I'm so pleased with how the Happy Birthday banner I made for my son's birthday last weekend turned out that I just had to share it with all of you :)
You will need:
an assortment of colored felt
coordinating cotton fabrics and thread
cookie cutter, mug or something else round to trace around
I started by tracing 3 inch circles on my felt using one of my water glasses as a tracing pattern :) Then I found a 4 inch scalloped cookie cutter that was just perfect for the white accent underneath the colored circles and traced around it, then cutting both styles of circles out. Don't worry if you don't have items that are the exact measurements that I used, check out your cookie cutters & glass cupboard and match up sizes that you have :)
Next using my word processor program on my computer I typed in 'happy birthday' and adjusted the size until the letters printed out at a suitable size to fit on the top circle comfortably without being to close to the edges. I used the 'Arial' font at 200 points for the size :)
With all of your circles and letters cut out, stack them together the way that you want them to look and start by sewing just your letters on through all 3 layers of felt. This is much quicker than hand sewing and I was in a bit of a time crunch *grin*.
With all of your letters attached it's time to get your flags cut. You'll have to excuse my hodge podge assortment of measuring tools! LOL. I only had one ruler that was long enough so I had to resort to fabric scraps for the other side *grin*. Not a big deal at this point though, all you want to do right now is visualize how big you want your flags to be so that your felt circles are going to fit nicely and jot down your measurements for when you are ready to actually start cutting!
Now that I knew exactly what size my flags we're going to have to be to look good, I started to cut. I used a 10 inch wide strip of cotton cut parallel to the selvage along the width of my fabric leaving me with a nice rectangular chunk.
With my flags planning to be 7 inches wide at the top, I lined one end of my ruler up at one of the corners on the narrow end of rectangle sized fabric and moved the other end of the ruler diagonally across the fabric so that it stopped 3.5 inches further up the fabric on the opposite side. This first cut was going to create one side of one flag. Once that was cut I repositioned my ruler so that it stayed on the 3.5 inch mark on the one side and slid the opposite end of the ruler up the fabric 7 inches and made my second cut which then created my 7 inch wide triangle like in the above photo.
To continue cutting your triangles out of your rectangular piece of fabric you just alternate what sides you count up your 7 & 3.5 inches. Hopefully my photo is worth a 1000 words and helps clarify my instructions *grin*.
With my assortment of colored flags all cut, I laid the entire banner out so that I could alternate flags & felt alphabet circles around until I had it looking just like I wanted :)
As soon as I had my line up decided I took them to the sewing machine, positioned each circle 3/4 of an inch below the top of each flag and then edge stitched inside the colored felt circles to attach them permanently to the flags.
Since I never turned under any of the raw edges on my cotton I was a bit concerned that with all of the handling it was going to start to fray. So I took my pinking sheers and quickly cut down each of the edges tidying up any stray threads and giving them a fun finish :)
The last and final step was to attach some pre-made bias tape along the top, connecting all of the flags together :) Now if you're really industrious you can actually make your own bias and the thought did actually crossed my mind but I opted for the easy way out and used the pre-made stuff *grin*.
That's it! One fun and super colorful birthday banner :) These could be used for anything to, not necessarily just birthdays. They'll gussy up any festivities and you could personalize it with your child's name to! The only thing that I would have changed was to put on the number 4 with velcro so that I would have been able to remove it every year and update how old he is. Alas, hindsight is 20/20 *grin*.
Have fun making one of your own and let me know when you've finished it. I'd love to see what you do to make yours special :)