making a birthday banner


My nephew’s first birthday is coming up in a few weeks and so I am making a banner for the party.   I LOVE banners and have wanted to make them for a long time so I was thrilled to have the opportunity.  However, this is only the second banner that I’ve made (Chris’ Birthday in Sept was the first one) and so I searched high and low on etsy to find the style I wanted to make.

The theme is jungle animals (monkeys, elephants & hippos) with light blue, royal blue, grass green and brown colors. The key is to find the perfect patterned paper. I searched on the internet at my favorite scrapbook stores and couldn’t find any. So I went to Joann’s and found a stack animal print (DWCV) of paper to use.

I decided to do flags for the “happy birthday” portion and then do Matthew’s name on scalloped circles so it will pop out.  I like the circles because they are matted in the royal blue card stock.  Also, this way his mom can hang the “Matthew” portion in his room after the party.    I opted out of mounting the happy birthday pennants on blue because it took away the focus from his name.   You could also just make the “happy birthday” portion of the banner if you wanted to use it multiple times.  My friend Michelle does that with a baby shower banner, she has a “baby girl” and “baby boy” version that she’s uses at showers.  Michelle’s the one who made the “Gwenyth” banner for Gwen’s room and has inspired me to want to make banners too.


I used the die cut machine at Ben Franklin to cut out the scalloped circles (they are just over 4 inches) and then also cut the circles there too.  The letters are 2 inches and all upper case.  I hand cut the flag pennant style pieces on my own to be in similar size to the circles.

To add dimension I popped up the letters with small pop dots.  I also added 2 extra pieces of ribbon between the circles to give it more texture.

I am pleased with how it turned out and can’t wait to see how it looks at the party. I did learn a few things that I’ll change for next time.

1.  Don’t use DCWV paper:  Half of the pattern paper has some sparkly glitters one it and for some reason it smells super strong in a yucky way.  I’ve never encountered scrapbook paper that smells like this.  It’s not a good thing and was stinking up my office.  I decided to hang it outside in the garage to let it air out before the party.  Originally I was going to make a coordinating album with the 12 monthly photos his mother took of him with an elephant but I wouldn’t want a scrapbook that smells like this.  I am going to find some other paper to make a little book with.  It’s too bad because this paper is pretty cute.


2. Know the space it’s going to hang:  (learned after the party) It ended up being posted on a huge wall in front of the table of food.  There was plenty of space and I could have gone larger with the happy birthday portion.  I think it would have looked better if the flags were about 2 inches bigger.    Next time I will try out sample pieces in the place it will hang to make sure that I am creating the right proportions for the area.

3.  Tools:  I’d like to get one of the Martha Stewart circle cutters so that I can do any size circle.  Also, makes me wish I still had my Cricut.  But  it was first generation so I’d probably want the bigger one anyway.  I’ll keep thinking about this one for future banners but it would be very nice to do all of this at home.

4. Strings:  Don’t’ forget to cut the strings down.  I realize that I just need to keep about 24 inches on each end.  I kept them in case I needed to wrap them around something to hang it but turned out a tack worked best for this location.

Update:  Here’s how it looked on the wall at the party!  Matthew’s mommy was very happy with the banner and thanked me for making it.


Supplies:  pattern paper- DCWV Animal Crackers, royal blue cardstock-bazzil, pop dots-under letters, ribbons-various, small hole punch, photo squares-herma


4 thoughts on “making a birthday banner

  1. Pingback: preparing for a party « Laurel Lane

  2. Pingback: happy birthday banner « Laurel Lane

  3. Pingback: Soccer Birthday Party | Laurel Lane

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