Friday, March 18, 2011

Hanging Around The House: Festive Banners You Can Make For Any Occasion

Remember when you had a birthday party and your mother purchased foil letters that fanned out to say " Happy Birthday"? They were also available with 'Welcome Home' or 'Good Luck' sentiments?

Well, the party banner has come a long way from those foil letter days. Searching a favorite party website you can find any number of styles and sizes of banners that creative party givers make. All sorts of fabrics, papers, ribbons and decorative details adorn these fluttery flags and I put it on my list of things to try.

Teachers: this makes a great classroom undertaking.

A couple of weeks ago I made my first banner assisted by my two young grandchildren who got into the spirit right away since a lot of gluing was involved! This banner had a purpose: a loved one was in the hospital and was due to come home after a 10-day stay. I shopped for some heavy card stock and chose a book sold in craft stores for scrapbooking aficionados. There were 48 12x12-inch sheets in the book in varying patterns of graphic black and white designs, actually more than I needed, but it wouldn't go to waste. I also purchased some stencils and colored construction paper for the letters, ribbon and of course the glue. The banner pictured on yesterday's post was a bit long. The words "Welcome Home' are quite lengthy and I would have been better cutting down the size of the paper from the original 12-inch size.

I did another smaller flag banner using the same paper for a girl that could be used on a door or on the headboard of her bed.

The best part about this project is that you can really do anything and it looks great. It's fun coordinating the banner to a themed party or room decor and it's a fun project to get children involved in their own party. They can trace letters, cut them out with safety scissors and glue it together. A perfect rainy day activity!

I made another banner for a boy's christening. I used light blue dessert sized blue paper plates in squares and circles and paper doilies with the letters cut out ('expert' cutting skills are needed for this example!!). I punched two holes at the top of each plate and ran a length of measured ribbon through to string the plates together. The blank plate (used to separate the words) is perfect for a black and white photo of the baby or child. This is also nice for a communion party.

I'm working on fabric flags for a child's play room. Will post the final result when completed.

I've included these two photos from Kara's Party Ideas website. The checkered banners came from the 'Gingham Party' post, the other is the top post for today, a christening party.

What You Might Need
For paper banners, depending on the style:
cardstock or paper plates
contrast paper for letters
stencils or computer generated letters
pencil, glue, scissors, ruler
ribbon or cording
hole punch
decorative stick-ons

  • Measure length of area where the banner will be hung and cut triangles (all of the same size) out of cardstock to fit measures. You can back the triangles with paper as well to make it read on both sides if it will be hanging across a room. If not, decorate one side only. 
  • Trace letters from stencils or print letters on a computer and cut out using contrasting colors.
  • Glue letters to triangles on front and back. If using two sides, run ribbon in between gluing to both sides of triangles. You can space the flags apart (as on the gingham ones above) or glue them edge to edge. 
  • When dry, add decorative items or bows and let dry if needed before hanging.
  • Ribbon length should include at least a foot extra on either side for hanging purposes.
  • For paper plates: purchase plates and doilies (or other paper) that coordinate your event. Trace letters onto doily or paper and cut out, gluing to plate to create a 3D effect. Or just glue letters right onto plate.
  • Measure length of ribbon or cording to fit area as above. 
  • Punch two holes at top of each plate to run the cording through. 

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