Happy Happy Birthday Banner!!

It is birthday season at my house.  There are 6 people in my family – and beginning in March – we have a birthday every two weeks.  It’s hectic to say the least – but it’s fun!!  Last year I made this birthday banner with my fabulous friend, and I have LOVED it!  It makes the place look decorated in a big hurry, and it was REALLY easy!

To make the penants:

1. Choose a fabric

**Note: We made ours out of printed duck cloth (canvas).  It’s a heavier fabric, so it hangs nicely.  (you could also use paper)

2. Decide what size you want your penants to be and cut a pattern out. (mine in 9″ wide at the top and 13″ long down the side)

3. Cut double the number of triangles you need for what you’re spelling. (front and back)  For instance –   I wrote out “Happy Birthday” so I cut 26 triangles.

4. Place each triangle “wrong sides” (side with no pattern or back side of the fabric) together and sew about an inch in from the edge around the entire triangle.  You can do a zig zag or straight stitch.  Whatever look you’re going for.  I figured the canvas doesn’t really fray, so I didn’t need the zig-zag for durability, and the fabric patterns were busy – so I opted for the straight stitch.

**Note: Don’t forget to back stitch where your beginning and end come together – we don’t want the stitches coming out!

5. Repeat on all of your triangles.

Putting the banner together:

**Note:  This is easier before adding all of your elements to the banner

1. Choose a ribbon or trim slightly longer than your triangles laid out end to end.

2. Pin the triangles to the trim in an arrangement that you like.

**Note: I tried to keep similar colors and patterns away from eachother.  It helps to lay it out first to make sure it looks good.**

3. Sew the triangles to the trim (make sure the trim is layered above  the triangle)

Decorating the Penants:

Obivously – you can wing it here …everyone has different tastes.  I will show you what I did – and would love suggestions on things you thing would be great!  Here is a close-up of one of my penants so you can see the layering…

Layer 1 –  paper medallion:

1. Choose paper for your medallion.  I used pages from a small paperback dictionary. But scrapbook paper, sheet music, a regular book, whatever makes you happy.  My fabric was so bright, I opted for something more muted.  If you use the dictionary pages, you need 2 pages per medallion.

2. Ink the edges.  This is optional, but it makes the paper stand out more.  I used the colorbox chalk on mine.  It has a softer look than ink pads, and the shape makes it easy to work with.  (you can click on the image below to get some!)  Just slide the ink pad along all 4 edges of each page.

**Note: you can ink them all at once.  Just hold them together.**

3. Fold down the length of the page alternating forward and backward (like you’re making a fan) all the way down the page.

4.  Fold the fanned page in half lengthwise

5. Spread the fan open at the top and staple or glue in the open position.

6. Place two of the stapled halves together to form a circle and staple into place.

**Note: Don’t worry that it comes apart in the middle – the next step is hot glueing them onto our banner.**

7. Glue the medallion to the center of your triangle.

Layer 2: Tule – I used tule to give it a little texture.

1. cut squares of tule – 1 per penant.

2. Place a dab of hot glue in the center of the paper fan medallion.

3. Scrunch up your tule square in the glue.  Play with it until it looks the way you want it.

Layer 3 – The Letters

**Note: I used chipboard letters, but if you have a electronic paper cutter – then I think cardstock would work just fine.**

1. Choose your letters – I went to my local scrapbook store and punched them out using their die cutting equipment.  Truth be told – I wish I had cut them bigger.  I made one for my sister in law for her birthday and used bigger letters – it looks a lot better!!

2. Paint mod podge onto the letter (I’ve tried spray adhesive, but it seems to not hold glitter so well.)

3. Cover with glitter (I used german glass glitter, because it’s so chunky and it tarnishes over time)

4. Shake off excess glitter

5. Spray with aerosol hairspray to set the glitter without losing the sparkle.

6. Repeat with remaining letters.

Yay!  Your banner is done!  At my house – we’ve decided it’s just easier to leave it out from March to June. ;0)



15 thoughts on “Happy Happy Birthday Banner!!

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  5. Happy Birthday months!! Our big time is Jan – April. 🙂

    Your banner is fabulous – I love all the layers. The glitter/ hairspray tip I will be using soon… and again… and again. Thank you Erin!!

  6. Oops! Forgot to mention that when I made my happy banner I just used two pieces of cotton and they hang very nicely. I love how they kind of flutter in the breeze. Also, I didn’t turn them [I just sewed wrong sides together and pinked the edges] so super simple if you don’t want the extra steps.

    And I think it’s funny that our banners seem to go up at the same time and stay up for the next few months. I think I don’t take mine down until October 🙂

    • Great suggestion! And if people are fabric hoarders (like me) they probably have a lot of cute scraps laying around to make a really cute banner!! Thanks!

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