Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Birthday Banner: Making a Pennant Name Banner for a Young Friend

There has been a load of guilt expressed in my moms' group about the differences in the treatment of birthdays for first children versus later offspring. It seems that many second and third children at young ages are perfectly content to use their older sibling's old (and current toys). This makes it harder to find presents that aren't redundant or unnecessary.

Personally, I think my friends are being too hard on themselves. It's not like the babies attended their older sibs' parties and have the power to compare. I'm also a pretty happy second child who was always thrilled to receive my brother's cast-offs (toys and some clothes- in particular a yellow ringer t-shirt with a dragon in a girl scout uniform with a toothpick captioned "The cookies weren't bad either.")

Personalized gifts were mentioned as an alternative, so I spent the wee hours of Sunday night making a name pennant banner for a sweet girl turning one on Monday.

The banner is made from cotton fabrics (each triangle is 11" wide and 10" high). I cut the triangles with pinking shears to prevent fraying. The bias tape across the top is double-fold made from 3" wide strips of fabric (end width 3/4"). I allowed 12" of bias tape for each letter and an additional foot on either end.

I used freezer paper stencils and acrylic paints to add the name (in retrospect I would have chosen a bolder letter color, but as I started the project after 10 PM- I had to use what I already had on hand).

With pinking shears and pre-made bias tape this could be a great project for even a novice sewer. If you want to try your hand at one, check out my tutorial for sewing name buntings.

What kinds of gifts do you like to give (or receive) for those babies and toddlers who already have everything?


Mimi & Moe's Mom said...

How cool is that! You are so creative!

Anonymous said...

adrienne said...


What a great organization. I keep meaning to get their DVD.

I should add that many of my mom friends entered an agreement not to exchange gifts for birthdays or holidays. This is a crowd that is thinking about simplification and happy non-consumerist living.

MamaBird said...

Great idea, would love instructions for a non sewer. My DD would love one (and then we could reuse it each year).

indywriter said...

I also go for homemade goodness in gifts. My favorite gifts for both girls were those that my loved ones spent time making. To me, it was their way of saying how important my baby was (that they would take so much time to personally craft something). It's what I really missed when my second daughter was born. People tend to assume you held onto everything, and while I did, I want each girl to have special things they can pass on to their children. And that's hard to do when subsequent kids don't receive those same types of gifts.

Anonymous said...

I like painting a onesie with the birthday boy/girl's name on it. I'm addicted to the freezer paper stencils, so I try and up my skills by doing some 3 color designs and with intricate text. And it's something only for the sibling.

Leeanthro said...

What a great idea! Both of my children have upcoming birthdays, it will be the baby's first.

You could also do a neutral one that says "Happy Birthday" to use for everyone in the family.

So was there any actual sewing involved? Did you sew the tape?

Do you think it will hold up for future use?

Joy said...

As a recipient of one of these incredibly creative and adorable banners, I have to say it was one of the highlights of the whole party for me! I had a hard time removing it from my stairs after the party! (Truthfully, it stayed put for 2 days!) I have never seen anything like it and now want to learn to make one for each of my other two kiddos. It was such a terrific surprise. Thanks Adrienne! ;)