There’s more food than crafts on here lately. Here’s why: one must eat every day but one does not have to craft as frequently. I’ll do my part and keep this here blog up to date with a good mix starting now. Here’s a tutorial for something I’ve made for probably 10 years* and has been my go-to birthday gift for just as long.
(The Anything Banner in the Wild. A Hog Island birthday for Dean!)
I’ve modified and tweaked this project so many times that at least 50 versions of it exist in dumps and keepsake boxes alike. The most recent version was made using a slug of outdated business cards I’ve hoarded. If you’ve got extras laying around, good for you. But for the rest of you, there is an extra step or three.
This project is called The Anything Banner. I’ve only ever made Happy Birthday signs but doesn’t mean that there are many other ways it can be used. I’d like you, fine reader-people, to explore the other uses and phrases possible with our fine English alphabet.
But first, here’s how you make one.
What you’ll need:
Card stock and a printed alphabet template, cut out OR old business cards with a blank backside Stapler Pencil Markers, colored pencils or other decorations 3 ft or more ribbon Scratch paper
Directions: One. Determine what you’d like to say with your banner and who you’d like to say it to.
Two-A. Use the rectangular business card to freestyle cut the letters you need for your phrase. Try to make them even and don’t cut out the holes yet (it makes them easier to color). Skip to step 3.
Two-B. If you don’t happen to have a surplus of old business cards, you can make yourself a template and trace letters onto card stock. In Microsoft Word (or something similar), open a new document. Make your page orientation horizon and select a large bold font to use. I’d recommend Helvetica Neue Black Condensed, size 325 or so. To save on ink, I recommend making the letters outlined. Remember, you only need one of each letter.
When you’re happy with the look and size of your letters, print. Then cut ’em out. Now you’ve got letter templates.
Using a pencil, trace the letters onto card stock and cut out each letter, leaving the letters with a hole intact. What do I mean? Don’t cut out the paper inside Ps, Bs, Rs and the like. Ok, whew. All caught up to the fools with biz cards!
Three. Using markers or colored pencils, massacre each letter differently. I try to remember ROYGBV and check that I’ve use the colors in some sort of use rotation and in various combination. Try different patterns, illustrations. Get inspired by who you’re making the banner for and draw to your heart’s content. Or keep it simple, whatever you’d like. I prefer chaos.
Four. NOW you can cut out any excess paper inside the letters.
Five. Lay out your ribbon and your letters to make sure the spacing is right.
Six. Staple, helter-skelter, letters directly to the ribbon. To make it wackier, experiment with where you staple the letter: the right/left corner, higher/lower than the letter next to it, lopsided etc.
Seven. Hang that sucker up for all to admire.
Sends a message, don’t it? The fantastic thing about this banner is that it’s super easy to do, has endless variations and it, in my opinion, really effin’ thoughtful! Sure it wasn’t a lot of money to make, but it was time well-spent for that certain special someone.
-Trace your letters onto old photos to make a memory banner
-Use your plain letters on patterned or multi-color triangles to make a pendant banner
-Experiment, experiment, experiment
*10 years? OOF.