Tutorial: Pennant, Page and Word Banners

With T’s birthday party prep we’ve been making a lot of banners. They are one of the cheapest ways to make a party or theme pop. I’ve been meaning to write up a tutorial for the word banners that I had made for Christmas, ummm yeah months ago. So, to make up for the delay I’m going to give you a three-for-one. I’ll show you how to make three different styles of banners: pennant, page and word.

The pennant or flag style banner is like the one I made for Harry Potter’s Birthday party pictured above and for T’s upcoming butterfly party pictured below. The page kind is probably the easiest and quickest but it still can look adorable. We used this for L’s last birthday party and I think it was darling (yeah I know I still need to write a post for that, it was SO cute). Finally the word style is the most time consuming but it’s still pretty cute. I made some of these for Christmas and will hopefully finish a generic birthday one that I can reuse for different people before T’s party this Sunday.

What you need

Pennant Style Banner

  • Paper 
  • Paper Cutter or scissors and a sturdy hand
  • Hole punch (I prefer the smaller sized ones as opposed to the school style ones)
  • Ribbon or String
  • Tape (optional)

 Page Style Banner

  • Paper with letters printed on them (you can find fun fonts at 1001freefonts.com)
  • Paper Cutter if you want to do half page sizes (that’s what I did in the banner above)
  • Hole punch (I prefer the smaller sized ones as opposed to the school style ones)
  • Ribbon or String
  • Tape (optional)

Word Style Banner

  • Paper (or precut letters)
  • Cutting machine (like a cricut or silhouette) OR a font you like and patience to trace it and cut it out by hand
  • Hole punch (I prefer the smaller sized ones as opposed to the school style ones)
  • Ribbon or String
  • Tape (optional)

 What to do

  • Prepare your shapes. For the pennants cut your paper into triangles, print your letters for the page style and for word style banners cut out your letters. If you don’t have a cutting machine and don’t mind taking the time you can either print out a font you like and trace the letters or if your cheap and don’t want to waste paper and ink I’ve held the paper straight to the computer screen to trace letters before. This is the most time consuming part.
  • Punch two holes on the top of each shape. Make sure they are far enough from the edge so they won’t rip easily when you work with them
  • Next you want to lay out  your pattern. Lay your pages, pennants or letters out how you want them to hang.
  • Thread the ribbon through the holes. Decide ahead of time whether you want a stripe of ribbon to go in front or behind  your shape. Take your time you don’t want to rip it after all that work.
  • If you want tape the ribbon to the back of your shapes this will minimize the twisting and make it easier to untangle the banner (yes it’ll get tangled when you try to hang it just expect it so it doesn’t annoy you too much).
  • Hang your banner and enjoy.

And if you’ve made a pennant one you probably have little scraps left from your flags. tape them onto skewers throw them in a glass or short vase and you’ve got yourself some super cute little flags. See em in action here.

    Show and Tell: Lanna’s Circus Birthday Invite

    I had SO much fun making this. First because the thought of dressing my hubby up like a tiger and have Lanna be his Cat Tamer seemed so far fetched and freaking hysterical (well at least in my head). Plus I’m just so thrilled with how it turned out. I love it, I haven’t closed the photoshop window since I made it because I love it so much. I made hubby’s tiger costume years ago, Lanna’s outfit is just one of my retro rufflers (but special fabric) and I just threw together the whip and the hat which I think is the funniest thing on earth. Any ways I was just super proud with how it turned out so I had to share.

    Harry Potter Party: Part II

    I already shared all the non-food parts of the First Annual Harry Potter Birthday Party here. So today is all about the food. Not only do I adore all things Potter but I love love love party food!

     Magic (Chicken) Wands

    Chicken Satay and Peanut Butter Sauce. For the Chicken I just used a packet of Thai Satay seasoning to marinate the chicken and them grilled them.

    Peanut Butter Sauce

    • 1/2 C coconut milk
    • 2-3 TBS peanut butter
    • 1 TBS curry paste (this should vary depending on your taste and how spicy your curry paste is)
    • 1 tsp soy sauce
    • Microwave and stir the above until well combined add a couple squirts of lime juice and taste add more peanut butter if needed or more soy sauce if you want it saltier

    Gillyweed Stalks (Grilled Zucchini)

    These are grilled zucchini and although these are insanely simple they are absolutely fabulous everyone. One of my friends shared this recipe and I was instantly won over. I’ve made them multiple times a week since I learned about them. Every one I’ve made them for has love them too, especially the ladies. I’m a major fried food person and I think these are better than fries and fried zucchini, just saying. 

