Saturday, August 22

DIY Felt Birthday Banner

We've got one more felty birthday project for you this week. While we were putting up the traditional streamers and balloons (they were black, as requested by the soon-to-be-2 birthday boy... who apparently likes black) the night before his birthday we decided it would be nice to have a reusable "Happy Birthday" banner to pull out for every birthday. So that night after I finished his polar bear birthday crown, I whipped one up from my felt stash (another reason I like to buy felt by the yard = there's always left overs for last minute projects!).

Like I said, this project was also completed the night before his birthday, so that will give you and idea of just how fast and easy it came together. And if you're really in a time pinch you could hot glue the letters on instead of sewing them. It's also really simple to make the banner say anything else you want - you don't even need a pattern! Here's what you need:
  • felt! Any colors you like. I used red, yellow, and a tealy blue. I guess the amount would depend on how big you make your pennants, like I said I did it all from left over pieces. :)
  • thread (or hot glue if you want a no-sew project)
  • hot glue 
  • rope or ribbon
Start by cutting out some pennants (you need 13 to spell "happy birthday"). I just cut one the size I wanted, about 6" tall, and used it as a pattern to cut out the rest. Next I cut felt rectangles for each letter. You can see in the pic below I cut the rectangle to just fit on one of the pennants. Then I used it as a template to cut out 12 more rectangles. Cutting the letters from the rectangles makes it easy to be sure your letters will fit on the pennants, and that they all end up evenly sized! Then I lined up all my pennants in order (red, blue, yellow, red, blue, yellow) with their coordinating rectangles on top of each pennant (I did yellow on red, red on blue, and blue on yellow).

Then I started with the first pennant and worked my way across the banner cutting one letter from each rectangle. So for the "H," for example, I just cut two notches out of the rectangle like in the pic below. Make sure you reach all the way to the edges of the rectangle so your letters end up even! Sew around the edges of each letter to attach it to the pennant (or glue it if you prefer!).

Once the letter are all sewn in place, you can glue a string or ribbon along the top edge of each pennant. Make sure your letters are in the right order as you go! If you use a ribbon you could sew it on instead, but the string seemed easier to just glue. I left a couple feet of tail at each end for hanging the finished banner.

Once the glue dries, you can wrap it all up in a festive little bundle. Congrats! You're ready for a birthday at a moments notice!

Having one long banner worked out perfectly for our space, but you could also put "happy" and "birthday" on separate strings if you need a narrower option.

The birthday boy had some confusion for several weeks about what exactly a birthday was, saying things like "My put mine birfday in mine pocket?" And I guess he decided in the end this banner was his "birfday" because when the tape gave way a couple days after his birthday he said a very forlorn "Oh no. My happy birfday falled down."

Next I'm thinking a Christmas banner might be in order! What do you want to make a felty banner for?

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