DIY Projects | Home Decor

A banner for every season.

October 2, 2017

October is officially here! If you read my last post, you know how much I love fall. I don’t wait for October to hit before I begin decorating our house with all things fall. I’ll be honest, I hit up the Labor Day sales at stores to see the latest decor trends for the year. So I guess that’s when fall officially starts for me (or when the first shipment of Pumpkin Spiced Coffee hits the shelves at Trader Joe’s…).

I have really fond memories of sweet and crafty decorations for each and every season, holiday and birthday from as far back as I can remember. My mom always made it a point to make our home a really festive place no matter the time of year. Now that I have kiddos, I definitely wanted to give them the same experience. I have really come to enjoy finding my own creative style and crafty ways to decorate our home. Now before you picture a Clark Griswold decorated house at Christmas or the neighborhood spooky haunted house, that’s not me (at least not yet…).

I’ve been adding a little bit to my seasonal and holiday decoration collection each and every year. I’ve also been so lucky to receive some thoughtful gifts throughout the years from our family and friends. I even inherited “Jack”, a fabric pumpkin that was purchased at a craft fair in St. Louis for my first Halloween ages ago. Now Jack joins my kiddos every year around this time.

 

pumpkin jack
Halloween 2015 – the first year Mila really came to love Jack. He had to be hung a little higher (his safe spot) or else he was pulled down and dragged around all day. I also cannot believe how little she is here… time, slow down a bit.

Since staying home with the kids, I’ve felt like it’s my job to make Jon’s hard-earned money go as far as I can for our family. I feel like I’ve become pretty skilled (maybe a little obsessed) with finding really great bargains, sales, and rarely buy anything full-price. This means I really hold in the reins from letting myself go too crazy each season, so I slowly add to our collection (we are also not in a permanent home right now, so I’m very much aware that any additions must be “packable”…).

If you’re building a holiday decoration collection but are watching those dollars like me, shopping early or right after a season or holiday is the way to go. Most all stores have some type of sale months in advance of any holiday or season to encourage you to stock up. Find the right sale and you can find some pretty good deals. I also get really inspired during these trips so it helps me build my DIY list of decorations I could potentially make on my own. Those post-holiday clearance sales are where things are really discounted…you can just store the items and your shopping is done for next year! The point is you don’t need to break the bank to make your home festive.

While I do love shopping for seasonal decorations, I really love mixing store-bought finds with my own homemade and unique touches. In the recent years, I’ve come to find a true love for banners. It all started with Mila’s first birthday. I wanted to do something a little more special than a generic ‘Happy Birthday’ (nothing wrong with this, by the way, it’s just my personal taste).

I started looking into “custom banners” and immediately realized the price point was not appealing to my frugal self. I’ve been a crafter for a while now, so I have accumulated a fair amount (understatement of the year) of scrapbook paper. In less than an hour, I somehow created a custom birthday banner from scratch. What I realized is this is 100% reusable and it brings a little something special to her birthday since we now use it every year and I just change up the number.

mila birthday banners two
The top one goes on the mantle and the bottom one was her high chair banner that I now hang on the wall by her chair at the table. When her birthday was coming up a few months ago, she asked me when I was going to hang her “special banner”. I’m not going to hide it, that made me smile.

This inspired me to start making unique and decorative banners for each season and holiday because it’s incredible affordable and can be customized to absolutely anything. I’ll admit, I’ve gone a little nuts this year because we now live in a house with a fireplace and a mantle. Before this, I just decorated the walls, doors, windows, etc. but now I just can’t stand the look of an empty mantle.

The concept is incredibly simple and the possibilities are endless. These banners can either have specific phrases or letters that you write on or print out like I did for Mila’s birthday banner above, but the one I’m going to share with you is even easier. You let the paper do the decorating for you. All you have to do is trace, cut and string it all together. This is adaptable to any season or holiday and can be completed as fast as it takes you to trace and cut.

If you’re already a crafter or DIY’er, I’m sure you’ll be inspired to do your own adaptation of this banner. If you’re not feeling crafty but want to give this a try, I’m even going to provide you with a printable template to use, so keep reading!

Here’s what you need:

  • Decorative paper of some kind – scrapbook or card stock paper are great for this (amount and type varies based on your preference and the holiday/season)
paper shot
I love pattern mixing. I decided to go with three geometric patterns and three decorative designs for this banner. You definitely don’t need this many choices if this isn’t your style. The possibilities are really endless.
  • Template for cutting out shapes (see notes below)
  • Hole punch
  • String, twine, yarn, ribbon… anything to string your banner.
  • Command hooks for hanging (my preferred method – I just leave a set at the top of my mantle all year round)

Directions:

  1. The most technical part of this project is you need to roughly measure the “hanging area” first – whether that’s your mantle, wall, door, etc. This will give you an idea of how many shapes you need to cut out in order to fit your banner (this is really important if you end up creating a banner that spells something out like the birthday banner I made above – you’ll need to make sure all the letters fit).
  2. Cut out and trace your template shape(s). Trace them onto the back of your decorative paper.
  3. Cut out each shape.
  4. Hole punch the top two corners of each shape.
  5. Make a simple “loop knot” on one end and string your banner with your desired pattern.
  6. Finish with another “loop knot”.
  7. Hang and enjoy!
stringing
I really enjoy making these with Mila. It’s a fun and creative way to teach her all about patterns. She has become really good at stringing them for me, which I’ve learned is a very peaceful activity for everyone involved.

Note about the templates I make these banners all year round in all shapes and sizes. The bigger the shape – the less you’ll cut and you won’t have as many on the banner. The smaller the shape – the more you’ll cut but also fit on a single string (multiple layer banners are fun too…). It’s as technical as you want to make it.

decorated room
Operation Halloween Banner: complete!

For this Halloween banner, I didn’t really measure it out beforehand to make sure I got the exact same pattern going across, so I actually cut out a few more than I needed and just ended the pattern when I ran out of room. It’s not perfect, but hey, I don’t mind that.

If you like the size and shapes I used in this Halloween banner, I’ve included this banner template that you can print, cut and use to trace you own banner. If you want different sizes or shapes, I recommend using Microsoft Word just like I did – you can insert any shape, resize to your specifications, print, cut and you’re ready to trace.

Other variations for your own banner:

  • Try mixing up different shapes and/or sizes of shapes.
  • Print out or write letters to spell out anything you want.
  • Have kiddos decorate a blank piece of paper and then cut out your shapes from their creations – saves you from making a trip to the craft store for specialty paper!

If you really want to go all pro because you now envision making a ton of these banners, you can find specific banner cutters that cuts triangle and pennant shapes in a variety of sizes quickly and easily. I may or may not have purchased one of these recently (with my coupon in hand, of course) since I am always finding a reason to make a new banner.

My hope for this post is to inspire you to add a little personal touch of your own to your home this season. As always, I love hearing from you, so please share any of your own banners. I’d love to see them and get inspired by you!

Want to save this project for later? Pin it on Pinterest!

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