I first had the idea of creating a banner out of newspaper when I was looking for ecological and economical decor elements for Mama Goose's new store (for those of you new to my blog, I was a design consultant last Spring for a children's re-sale shop...check sidebar labels). Bunting, pennants, banners...whichever name you give them, are a dramatic and enthusiastic way to announce family celebrations. With this version of bunting all of the materials are readily available and no sewing skills are required. There are several components to this activity that lend themselves nicely to child participation.
Here's a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY"...
What about a "Happy First Day" for school children or a new job...
Think of all of the milestones you could celebrate with just these two messages. Hint: You only need to make one banner with two letter switches from "FIRST" to "BIRTH"! What other variations can you come up with, the possibilities are endless! Here's a simple tutorial that shows how to whip one up in the course of an afternoon. Don't forget that handy option of clicking on an image for a close up.
3. inexpensive acrylic craft paint in assorted colors
5. paint brush
6. paper cutter(optional)
7. glue stick
8. scrapbook letters
9. ribbon or twine
1. Take a small stack of folded newspaper (containing no more than three sheets ) and measure 6 inches along the fold line: mark with a pencil. This is your width.
2. Measure 8 inches down...this is your length. Now find the center, which will be your bunting point, at 3 inches from the side. Mark this point and connect the dots to find your triangle.
3. Cut on the lines and use this first set of triangles as your template for the rest. Newspaper is not folded evenly all the time. You may need to tidy up some of the sides...a paper cutter makes fast and straight cuts.
4. Unfold your triangles...into diamonds and lay them out in an assembly line on a good work surface. I began outside on an oilcloth, because it's so easy to clean-up. The wind forced me inside... brown craft paper or more newspaper are essential for protecting your table or floor.
5. Paint each diamond with a wash of color. Dilute your paint with a little water. I enjoy it being a little transparent so that you can see the original newspaper, but if you want a more opaque look use very little water.
6. Dry. Make sure to lift the paper every once in a while so that it won't adhere to the work surface.
7. Fold and iron each triangle. When it dries it curls up at the edges and bubbles. I used a low heat setting and ironed directly on to the paper. You may want to try it with a cloth separating the paper and iron...but the direct method worked fine for me...no burns!
8. Arrange your triangles in your preference of color pattern. Apply letters. There are numerous ways you can do this: rubber stamps, by hand with markers, stencils...
For my blog's header (above), I printed out the font and size I wanted from my computer and then cut them out with an exacto knife. This was time consuming, but I had a very specific look in mind. For the tutorial I used scrapbook letters, available in most craft stores, and was thrilled with how well it turned out...let alone the speed of adhering them with paste.
9. Now you're ready to hang it! Tack your ribbon or twine up FIRST, then arrange your bunting. Hang each triangle over the ribbon at the fold...I found it helpful to paste the inside together with a dab from a glue stick once it's complete. When not in use, the bunting stacks nicely and takes up little storage. With care, this will last for many celebrations...or recycle it and make a new one!
You know how much I love to hear what you're up to, so please tell me if you try it. I'd love to see pictures, as well.