Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY Birthday Banner & Party Labels

Ordinarily I probably wouldn't have committed myself to making a birthday banner for Alyssa's birthday party.  Being that there are a million and one other things to be doing and buying and preparing for, it kind of seems insignificant.  But when ordering the main items to make up her theme, there was no banner listed.  And being that her theme wasn't actually a "1st Birthday" theme, I figured I would make one.  To be able to customize it.  To match it with her ice cream theme, to coordinate colors, to add "1st" in there, and to have her name.  I knew it couldn't be but so hard.  It would probably be cheaper than buying a customized banner.  And I would enjoy yet another project.  So I turned to the blogging wold, Google, and Pinterest for some ideas.  There are millions of tutorials out there.  Some were just too busy and complicated, and some were just unattractive and boring.  But I finally found a banner that I liked.  That was bright and simple and perfect for what I was looking for.  It was on Etsy, to be downloaded and purchased.  But all I needed was an idea.  I can usually figure out how to make it myself, and I usually come up with my own ideas along the way anyway.  So there was no tutorial on this banner, of course.  But I easily made due.   And it only cost me about $5 dollars.  That cost also included the labels that I made for all of our ice cream toppings, and the confetti.  This is how it all turned out...

I figured I would go ahead and give a tutorial on making a birthday banner yourself.  I'll try to do some simple step by step instructions, but I'm hoping you know a little bit about Microsoft Word.

What you will need:
-Computer with Internet and Microsoft Word or similar program
-Printer with color ink
-Paper (I used photo paper so the colors would print brighter, but the ink does smear easily so you may want to use regular computer paper)
-Cardstock or scrapbook paper to coordinate
-Laminater (for the labels)
-Toothpicks (for the labels)

1.  Google a background image that you want to border your letters.  I Googled "bright polka dot background"  and found what I wanted immediately.
2.  Once you have that image pulled up of what you want, right click "save image as" and save it to your computer.
3.  Open up Microsoft Word.  
4.  On your "Drawing Toolbar" click the circle.  Now draw a circle to take up about half of your page (I had my page setup on landscape so the circles are side by side). - you could do any shape that you wanted, I wanted circles.
5.  Once you have your circle to the size you want, right click inside of the circle and select "Format Auto Shape".  Under the "Colors and Lines" tab, click the drop down for the "Fill" section and click "Fill Effects."
6.  In that window, click the top tab that says "picture."  Here is where you will "browse" for the picture that you just saved to your computer.  Find your picture, select it, and click Ok.  Now your circle should be filled with your picture.
7.  Now you want to draw another circle inside of that circle.  So go to your "Drawing Toolbar" and click the circle.  Now draw a smaller circle inside of your larger one, making the larger one serve as a border.  
8.  Now to give that circle a colored line, right click on it, "Format Autoshape," and choose a color under the "Line" section.  I alternated my colors for each, then green, then blue.  I also adjusted the thickness of the line so it would show up better.  I chose a 6 pt thickness. 
9.  Now you are going to add your letters.  Make sure your circles are un-clicked, and add "Word Art."  I just selected the first Word Art option there is, you can change the font in the next window.  Type your letter for that circle, I selected the font "Crazy Girlz Blond BTN,"  font size 96 (you can enlarge after), and I made it Bold. Click Ok.
10.  Now, you want to change the Layout of the letter so that it is on top of the circle.  So right click on your letter, select "Format Autoshape" select the "Layout" tab, and click the "In Front of" option.  Click Ok.
11.  Now you want to change the color of your letter.  So right click "Format Autoshape," select the "Colors and Lines" and change the "Fill" color to the color you want your letter.  And I also changed my "Line" to 1.25 pt thickness.
12.  I needed one spacer, between "1st" and "Birthday" so I saved a picture of a plate from the birthday theme I was going with online.  And inserted that picture inside of my circle.  And it serves perfectly for a spacer.
13.  Now you have an original and you can begin copying and pasting, so you don't have to go through all of those steps again for each letter.  Count how many circles you need and copy the main outer circle, then paste as many as you need.  I needed 22 circles for "Happy 1st Birthday Alyssa!" on three separate lines.  
14.  Now you can copy all of your inner circles to be placed inside of your bigger circles.  If you want different colors like mine, I would create those as originals as well so you won't have to go through and change the colors to every single one.  For example, after I copied all my large circles, I pasted my inner circle on one, changed the color, then copied and pasted that for as many letters as I needed for that color.  And the same thing for the next color.  So I had 7 pink circles, 8 green circles, and 7 blue circles altogether.
15.  I did the same thing for the letters.  I copied and pasted all the pink letters that I needed, then right-clicked to change what the letter was.  And repeated for each color letter.

**If all of that is confusing, you can repeat the original steps for each circle/letter, but it saves a ton of time to just copy and paste and then make the color changes once you have the basic format down to what you want.**

16.  Once you are happy with all of your circles, letters, and pictures, you can print.  I would print preview to make sure your circles look centered inside of the large circles.

17.  Now that you have printed, you can cut out all of your circles.

18.  Now take your card stock paper, and cut out circles to border your letters.  I just used a bowl that fit perfectly, and traced the edges.  I used pink paper for my pink letters, blue paper for my blue letters and green paper for my green letters.

19.  Now you need to attach your letters onto your card stock paper.  I used glue dots, until I ran out of them, and then I used a glue stick.  If you use a glue stick, use very little glue.

20.  Once you have all your letters bordered with card stock paper, you can cut your ribbon.  I measured pieces that would stretch across the back of my circle, with leaving enough edges to tie a bow on each edge.  Remember, you can always cut any extra off.  So cut enough pieces to thread through each letter.  And hole-punch each circle.  One hole on each top corner.

