I love the look of the hand-tied banner and I love that it can be so versatile! You can print the letters on squares or circles, make these big or small to determine the length of your banner, use lots of ribbon colors, etc. The digital happy birthday banners in my shop are very popular and I think that is because they add a lot of impact to the party decorations.
Here is a step-by-step guide to show you how to put these banners together. For this tutorial I have used the banner from the Sailboat collection to spell out the name Asher. A name can be added to any of the digital collections for an additional $5 (up to 10 letters). The grosgrain ribbon is orange, spring moss (green), blue and lemonade.
The first thing you’ll want to do is get your supplies together:
Black card stock
3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon
Good quality scissors
Adhesive (photo splits)
Printed banner sheets
Cutting mat or ruler
If you want rounded corners then it helps to have a corner-round punch. This isn’t essential though. The banner looks great with 90 degree corners or you could always do the rounded corners by hand using your scissors.
Tools you'll need
Cut your grosgrain ribbon to 8 3/4 inches. If you plan on using the banner for years to come, then you’ll want to treat the ends of your ribbon to prevent them from fraying- either pick up some Fray Check at the craft store or burn the ends.
Cut the ribbon to 8 3/4 inches
When you print your banner sheets, it is important to have your printer set to high/good quality (not draft!) and also use bright white heavy paper. I like to use 110 lb card stock. This is available at office supply stores such as Staples or Office Depot.
Use your paper slicer to cut the printed sheets into squares.
Cut into squares
Once you’ve cut all the letters into squares, you can round the corners. Of course, this is totally optional and depends on the look you are wanting!
Use punch to round the corners
Choose square or 90 degree corners
The next step is to cut your black card stock into 5 1/2 inch squares. You’ll be backing the letter squares onto this card stock. It is important to back to the letter squares so that your banner will be sturdy. If you rounded the corners for your letter squares then you’ll want to do this again for the black card stock squares.
Black card stock squares
Apply adhesive to the back of the letter squares. When you stick the letter square on your black square, make sure it is in the center so that you have a nice even border all the way around.
Stick letter in the center
Back all the letters
Now you are ready to punch holes in the corners of the squares. Make sure the holes on each side are uniform- you want the holes to be the same distance from the top of the card stock and from the sides. I like to spend a couple minutes making a hole template.
Make hole template
Once you’ve made your template, you need to mark where your left and right holes are going to be located. Do this by marking the letter squares on each side as show in the photos.
Mark left hole mark
Move template to the right
Mark right hole
Now that all your holes are punch, you can start the fun part- pulling the ribbon between the holes of two adjoining letters and knotting the ribbon!
Thread ribbon through holes
When you knot the ribbon, make sure it is not too tight or that the letter square are overlapping. You need the knots to be somewhat loose so that you can fold your finished banner.
Continue to tie all the ribbon together.
Tie all the ribbon
When you get to the end letters (in this case, a sailboat and the letter R), you want your ribbon to be longer. The length of this ribbon will depend on what you’ll be tying the ribbon to. The banners I make have between 24 and 30 inches of ribbon at the ends.
Tie ribbon to the letter square
Et voila! Your banner is finished and ready to display!
When you are not using the banner, you can fold it (like an accordion) and use the long end ribbons to hold it together.
Fold banner when not in use
If you are feeling less than crafty then check out the ready-to-ship banners that I have in the store or contact me and I can print, cut, back, glue and hand-tie one of the digital banners for you!