Monday, June 28, 2010

Birthday Banners

When I posted a picture of the birthday banners in progress a while back, several people asked about them, so here's everything you've ever wanted to know about them--and a little more!

I started by making patterns for the names. I just used Word and used the plainest font--I think I used Arial--and made huge letters. I cut them out, traced them onto the fabric, and cut again.

For the banners, I just got the cheap felt sheets at Hobby Lobby--4 for $1, I think. Now here's where it gets highly meticulous...I folded the sheets in half and then traced a diagonal line from the midpoint to the corner. I used an ink pen and an old sheet of posterboard. High tech.

Then came the scary part. I had to get out my machine. My machine and I have a very tenuous relationship. For the last decade or so, we have enjoyed living in the same house without talking much. In fact, I wasn't even sure I would be able to thread it, so I took pictures before taking out the old thread.

Before I started sewing, I laid out all the banners and letters to make sure I had it right (see below for the time I didn't). I made mine two-sided, so I needed to lay one out backward to make sure the colors matched.

When I had it like I wanted it (or like I thought I wanted it), I sewed around the edges. My lines weren't the neatest, but thanks to the prints and distance, they looked fine.

Once I had all the letters on, I pinned the ribbon. I sewed all along the bottom edge of the ribbon and stopped at the edge of each banner.

Next I pinned the other side of the banners on and sewed one straight line all along the top of the banners.

Tip 1: If you have a place in mind for the banners, measure it. I didn't.

Tip 2: Double-check before you sew. And then check again, because it's hard to rip a little seam out of felt. Yes, that banner reads ENUJ ECILA. No, I didn't even cry, probably thanks to the birthday party stupor I was in that week.

It turns out that the stairs make a pretty good place to hang the (corrected) banners, so all was well.

We hung Jack's from the balcony during his party. I think his looks really nice with the bright colors.

All in all, this was time consuming, but not too difficult, even for someone like me. Jack wants me to make a banner that says "He loves her" for our anniversary, but that may be too many letters and I think my machine and I need some time apart. Maybe next year!


Phyllis said...

I love this post. It is sweet and informative. It is honest and touching. I am not a sewer but this looks like it might be a newbie's project. Thanks so much for sharing your talent.

Amber said...

Those banners are adorable! Thanks for the tutorial, I think I might use this idea.