up year after year? It doesn’t take much time or much money and it will last a lifetime.

Here are two different types of birthday banners: one made from scrapbook paper and the other from felt.

Paper Banner How-To:

Materials You Need:

-Various patterns and colors of scrapbook paper

-String, ribbon or yarn

-Large stencils or a computer to make them

-Scissors

-Stapler

-Hole punch

I used my computer and printer to make the letters for my daughter’s birthday banner. I opened up a word program, typed the words Happy Birthday and her name and then played around with the font and text size until I had what I wanted. Then I changed it to outline effect by clicking on format, then font and checked outline. (That way I don’t waste too much ink too!) When I was happy with the way the words looked, I printed them out. Then I cut around the outside of each letter (no need to be exact but just to separate the letters). I wanted to have a rectangular tab around each letter to make it easier to attach them together. (see picture) So I cut out a rectangular shape and rounded the edges.(you could also use the word program to make this-most of them have generic shapes that you can use) I laid this under the top of each letter as I cut each out (see example below).

You could also go to the dollar store and buy a Happy Birthday Banner and trace around it if you don’t want to make the stencils and the tabs. That way you don’t have as much work and you still get a very unique one.

Next, I stapled each letter to different patterns and colors of paper. I chose shades of pinks, greens and white with flowers on them for my daughter. Then using a good pair of paper scissors, I cut carefully around each letter. After I finished, I took all the letters down to the local copy center and had them laminated for a nominal fee. I cut around each letter again, leaving a ¼” border of laminate and then hole punched a hole on each side of the letter in the rectangle. Then I used a 4” piece of yarn (you could also use string or ribbon) and tied each letter to one another. I only used a few pieces of scrapbook paper and it only took me a few hours and now I have a banner that can be displayed year after year.

Felt Banner How-To:

Materials You Need:

– 9 x 12” felt rectangles (they go on sale 6/$1 quite often!)

-Scissors

-a bowl the diameter you want your circles to be

-a sharpie or other kind of marking pen

-Large alphabet stencils or a computer to make them

-Fabri Tac glue or other type of fabric glue

-Ribbon

I found a bowl in my kitchen that is about 5 ½” in diameter. This was the perfect size for me because it meant I could fit 2 circles on each piece of felt and then use the scraps to cut out the letters and the backing. I folded each piece of felt in half and traced around the bowl using an old sharpie that I use only for felt (the felt wears the sharpies down quickly). I cut out half in blue and half in green felt so that I could alternate the colors. You could use all the same colors for the circles or alternate several different colors to get the look that you want. After all the circles were cut, I cut out the same number of half circles to use as a backing (you could also use a full circle but I was too cheap and running low on felt!) Don’t throw out all those small scrap pieces though! They can be used for the letters!

After all your circles are cut out, its time to cut out the letters. I used a word program again to make stencils (see above). After I had typed the letters, enlarged them, found the font I wanted and switched the letters to outline, I printed them and stapled the individual letters to the felt scraps. Since I was alternating colors, I sorted my letters into two piles so I wouldn’t get confused and started cutting away (a great thing to do while catching up on your TV shows late at night!).

With everything cut out, it was time to start the assembly line. I laid out 5 felt circles and the word HAPPY. Then using Fabric Tac(or any other fabric glue) I affixed each letter to the contrasting color felt circle. Then I laid out the word BIRTHDAY and then my sons name and did the same thing.

Now its time to attach it all together. This is where you need the ribbon and the half circles. Start with the word HAPPY again and lay out 5 half circles in a line. Use a ruler to space them out evenly-I liked them about 3” apart. Next, lay out a piece of ribbon across each half circle, leaving the ends long enough so you can hang it (somewhere between 9 and 12” is best). Use the Fabric Tac glue to glue around the half circle and across the ribbon and make sure to hold the felt and ribbon tight so it doesn’t move. Lay the full circle on top matching up with the half circle. Move on to the next letter until you are done.

Both projects may take a bit of time, but look at what you get when you are done! A banner to be used year after year and you only have to make it once. Plus it’s so much more personal and meaningful than the store bought kind!

Stay tuned next week for more handmade birthday decorations! Garland, party favors, a piñata and an entire polka dot themed party to celebrate both my kids birthdays!

In case you missed it, view last week’s post: Handmade Birthday Party Invitations!

Today’s post is brought to us by Megan. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their two little ones; Audrey and Owen. Up until a year ago, she was a pre-school teacher and has a degree in Early Childhood Education. Now a (lucky) full-time mom, she enjoys spending her days teaching the kids through play, cooking, yoga and creating. In her very spare time she is an artist and has her own line of little girls skirts.

www.inbetweendreams.etsy.com or In Between Dreams on facebook

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