You’ve seen them in catalogs and online, but have you ever wondered if you could make one of those cute, personalized birthday flag banners yourself? Well, you can! With just a few easy craft supplies, some creativity and a bit of time, you can make a custom banner that can be used over and over again for your child’s birthday or even hung in their room as decoration after the party.
What you’ll need
- Decorative paper in fun patterns for the flags
- Solid colored paper for the circles that will have the Happy Birthday message
- Tape (clear wrapping paper tape is best!)
- Ribbon, yarn or twine — whatever you would like to hang the flags on
- A cup to trace circles
CHOICES TO MAKE
- What will the banner say? Get a letter count for making enough flags. “Happy Birthday” is 13-letters long alone, plus you’ll need a blank spacer flag in between “happy” and “birthday” if you’re putting it on one long ribbon. See below for more on that!
- How big will the flags be? If you buy 12 x 12 standard scrapbooking paper, you can easily get 4-six-inch triangle flags by cutting the piece of paper into quarters, which is a nice size. If you go too small, the banner will be hard to see. Too big and you’ll need a lot of ribbon and a lot of room to hang your banner.
- Will you put the entire sentence on one ribbon or will each word be on a separate ribbon? Again, consider your space when making this choice! We recommend putting each word on a separate ribbon — it is much more manageable and can easily be strung together into one long banner or broken up to hang across a wall or a room.
Also see: Festive fabric bunting: Room decor for any holiday
Cut out all your flags
Try your best to be accurate in making them all the same size because they will be hanging together in a straight line. The best technique for making them all the same is to make one perfect flag in the size you want and then use that flag as a template to cut out the others.
Make your circles for the letters
On your solid papers, use a glass as a template to trace circles where you’ll write out the letters themselves and then attach them to the flags (double sided tape works great). Make sure that the circles fit well inside the flags that you made — you may have to play around with the circle sizes a bit to get the right look. You can skip this step all together and put the message directly on the flags, if you’d like, but this way, you can just take the letters off and use the flags as decoration in their room afterwards or add new circles with a new message for a different celebration!
Add your message
You can do this in a few ways — if you have great handwriting, feel free to go for it with a nice thick marker. You can also purchase letter scrapbooking stickers or even print out the happy birthday message using a fun font on your computer and then trace around the letters with a glass, as described above!
Lay it all out
Make some room on the floor and lay out your birthday message, just as you’d like it to look when it’s hanging up. Remember that it won’t be in a straight rigid line once it’s hanging from the ribbon — give the flags some room to dip down, depending on how much space to have to play with.
Bring in the ribbon!
Or the twine or yarn or whatever you’ve chosen to hang your flags from. Lay it out over the flags that you have in order on the floor from above. Now you can play around with the spacing between the flags on the ribbon and how much the ribbon will dip when the letters are attached. It will be different for each banner, depending on the material you use to hang them. Be sure to leave a good piece of ribbon on each end of the banner — at least six inches.
Attach your flag
Now it’s getting fun! You can attach the flags in a couple of ways. We find it’s easiest to flip the entire thing upside-down so that you’re now looking at the backs of the flags, with the birthday message facing the floor. But don’t just flip each flag over or you’ll have a backwards birthday message! Now, lay the ribbon on the top of the flags where you’d like it to go and start taping. You can either tape the ribbon a tiny bit down from the top of each flag or fold the top of each flag over a bit to create a little pocket for the ribbon and then tape the paper fold to the back of the flag. Don’t skimp on the tape — you want it to hold!
Flip it all over and hang it up!
You’re almost done — tape is an easy way to attach it to the wall, or you can try some removable adhesives that are meant for strong hold (but that come off easily). Once both sides of the banner are hung, you can tie the ends in a little bow or cut it off, if you prefer.
Congrats on making your first flag banner! For those who are brave or are handy with a needle and thread, you can just as easily make a banner using fabric and the same general technique.
>> Or, overwhelmed by this entire process? Check out these birthday flag banners on Etsy!
More on throwing a great birthday party