I love banners. In my opinion, whatever the occasion, a party banner is totally appropriate. Banners add personality and style to any party occasion. You can buy pre made party banners, but you can make your own for way less. Banners are very easy to make, they just take some time. Keep reading to learn all about DIY party banners.
The first thing you want to do when you’re planning to make a party banner is decide on the paper you’re going to use. Card stock is the best choice since it’s thick enough to be sturdy, but not too thick to cut carefully and accurately.
Regular paper can curl which can be pretty frustrating.
If you’re going for a certain color scheme you can use any of the colors in your palate. I usually get collections of card stock or scrapbook paper that have different colors or patterns but all of them typically go together. These scrapbook paper packs are also usually cheaper than buying each piece of scrapbook paper separately.
Now that you have your paper chosen, you will want to cut out the separate pieces of your banner. There are a few ways you can do this, depending on what type of banner you want to make.
If you have a banner punch board, this part is easy peasy. Banner punch boards typically come with several different options: pennant, flag, and crest. You can only make one size, but you can cut any of these three shapes out, which totally streamlines your banner making process.
If you don’t have a banner punch, you can simply cut these out by hand. Not as quick, but still pretty easy. The banner I wanted to make was bigger than what a punch board could do, so I used a paper trimmer instead. This helps to make your lines straight and it saves a lot of time as well.
If you’re cutting the banner without a punch board, you first need to decide how big you want your background. I usually cut out one letter to use as a template to help me determine what size I want my background to be. For this banner I used 12 X 12 inch pieces of scrapbook paper. I cut out triangles using a paper trimmer. I wanted the banner pieces to be quite large so I used most of the paper. Don’t recycle the scraps right away, you may be able to use these for your party later. I used my scraps for the polka dots on my dessert table backdrop and Minnie Mouse silhouettes for a hanging decoration.
Once I cut out all my triangles it’s time to cut out the letters.
There are a few different ways you can get your letters made; pre cut letters, a die cut machine, a letter punch board, and doing it by hand.
Pre cut letters can be found in a number of colors and sizes at craft stores and well-stocked dollar stores. If you want a larger banner you may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, and this is true for colors as well.
If you have a die-cut machine, making letters is a piece of cake. The most popular home die-cut machines are the Cricut and Silhouette. These machines do cost a couple hundred dollars each, plus supplies, so if you’re only using them for banner making it might not be worth it. However, these machines are really cool and you can make all sorts of fun crafts and projects with them.
A letter punch board is a cheaper option and also offers clean crisp letters. They only create letters in one size which is a bit limiting.
The letter punch board I used comes with an instructional booklet on how to make each letter, number, and special character. At first it seems like a lot of work to make each letter and some of them have a lot of steps. Once you’ve made a few letters it becomes pretty easy to use, and I was able to spell out “happy birthday” in about 15 minutes.
Some of the letters, particularly ‘L’ and ‘S’ messed me up the first time I did them since I was using paper that had a print on only one side. For letters that don’t work flipped to the other side I suggest using a scrap piece of paper first to make sure you are starting it on the right side.
Another option is to use an online template and print the letters out on your printer. You then will have to cut each letter out. This can be very time-consuming depending on how long your banner is.
Once your banner pieces and letters are all cut out it’s time to set up your layout. If you’re using the same color for your banner pieces and the same color for your letters you can skip this part.
If you do have different colors or pattern on your banner pieces, you will want to lay them out before you put on the letters.
For my banner I had several different background patterns, some had gold, some were more of a pale pink, so I wanted to make sure none of the only gold pieces were next to each other. You can do a specific order or just randomly place the banner pieces like I did. Just do whatever looks good to you!
Once the layout is done pile them all up in order, and heat up your glue gun.
Putting It All Together
I suggest using a glue gun for this step. You can use a glue stick, but glue guns adhere so much better and they’re so fast to use; the glue dries completely in just a few minutes. You can buy a glue gun and glue sticks at any craft or dollar store for a couple bucks. I love my glue gun and use it wherever I can. Why sew it when you can glue it?
Once you have attached all the letters, it’s time to attach each piece together. If you’re putting your banner up on a wall, you could just use double-sided tape for each piece and stick each directly to the wall. If you want to hang your banner their are a few ways to do this.
One option is to use a hole punch on the top corners of each banner piece and string them together. You can use ribbon or some sort of twine to do this. I like baker’s twine, it comes in lots of different colors and it’s thin and strong so you don’t need a very large hole in your banner.
Another option is just to glue ribbon between each piece, which is what I did for my banner. Definitely use a glue gun for this. Just add glue on each top corner of the banner pieces and put a small piece of ribbon between each. My banner was made of pretty heavy card stock and this held just fine.
And that’s it! Your party banner is done! As for putting it up, you can probably use a good brand of scotch tape to attach it to wherever you want it. I often use push pins and attach them at the point where my crown molding meets the wall.
Keep It For Next Time
Once your event is over, don’t recycle your banner, save it! If you’ve made a nice banner with your child’s name on it you can hang it in their room, or keep it for another party. I often hang my kid’s old banners on their birthdays. You can use more generic banners again and again so hang on to them.
Now that you know how easy it is to make a banner, you may end up making them for every holiday and occasion. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to add your own banner making tips, please do so below!