At the beginning of June, my dear little sister, Tabitha, celebrated her 30th birthday. Her older sisters are some of my closest friends, and as an adult, she has become so dear to me as well.
After receiving the email about the needs for the very detailed party her husband and sisters were planning, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to take the “Happy Birthday” banner concept swirling around my fizzy brain and bring it to reality. Of course, I used several links, both Pinterest and others, to help me in my endeavors.
I knew that the first thing I would need would be a pattern and I was lucky enough to find an awesome printout pennant pattern on fantastic Chickabug’s blog. One of the best things about this pattern is that it has four possible size modifications. I cut the triangle down to the 6″ size and taped it to some cardboard scraps that I’ve been saving from our moving boxes (knew these would come in handy). I carefully cut around the triangle with some very sharp scissors, but you could use any number of effective tools. When I was done, I had a very sturdy template that could be used for all my pennants.
Using a fine tipped sharpie marker, I outlined the pennants on a medium weighted burlap and carefully cut them out. I was careful to use a burlap weave that wouldn’t come apart as easily. The next few steps were important for the overall look of the lettering.
First I found a beautiful Celtic font Zilluncial online and downloaded it here. I played around with it and made it bold at a very large font, can’t quite remember the size, but it was big enough fill up a large space on my pennant. I printed off the letters in bold black and carefully cut them out.
The bold printed letters before they were cut out.
I traced around them onto paper with a fine-tipped marker, making a beautiful outline of each letter. Then I practiced making a 3-D effect using this tutorial on How to Draw 3-D letters with the Cavalier Perspective. Click on a picture to enlarge and see a closer, more detailed perspective.
Practice Sheet 1
Practice Sheet 2
Practice Sheet 3
Once I felt confident of each letter, I traced the outline of the letter onto the burlap and did the 3-D effects by hand. It ended up better than I could have hoped.
I knew I wanted to have rosettes in between each pennant, but after making a few burlap rosettes and trying them out, I didn’t like the look of burlap with burlap. It was time to try the rosettes using a different material.
I broke out some off-white jersey material I had stashed away and cut some long narrow strips. It was fun to use the Decorated House tutorial for rosettes on a different material. After playing with it for a while, I made several small rosettes that worked perfectly.
Rosettes and Pennants
Rosettes and Pennants
It was then I realized that my pennants were going to be too see-through for the lettering to be seen if it was hanging outdoors. I used a basic black cotton material and cut triangles small enough to be glued onto the back of each pennant.
I cut some long strips of jute and used craft glue along the edges of the triangle, stringing each pennant on the jute and gluing the rosettes in between.
After letting it dry for a while, I realized that the rosettes were weighing down the top of the banner, causing the letters to topple in on on themselves. My solution? A little U.S. currency. I glued one penny close to the bottom of each pennant on the back side … it worked perfectly!
I will modify it in the future and put either large rosettes or bows on the ends, but all in all, I think the final product was a success! We hung it on the hosts’ garage and it went perfectly with the rustic decor for the party.
Happy Birthday Banner
Tab and Hannah
The hosts and their adorable son
The hostess and her precocious daughter
My nephew and his good buddy E, Tab’s niece