A banner is like a newspaper headline. It immediately shouts a message using the fewest words possible. It often makes you feel something. It can be powerful. I love Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" concept, where you pick a word each year that you want to focus on. My boss Jennifer introduced me to making paper/chipboard banners, and she makes one every year with her "one little word." Since this last year has been challenging for me, I decided my one little word this year would be "joy," and what better way to remember it than to make a "joy" banner!
As a Design Team member at Lasting Memories, I get packets of new products to make samples for store displays. When I got this product from Little Yellow Bicycle's new Fresh Linen line, I jumped for joy! When I get it back I'm going to hang it where I can see it everyday, so I'll remember to find joy in the little things--in being myself, in creating, in watching my children experience the world, in new opportunities, in overcoming, in dancing, laughing, and loving the people around me.
If you haven't made a banner before, this is a fun project. I'm actually a little obsessed with them. I made this one for a loved one with breast cancer,
and I'm taking a class to make this "Eat Cake" banner for all the birthdays and other celebrations in our little family. I love banners!
So even though this isn't a tutorial, here are some "banner basics" if you're a beginning banner maker.
1. Choose a word or phrase that will get your meaning across but still be functional. Short words are nice if you don't want your banner to be 10 feet long. "Eat Cake" is great because it can be used for any celebration, not just birthdays.
2. Decide how sturdy you want your banner to be. For a one-time event, I would probably just use heavy card stock and patterned paper. For a banner I intend to re-use, I back my pieces with chipboard. Try your local scrapbook store's die cut center for pennant shapes. I also often use other shapes like coasters, mini album pages, and hearts (remember this mini banner?).
3. Cut letters with a die cut machine, or print them in an "outline" font and cut them out. Or use large alphabet stickers or chipboard letters. It's fun to pop them up with dimensional pop dots.
4. Jennifer taught me to use coordinating paper and embellishment lines for fast and easy banners. Scrapbooking brands like Cosmo Cricket have lines that include several papers, chipboard accents, and even buttons that all match. "It practically makes itself," she says.
5. Don't be afraid to make it 3-D! I love adding chunky accents, ribbon, and popped-up letters to my banners. They're not going in an envelope or page protector, so no need to keep them skinny!
Here are a few examples of pennants from Jennifer's "Barnhart" banner she made for a family reunion last year. Adorable!
Check out this post for more great banner ideas!
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