Today I’m sharing with you this easy DIY birthday banner that I made. This month my youngest daughter turned one, and first birthdays are a big deal in our house! Not only because we get to celebrate the life our sweet girl with all of our closest friends and family, but also because we as parents made it through the first year! The lack of sleep, constant diaper changes, early morning feedings, and all the in between–we did it. So as the big day approached, I went into party planning mode and decided to make quite a few of the details for her party myself.
I always seem to go back and forth on the birthday banner: one party I’ll make it, the next I’ll buy it, and this time I browsed Etsy to see if something fit the theme. I found a few that I liked but just couldn’t bring myself to spend $25-$30 on a custom banner. So naturally, I decided to try and make it! It was easy and required only a few materials. But most importantly, you don’t need an expensive cutting machine (Silhouette or Cricut), or even an Exacto knife for that matter.
12″ x 12″ Cardstock (each piece of cardstock yields six pennants, so plan accordingly)
Simple Craft Paper Cutter
Cutting Mat with Grids (makes it much easier but not necessary)
A note about the materials: The sticker letters were purchased from JoAnn. Each letter measures about 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. If the letters you purchase are different, make sure they will fit on the 4 x 5 pennant before cutting. The stickers were on sale for $4.99 and contained a few of each letter and numbers. (Double check to make sure you have enough letters.) I actually had to cut and paste to make one additional ‘D’. The Simple Craft Paper Cutter can also be purchased at any craft store. Take a coupon with you if you don’t have one since they run between $10 and $20 regularly. The Cutting Mat with Grid makes measuring and drawing your lines easier and can often be purchased in a kit with a ruler.
First, cut the small barcode section of the paper off. This is in addition to the 12×12 cardstock, so after you cut, your paper should be exactly 12x 12. Then cut it again in half leaving you with 2 pieces, each 6 x 12 inches.
Next, you are going to lightly draw out your lines. These lines will guide you to create to bottom ^ part of the pendant. Turn your paper over if there is a right and wrong side so that you are drawing on the wrong side. Measure up 1 inch from the bottom and draw a line lightly across. Make sure you don’t push into the paper with your pencil. You don’t want it to emboss through to the other side! (See figure below.)
Now draw 3 small perpendicular lines at the 2, 6, and 10 inch mark. This gives you a point to cut into. You could skip these steps and lay your ruler down 1 inch up, then draw a mark at the three points above; however, having the X helps me visualize while cutting.
After you have everything marked, use your paper trimmer to cut every 4 inches or at the 4 and 8 inch marks. You should now have three 4 inch wide by 6 inch tall pieces. These are your pennants. Continue doing this until all of your pieces are marked and cut.
I cut 5 whole pieces and ended up with 30 pennant pieces. The cutting process is never perfect for me, and that’s ok. I only needed 25 so I lined them up widest to least widest, then removed the 5 that were the most off.
Next you will need your scissors to make your ^ at the bottom of the pennant. Simply cut from one corner into the cross section that we drew out, then from the other corner. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s a small cut so a straight line shouldn’t be too difficult.
Almost done! Use a hole punch to punch a hole on both upper corners of every pennant.
String your pennants and secure with tape on the backside if needed.
Paper- 5 for $1 on sale at JoAnn x 2 = $2
Sticker Letters on sale at JoAnn = $5
String or Ribbon = $0 (left over)
All other materials = $0 (already owned)