How To: Felt Birthday Banner

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If you have a few hours to spare and would like to make a personalized something for your child's birthday party, a sweet homemade felt banner is just a few steps away. We recently made one for our son's birthday party and it was a nice touch to the rest of our party decorations.

For this project, you'll need about 5 yards of ribbon or cord (more if your child has a very long name), a hot glue gun, a sewing machine, and enough standard felt rectangles -- in a variety of colors -- to spell out HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOUR CHILD'S NAME (Fig. 1). We needed 20 squares to spell out Happy Birthday Vincent.


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The first step is to make the felt rectangles into squares. To do so, fold the lower left corner (Fig.2) diagonally towards the right side. Cut the felt that is exposed along the top (Fig. 3) and save the remnant for later use (Fig. 4).


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Use the felt remnants as a guide for cutting the pennants. Lay the remnant diagonally with its corner touching the corner of the square (Fig. 5) and cut to the end of the remnant. Do the same on the other side. You will end up with a pennant (Fig. 6). Use that pennant as a guide for cutting the rest of your squares (Fig. 7).


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Next, type out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHILD�S NAME" using a sans serif 300 point font (Fig. 8); we used Arial for our banner. Pin the letters to the felt remnants (Fig. 9) and cut out each letter. If you do not have access to a printer, you can always write the letters by hand on a piece of paper and pin and cut them as well. Put your letters aside and save the scraps.


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You will have to sew the pennants to be able to thread them onto the cord. To make sewing them easier, iron a crease into each one. Cut a strip of card stock or construction paper, about half an inch wide (Fig. 10), and use it as a guide for ironing them (Figs. 11 and 12).


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Once you've sewn all of the pennants (Fig. 13), you can cut the ends of each one (Figs. 14 and 15).


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The next step is to hot glue your letters onto each pennant (Fig. 16). During this step, you can now fill in the "hole" for the letters that need it by cutting a triangle or circle and gluing them into place (Figs. 17 and 18).


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Finally, you can thread each pennant onto your ribbon or cord. To make the threading easier, we recommend applying tape to the end of the cord to stiffen it up (like the end of a shoelace) or you can cut open a straw and tape it onto the ribbon or cord to use almost like a large needle for feeding the cord through the pennants.

One fun option is to add a smaller blank pennant in between each word, like we did with ours. For extra quirk, we added a pom-pom to those spacer pennants.

Get extra creative and add your own personal touches to your banners, too. Have fun and be sure to brag to all of your guests that you made the banner all by yourself!

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