DIY Banner Bash

Decorating for each season can be a lot of fun, but it can also turn out to be a major investment.  I always love all the festive trimmings that you see popping up in stores around this time of the year, but as someone just starting off their adult life, splurging on items that have limited uses can seem a little impractical.  That’s where a little creativity and a love of crafting comes in handy.  Instead of shelling out lots of cash for something I’ll only use for a month – if that – I prefer to find inexpensive and fun ways to create my own decorations.14Sept_cover_new

There are all kinds of places where you can find inspiration for DIY decorating projects – scrolling through Pinterest and browsing home décor magazines are just a couple of my favorite ways to get ideas.  Today’s project was inspired by none other than the banner you can find embellishing the cover of our September Flyer.  Banners are great because they can be made to fit any style or season, they’re super easy to make, and can often be made from materials you already have on hand.  So if you’re ready to liven up your space with a beautiful banner, read on!

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Materials:
Computer paper
Marker or printer
Light colored scrapbook paper
Dark colored cardstock
Scissors
A glue stick
Small hole punch
Something to tie things together with (ribbon, twine, yarn, hemp, etc.)

 Optional Materials:
Ruler
Small embellishments (buttons, leaves, confetti, etc.)
Glue gun

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The first task in creating a banner is to decide what you want it to say.  Once you have chosen your phrase, you’ll want to map out your letters on computer paper so you can figure out how much cardstock and scrapbook paper you will need.  You can look through computer fonts to find inspiration for the design of your letters.  If you’re not so good at drawing, you can even print them out (for a printable PDF of the letters used to create the Autumn Harvet banner, click here).  The size of your letters, of course, depends on how big you want your banner to be (mine were between 3 and 4 inches tall), and you’ll want at least ½  inch of space on either side of each letter. This is also the step where you will want to decide what color to make each letter block, so map out your letters on your computer paper accordingly.

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Once you have that done, you’re ready to transfer to your scrapbook paper!  One way to really unify the colors in your project is to make the letters the same color as your cardstock.  If you printed out your letters in the step before, you can also do that here.  Once you have your letters drawn, cut them out, keeping that ½ inch border around them.

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Next, cut pieces of card stock that are just slightly larger than your letters.  I gave each of my pieces a 1/8 inch border.

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To rough up the edges of your scrapbook paper, tear a very thin strip (no more than ¼ inch most of the time, but the width will vary) from the edges of each letter square.  For the neatest edge, make sure to flip your scrapbook paper upside down and pull the scrap edge toward you when you tear.  If you don’t like this look, you can also just leave the scrapbook paper as is or trim the edges using craft scissors.

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Using a glue stick, glue your scrapbook pieces to the center of the matching cardstock square.  Make sure to get your glue all the way to the edges.  It is helpful to lay some of your scrap computer paper underneath your scrapbook paper and apply the glue to the back so you can run over the edges.

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Using your hole punch, make holes in the upper corners of your squares, about ¼ inch from the top and sides.  Make sure your holes are just slightly larger than the material you are using to tie the squares together.  Cut short lengths of your tying material (at least 4 inches) and join each letter together, tying a simple overhand knot at each end to keep the letters from slipping off.  It is better to overestimate the lengths here because it is much easier to shorten the pieces if they are too long than it is to replace them entirely if they are too short.  Between words and at the ends of your phrase, give yourself a lot more length than you think you’ll need – I used about 18 inches.

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To really pull your banner together and make it look complete, finish it off with some decorative embellishments.  You can tie some items to the string as I did with my wheat pieces, or you can use a glue gun to attach most other items to the cardstock.

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And voila, your masterpiece is complete!  Proudly display your work of art on a mantle, wall, or the edge of a table!  Make sure to share any completed projects with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #BigBasketBlog and post your comments and questions below.

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