    •  zucchinni (1 person probably isn’t too much, my friends and family can handle that haha, the other day I made that much and my mom and MIL had downed them all before I finished cooking the rest of dinner)
    • slice the ends off and the cut into quarters lengthwise and then cut in half
    • place in a ziplock bag with 1-2 TBS olive oil and 4-5 good shakes of garlic salt (you don’t want the zuccs drenched in oil, I’ve done as little as 1 tsp for 2-3 zuccs and it works great)
    • marinate for 2 hours or so and then grill

     Forbidden Forest Pate (Hummus)

    This was a guest addition so I don’t have a recipe but my mom and I loved it so I may be reporting a recipe soon as it was one of the best homemade hummus recipes I’ve ever had.

    Bertie Bot’s Every Flavor Beans 

    So hubby says he can’t fine the Harry Potter/jellybelly brand ones anywhere (and he’d know) so we got the other brand of gross jelly beans. He really wanted to mix them into the regular jelly beans but I vetoed that since I’m already grossed out by mint and coffee in the regular flavors I knew I’d avoid the candy altogether if I knew there was any chance of me biting into skunk or vomit. And as you see I couldn’t even get one shot without a little hand in it.

    Polyuice Potion, Pumpkin Juice, and Gillywater

    All of these drinks were in the books but I didn’t really feel like going all out nor did the through of butter infused rootbeer (to make butterbeer) sound the least bit appealing. So I just added red and yellow food coloring to lemonade and put labels on the soda and water. For my movie premier party though I’ll probably make a pumpkin soup.

    Dumbledore’s Pensive

    So I dreamed this up and put my sister on it. I think she did an insanely good job!

    • 1 pack blue jello divided (we used an 8 serving)
    • whipped topping like cool whip
    • Make up 2/3 of the pack of jello according to the directions (of course use only 2/3 of the water ) and let that set.
    •  Mix the remaining 1/3 pack jello mix with hot water add some ice cubes and cool whip. Put into a pastry bag with a tip. (we used the 8 serving pack so 1/3 of that with 1/3 C hot water a few ice cubes and 1 C cool whip)
    • You’ll need two people for this step. Cut a swirl into the jello have one person  open the cut with two spoons and have the other person pipe the creamy mixture into the set jello. And then chill   

    Padfoot Paws (Beef Empanadas)

    I used this recipe for empanadas. I thought it needed way more seasoning, it was kind of bland. I baked it so obviously I’m sure they’d be tastier fried. I may or may not make them again I thought it had lots of potential but I wish I had tasted the filling before stuffing them and added more salt and other spices since the wrap part wasn’t salty at all, maybe I’d add salt there too.

    Snitch Cake

    Heidi brought this. If you don’t remember Mrs. Weasley made Harry a fabulous Snitch cake in the the last book. So cute isn’t it!

    I’ll be having many more Potter parties to come the next will be this November for the next movie so if you have any other food or party ideas that would fit the theme I’d love to hear it.

    Harry Potter Party: Part I

    If you’ve followed my blog or known me for any real amount of time you probably know I’ve got a minor obsession with all things Harry Potter. In the same way that advid sports fans look forward to big games I look forward to every tiny Harry Potter thing -when the books were still coming out, video games releases, the new theme park and of course the movies. I will take any excuse to celebrate.

    This year I began what I hope to be a yearly tradition having a Harry Potter Birthday Party. No not a birthday party for me themed with Potter stuff but a party to celebrate Harry’s July 31st fictional birthday. Luckily I have enough geeky friends that it was loads of fun.


    Of course the most important part of a party for is the food. I’ll be posting all the food close ups and recipes tomorrow since this is already and crazy long post. We had gillyweed stalks, magic wands, bertie bots every flavor beans, a snitch cake, forbidden forest pate, dumbledore’s pensive, padfoot paws, pumpkin juice, polyjuice potion and gillywater. Here’s the food post.

    I’m quite proud of this move of ultimate geekery. Yup the Mirror of Erised.

    One of the musicmaker’s favorite past times has been making people taste the nasty Bertie Bot’s every flavor jellybeans. I always abstain, there’s no way I’m voluntarily eating skunk, vomit or earwax, just saying. But our friends got sucked in haha.

