Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A hand-crafted birthday banner

Here is one of the handmade gifts I made for Christmas this year. I made two of these "Happy Birthday" banners for my daughters and their families. Since they each have more than one child, it wasn't practical to add a child's name at the end of the banner as the pattern was designed. So I made a separate small banner for each child's name. These could be tied onto the end of the "Happy Birthday" banner if desired, or hung beneath it.

I found the pattern in the book Stitched in Time, by Alicia Paulson. This is a lovely book, with many interesting projects with the potential to become family heirlooms. I bought mine on Amazon with a gift card I'd received for Mother's Day.

(Note: I have just added this book to my A-Store, "My Kitchen Table Collection" which you can access with the button to the right. If you are interested, Stitched in Time can be found and/or purchased on page 6.)

I did just a couple of things differently from what the pattern directed. I used muslin to back the parts of the banner, rather than matching fabric as suggested. This saved the decorative fabric and enabled me to make a number of banners with the fabric I had purchased. I think that in most cases the banners I made will be hung against a wall or above a door, so really the back side will rarely be seen. The other thing I did was not to make hanging loops at each end of the large banner, because I wanted to leave the recipients the option of tying a separate name banner to one end. I just left 8 to 10 inches at each end of the bias tape, feeling that would be enough to tie or tack up where needed.

This was my first attempt at using a font from my computer for a fabric craft. I used Georgia at the 250-point size as recommended, and loved the way it turned out. It was also my first attempt at freezer-paper stenciling, which I undertook with fear and trembling, but it turned out fairly well.

All in all, it was a fun project which I hope will become an heirloom in my daughters' families. I gave the banners along with birthday candles, birthday napkins, and a couple of fun kids' books from Gooseberry Patch.


  1. You are just so talented, Love seeing all your crafts. The banners turned out really nice.

  2. What a wonderful gift you made! That will be used for many years to come! Very nice!

  3. Thanks so much for your sweet comments, ladies! It is great to see both of you here, and I am glad you liked the banners. Hope you will both have a blessed New Year in 2011.

    God bless,

  4. These are so cute and unusual and you did a beautiful job on them. Isn't it a joy to find a good craft book with unusual ideas?

    Hope you have a wonderful New Year.

    See you next year :)

  5. Thanks, Mrs.D! Yes, I do love finding a book with original projects and good instructions. This one has both and was fun to use. I'll be tackling some of the other projects over time, I'm sure.

    Hope you and Mr. D have a wonderful New Year's weekend, and I'll see you soon!


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