Sunday, November 13, 2011

Birthday Banner

I am no seamstress.

But, a few years back, I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas, certain I would automatically become an expert pillowcase dress maker.   I bought fabric, ribbon, thread, and some other items.  I hired a sewing teacher.

I made one dress with wayyyy too big arm holes. 

The end.   Or so I thought.

Then I went to a party (hosted by, ironically, the woman who gave me the sewing lesson) and saw beautiful banners hanging throughout her house.    I asked her how she made them, and she said it was very easy.   Easy, I thought.  Right.  Easy for someone who used to own a sewing shop, can quilt, can smock, can craft basically anything out of nothing.

But I decided to give the project a whirl.   I purchased three different fabrics for each banner (one for each daughter), allowing my then two-year-old to choose one of her fabrics (a monkey pattern).  I then bought ribbon to match.

I created a triangle stencil using a file folder (as recommend by my sewing teacher) and spent a few nights cutting triangles with my sewing scissors.  I then ironed my triangles and stacked them in order of how I wanted them to line up on the banner.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I pulled out (and dusted off) my sewing machine.     I didn't touch a single setting (gulp!  who knew what would happen?) nor did I change the thread (change the thread?  are you kidding me?)  and holding my breath, sewed the triangles to the ribbon.

It worked.

I was so happy.   So I pulled out my second ribbon and set of triangles.   About four triangles into the project, I realized something was awry.

Three You Tube videos later, I had wound a new bobbin (whew---listen to me using sewing terms) and was back on track.  

With the leftover triangles and some ribbon I had on hand, I created a third, shorter banner to give as a gift.

What I love about this project is that it's easy, it's inexpensive, and it's homemade.  Plus, you can customize it for any holiday or celebration, and you aren't purchasing a one-time-use banner that will go into the landfill.   And finally, you don't have to do anything perfect.  In fact, the minor "flaws" give the banner character.

(Please excuse the poorly taken photo---the only free and long-enough space I had to lay out my banners was the kitchen floor). 

You can use fabric and ribbon scraps to add to or create a sensory box for your little ones.  

If you give this project a whirl, let me know what you are celebrating! 


  1. Those are cute. I've thought about making one for Camryn's 1st birthday. I've also seen them made with different holiday fabrics. A Christmas one would be really cute.

  2. I love the banner! So cute! Fran did a great job on your blog - it's beautiful!! Thank you so much for entering into my giveaway and helping us bring our next little "brown sugar" home! ;) You're a blessing! I'm a new follower!


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