Friday, January 6, 2012

A Birthday Banner

Adding a festive birthday note to our space!
For Brother-Bug's first birthday I dug deep into the scrap bin and made The Birthday Banner. This banner has been hung at all our family birthdays since then, and will continue to be hung as we all grow and change. When Sister-Bug was born, one of Brother-Bug's jobs was to hang the banner with help from one of his birth attendants.

A quick Google search reveals that similar banners are between $10-$90. However, if you have basic sewing skills, a banner is very easy to make.

The middle three flags - so scrappy!
Our banner has white felt for the flags. I cut triangles about 6 inches wide and 9 inches tall.

Each flag is bound in bias tape - I used the scraps from my bias tape box. You will need about 9 yards of bias tape.

I added another stripe of ribbon, tic-rack, or other trim to each flag, following the line of the bias tape. Again, I used scraps I had in my trim box - another 8-9 yards total.

There are 16 flags on our banner. Three have star appliqu├ęs, one to start, one between the two words, and one to finish. The other thirteen have the letters of happy birthday zig-zagged on. Here is where the scrap bin is particularly important. The scraps that form the letters are our scraps. Here is Brother-Bug's baby sun hat... There is Papa-Bug's favorite Hawaiian shirt that tore... This used to be a skirt of Mama's... And so on. I cut the letters freehand and used some fixative so they wouldn't wiggle as I zig-zagged them on.

Close up of the binding construction.
I found some gold star buttons in the button box and sewed them on various flags, putting the big one in the middle.

Finally, I took a wide ribbon (2-3 inches) that was about 5 yards long and carefully bound it over the tops of the flags and getting all the flags in a row. Now the banner is basically complete. I sewed long lengths of 1/8 inch ribbon on each end to tie it up.

Our banner is now into its 5th year, and 15th birthday (or somewhere around that). It's still lovely. The kids adore it. Papa-Bug and I like to sneak the night before a birthday and put it up so the birthday person sees it first thing at breakfast.

It's one of those little things that makes a birthday extra special in our house.

No comments:

Post a Comment