i made this birthday banner for the kids' birthday party with the intention of using it outside behind the food table. but when we had to move everything inside due to weather, we had to revamp a little. instead the happy birthday ribbon garland sort of became the greeting for the guest and framed the party favor flowers.
here's how i made it. (and of course you could create any message for any type of celebration.)
1. i have a cheap clothes rack i bought at walmart (i think) for about $10. it's great for garage sales and lots of other purposes like this one! (it used to have wheels on it, but like i said, it's cheap!)
2. assuming the rack was going to be behind a table, i wrapped the entire thing except the bottom with a strip of white fabric i cut from a sheet. i cut the strips about 3 inches wide and tucked the ends in like you would when wrapping a wound with a bandage.
3. next i cut strips of fabric about 3-4 inches wide for the ribbon fabric garland. i started with the white sheet since white was one of my main colors for the party. typically you would decide how long your pieces needed to be and double that plus add 2-3" for the knot. but i didn't want to waste that much fabric. so i cut them a little shorter and just tied them unevenly so the front piece was as long as i needed it to be.
tip: you can buy flat twin size sheets at walmart in a variety of colors for $5! it's a great deal if you need large amounts of fabric.
4. then i tied the white strips evenly across the clothing rack. i simply tied it one time making sure the knot was at the bottom of the bar so everything would hang straight down. i also made sure the front piece was the length i wanted it to be. again, because i assumed it was going behind a table, i didn't worry too much about the evenness of the bottom pieces. if you are hanging your garland or the bottom will be seen, make sure the pieces are fairly even along the bottom or it will look ratty! i wanted to start with my most basic neutral color: white.
5. after that i cut strips of my other colors using only monochromatic fabrics. i did include other textures and types of fabrics for variety such as lace, satin, sparkly fabric, and organza, but i wanted to make sure the sign would stand out. so i didn't want to use any patterns behind it.
you could also do the opposite. use patterened fabric for the garland and one bright contrasting color for the sign. you just want to make sure the sign stands out. so plan ahead!
6. after cutting my other fabrics, i tied them evenly across the bar as well making sure there was even distribution between the colors. then i filled in any gaps by cutting extra pieces of fabric.
7. once the fabric ribbon garland was tied to the clothing rack, i started cutting the letters for the sign. i used a vintage children's wallpaper i've had stashed away to use in diesel's room some day. the vintage wallpaper was actually the inspiration for the whole color scheme and design of the party. it's always good to have a starting point like that!
i also had a vintage flowery sheet laying around with perfect colors for the party. so used the wallpaper to make my letters and used the vintage sheet as a background or outline for the letters.
i drew the letters backwards on the back of the wallpaper and cut them out. then i placed them face down on the back of the vintage sheet and traced a 1/2" border around the wallpaper letters. then i cut those out. finally i glued the wallpaper letters to the vintage sheet letters with tacky glue.
8. after the letters were finished, i used my rotary blade to cut two inch long slits horizontally through the top middle of each letter. then i threaded one of the ribbons on the garland through the slits of each letter to attach the banner to the garland. you could also cut slits vertically and thread one long piece of string or ribbon through the entire word and hang the ends. the former seemed easier to me.