    Last minute the night before I decided that I needed something new to wear (not that I don’t already have 3 Potter shirts and a scarf) so I made a bunch of aprons and I absolutely adore how they turned out. Tira made the perfect house elf but she moves so freaking fast she makes the worst model. And of course naughty Lanna lived up to her Mischief Managed one. I was going to make Langdon a “Hogwarts Class of 2028” onesie but I ran out of time, but don’t you worry he’ll have one in time for the next movie. I’ve got the aprons in the shop now but I have a few other potter themed things I plan on adding to the shop too.

    Finally we watched the most recent movie just for fun. The next movie comes out November 19th so you can bet that I’ll be having a pre-movie party on the 18th! I was so tempted to leave the decorations up until then haha. Anyways check back tomorrow to see all the food and recipes. Harry Potter Party food post here.

    Can You Help: Circus Party

    (party set from LePoppyDesigns on etsy my sister really likes this for inspiration)
    So Lanna’s 2nd birthday is coming up and we’ve decided on a Circus Party theme. So far we’re planning on doing a back yard party with a few fun stations.

    (I adore these cupcakes from the vintage circus party post on TomKatStudio’s Blog she has a bunch of cute ideas there too)

    Here are the ideas so far

    • ‘fishing’ magnet in a pool type of games
    • bean bag throw into a hula hoop something or other 
    • craft table where kiddos can make masks and possibly noise makers that they can wear for a Circus parade
    • marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sprinkles on lollipop sticks
    • cotton candy

    I’m trying to talk Uncle (my hubby) into wearing his tiger costume -or at least the hat part- and letting Lanna be the Tiger tamer. In fact she’s already told him to be a good tiger and waved a strip of fabric at him like it’s a whip so she’s be game if we can talk him into it haha.

    We’ll definitely make decorations and other stuff stuff, I love the idea of banners, and game stations and table decorations. Do you guys have any tips? Details that may add that little specialness? Suggestions? They’ll probably be little kids like 4 and under and adults.

    Naughty TIme: Happy Birthday Tira

    Most of you know Tira as just one of the naughties, my little niece that I love with all my heart, that has worn her snow white dress since I finished it on Halloween. But as far as Rae Gun goes, she really was the start of it all together. I found out my sister was pregnant with a little girl, I started making clothes for this new baby, people started complimenting me on them, so I decided to give Etsy a shot. And here we are on her 3rd birthday and Rae Gun is a real business and more. Little Tira gave me back my love for creating, sewing, and celebrating family (others and my own) that hadn’t even realized I missed.

    (click on the image to enlarge)

    Happy 3rd Birthday sweet Tiraya. She’s in Thailand with my parents visiting relative for a couple weeks but here are some of my favorite shots of her birthday party that we had last week.

    Some Highlights: My mom made the cutest Dora and Star Mountain cake. All morning Tira was talking about her “beautiful cake”. We had the playroom set up with balloons and music and disco lights. Of course we had a variety fantastic food and wonderful company. The girls all found the dress up tub and were wearing tutus and petticoats of various types (it was cuteness overload). And Tira received a number of princess dolls which Lanna immediately snuck away with, they were a big hit.

    Show and Tell: Baby Shower Part II

    Remember that shower, well I finally uploaded and sorted pictures. It was a great time. A wonderful turn out and I think Heidi felt very loved which is the point right? I am so excited for that baby to get here already.

    Things turned out great. I think everything looked and tasted delicious and I definitely got a good number of complements on my cupcakes. The menu included waffles (including some vegan one’s which turned out great, see the recipe below), fruit, some yummy salads, funeral potatoes (a utah must), asparagus quiche, sausage and egg casserole, french toast casserole, veggies with lemon basil dip and of course the cupcakes.

    Don’t forget that the lovely shower gift set giveaway ends this Friday so if you haven’t entered or want to tell your friends to enter do it soon.

    Show and Tell: Baby Shower Part I

    (click on the picture to enlarge)

    I have the great pleasure of co-hosting a shower for my good friend Heidi. I just wanted to share the little invites we came up with for the shower. It’s my first Cricut project. I woke up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday because I just needed it, but I’ve been so busy that I’ve mostly cut out paper dolls with the naughties on it so it was fun to put it to use.

    Heidi isn’t finding out if she’s having a boy or girl so we’re having fun with that. We’re asking guests to wear yellow if they think she’s having a girl and green if we think she’s having a boy.

    I’m super excited that we’ll be having it at our new home, I’ve been practicing my cupcake decorating skills for the event, as you can see I need a bit more practice. Hopefully I’ll have some fun pics to share after next weekend.