DIY Birthday Banner

DIY Birthday Banner

I have wanted to make celebrating birthday’s and holidays as eco-friendly as possible. Usually this does not require any extra money. It simply means not buying disposable products, which saves money. It means making foods and beverages from scratch, which again, saves money. Not buying a lot of trinkets and toys that won’t get used – saving money.

Every now and then, you’ll need to invest a little bit more money, however, to keep celebrations simple and reusable. In the end, it does save money, though. 😉

Rather than buying crepe paper year after year, why not use some scraps of fabric and ribbon and make a bunting banner? You can create any shapes you want: Rounded, triangle, square. You don’t even need to make shapes! Maybe you use cotton, maybe you use wool felt! You don’t have to use fabric, either. You can use paper as well (and by the way, THIS is my favorite version I have seen of these!). Or make mini chalkboards. Or let your imagination run wild and do something else!

Instead of buying a plastic sign that declares excitement for the birthday or holiday, you can make a banner from fabric, which will last much longer than the flimsy plastic signs. That’s where this post comes in! This is an image-transfer banner.
I’ve created a banner on the cheap that will last for years to come. 🙂 Here’s a quick, easy tutorial. I hope the pictures are clear enough for you.

You’ll need:

  • sturdy cotton fabric, I used cotton duck
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • laserjet printer with ink (not inkjet)
  • computer paper
  • orange essential oil (you can also use Citrasolv, but it does not have good ratings on the Environmental Working Group’s site)
  • q-tip
  • butter knife and possibly spoon
  • table

Start with the piece of fabric. Wash, dry, iron. Cut  to desired size, with a bit of extra for seam-allowance. I measured and cut mine to 40″x 25″.

On one side of fabric, roll 1/4″ and iron-press. Roll over the same side, another 1/4″ and iron-press. Sew in place. Repeat on remaining three sides.

Print desired words, pictures, etc. onto paper with laserjet printer. Make sure that any words or pictures that you want to show in its correct orientation on the banner are printed backwards.

For my project, I used free flourishes from FontSpace and free Hobbiton fontwork from the same place.

Once printed, cut out the letters and pictures, leaving about 1/2″ of ink-free paper around the print. Place sewn fabric on a table. Arrange the cut papers on the fabric banner (ink-side down), to get an idea of the proper layout. It may be helpful for you to take a picture of it, so you can remember the placement.

On one piece of paper at a time, drop orange essential oil, spreading with the q-tip. Make sure to cover all of the printed area. It will show up quite well at this point. Work quickly. 🙂

As soon as you’ve spread the essential oil on the paper, hold onto the edges of the paper with one hand and apply gentle but very firm pressure with the smooth edge of the butter knife in your other hand. Or, have another person hold the paper while you use the butter knife. Repeat for each piece of printed paper.

When you have finished, wash the banner and dry it. You could add eyelet to the corners, to hang up for display later, or you could use ribbon and clothespins. Either way would work.

Here’s my banner hanging up to dry! Perfect for Christmas, birthdays, and more.

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