22.  Now you will thread your ribbon through these holes.  

23.  Now tie bows to connect your letters together. I even tied a bow on the starting letters and the ending letters, instead of leaving a long piece to hang it up.  It didn't look right.  So I tied little bows, and simply taped my banner to the wall.

TaDa!  You are done and ready to hang your banner.  I hope this tutorial was helpful for you and you are able to make an affordable, personalized birthday banner.  It really is much simpler than it seems especially if you are familiar with Word, but please feel free to email me if you need any help, or if you would like me to email you my Microsoft Word document that I created.  And if you keep reading you will also see how I made the labels and confetti...

For the labels, just do all of the same steps, except make your Auto shapes rectangles and make them small enough for the dishes that you are labeling.  Here is an example of my Word document before printing...

Then you simply cut out your labels from the laminating sheet, attach each label to a toothpick, and tape them to your dishes.    

Lastly, I used some of my left over card stock paper, and I hole punched until my hand went numb.  Making perfectly coordinating confetti to add to my table.  It matched the bright polka dots on my banner and my labels perfectly.

I hope these tutorials were helpful!  Good Luck!

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  1. Amber, you are so creative! I do believe you would make a great party planner!!

  2. Excellent job, Amber! I love your banner! Will you send me a template of the circles? It will save me a little time. I would love to use it for my project: making a Happy Anniversary banner for my parents. It's a last minute project I am doing for the weekend. I hope you see this message before then.

    1. Disregard sending me the template. Your directions were really easy to follow. Thanks for sharing your tutorial on making the banner. You have a beautiful family. I enjoyed looking at your cute pics. Again, you did a GREAT JOB!

    2. Hi Amber,
      I would love it if you could email me your template, I have boy girl twins and we are doing a gender neutral party for their first birthday and this is just what I was looking for! Love it! My email is Thanks! Brittany

  3. Amber,

    Thank you so much for posting this! Your instructions are super easy and I was going to buy a banner for $27! Thanks, Ivy

    1. You are so very welcome! Let me know if you want me to email any of my template.

  4. I would love if you could email me the templates for the food signs and the bday sign. My daughter is turning 3 and we are doing an ice cream party. Thanks so much for the instructions, I am not good at this stuff:)

  5. I just used this to make my son's banner for his birthday next month! Thank you so much for the instructions! Easy to use and puts me way ahead of schedule :)

    1. Tiffany, I'm so glad this was helpful for you!!! :-)

  6. Hi Amber,

    Love your birthday banner! Was wondering if you could please send me the template. Email is


  7. Hi Amber,

    I was looking for some birthday diy projects and I came across your banner. I thought it was so pretty and a lot better than what the sell in the stores. If you don't mind I would love to use your template. My email is

    Thank You

  8. Hello!
    I love your blog! Could you please send me the template? My email is
    Thank you so much!

  9. Hello,

    Could you please email me your template? I love your banner. My email is Thanks!!


  10. Hi - can you please send me the template at Thanks!

  11. This tutorial was exactly what I had been looking for, it's perfect!! Gives me the drive to personalize my party decor to put it over the top :)

  12. This is perfect! My daughter's bday is a month away and I was going crazy trying to figure out how to make a banner! Can you please email me a template as well

    THANKS :)

  13. Awesome job! Having my daughters bday party in a month....driving myself nuts trying to figure it all out! Wondering if you could send the template to Thanks!!

  14. HI I really love your banner. Its perfectly creative. I am planning to give my best friend a surprise birthday party. I was wondering if you could send me your template. it would really help me save time. my email is


  15. Hello!I really like your birthday banner. I'm planning a birthday for my baby boy, so I was also wondering if you could send me your template. My e-mail is Thanks in advance!Have a nice day!

  16. What a sweet little party you organized beautifully there! I love the banner especially. It's uniquely done, and just by looking at it, one can already tell the amount of time, effort, and love put to create it. When little Alyssa is old enough, she would appreciate so much what you did for her! Great job, and thank you for sharing the idea!
    Retta @ Turf Signs

  17. Great idea!!! Can you please send me a copy of your template? My email address is

  18. When I get to WordArt step..I get confused..I've tried it several times and it's just not working for me. I'm having a hard time getting my letter inside my circle. Please help!!!

    1. Did you switch the layout? Right click on your letter, Format Autoshape, Layout tab, select "in front of", ok. and you should be able to freely move your letter around. I can also email you my document if you give me your email!

    2. have my circle formed and my background it's just the letters. Thanks Amber

  19. every nice! can you email me also! Thanks!

  20. This is great! Please email me your template!

  21. Nice work. Thanxs for the notes. Requesting you to please send me ur template. My email id is or Requesting you to please send it at the earliest. Next month my sons birthday we are celebrating and I have to keep everything ready in advance.

  22. Thank you so much for sharing! You're very talented! Can I also have the template?y email is

  23. Hi. My nieces birthday is in 2 days. Can I please have the template too?

  24. I was searching some thing relevant to this, And i am feeling lucky, as its the perfect one for what i am looking for. I will share this
    vinyl banners

  25. You are a genious - thank you a million times over for such a straight forward, step by step tutorial!!!

  26. i really like it.. thanx for the instruction.. if you dont mind, can i have the template too.. my emel TQ :)

  27. Awesome! Just curious on where did you get those cute colored containers.

  28. Excellent site !! wonderful blog post.It is one of the most interest page in the net. I never expect that there are lots of contents that are useful to my assignment. Thank you so much guys
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  29. Awesome! Can you pleases end me the template for the banner. My email is