Projects: Fabric Banner Tutorial

For Vera’s first birthday party, I knew I wanted to display all the monthly photos I’d been taking of her all year, but I also wanted it to be in a creative way and to be something we could keep. I’m not exactly the scrapbook type (I’d love to be, but haven’t ever gotten into it… maybe some day), so I wasn’t going to make a book or anything like that. Plus the last photo was taken the morning of her party (hooray for one hour photos from Walgreen’s!) so I didn’t want anything that would take a huge amount of time to assemble the day of.

I came up with this fabric banner display and I have to say, I’m almost embarrassed to post a tutorial on it because it was so stinking easy. Literally, you do not have to have a crafty bone in your body to pull this off.

I started by buying two yards of inexpensive and thin fabric in about 6 different colors. I purposely chose the same colors that are in V’s bedroom, because I knew we’d be holding onto this for longer than just a party day. Looking back, two yards each was way too much. I have a ton left over.

Once I got it home, I put the hub to work cutting it all into strips about two inches wide. He was worried about getting them all straight (his attempted excuse for not helping- ha!) but I reassured him that I wanted imperfection. Rough edges were just going to add to the vintagey- charm, so it was the perfect job for him. We did it together while watching TV in bed after the beast was asleep, and went very fast.

Once all the strips were cut, I put them all in a plastic bag and cut a length of twine to the size I needed for my banner. I actually cut the twine to twice the length I wanted and folded it over, creating a doubled up cord. That was for two reasons. First, I thought it would be thicker and hold the weight of the fabric better. Second, I wanted looped ends to hang it with.

I just tied the loose ends in a knot, then I literally just started randomly tying strips onto the twine. I didn’t follow any set pattern, because I wanted it to look random, but I did try to make sure the colors were somewhat evenly spread out, so I could get the look I was going for.

Here’s where you could get creative though. I think if you bought your fabric in varying shades of the same color you could easily make a stunning ombre banner. (That’s just fancy talk for gradating from dark to light- fyi.) If I ever make another one, I think I’d try that next. But do whatever floats your boat!

Once I had most of the strips tied on, I hung the banner by looping the ends over some inexpensive temporary wall hooks from Target and filled in any bald spots.

When I was happy with it, I clipped my photos to it using good old-fashioned clothes pins. And voila!

My favorite comment of the day was from my dad, who asked how I “got those numbers on the pictures”. Well, I’m a graphic designer, Dad, so Photoshop is pretty much what I do. Haha. But if you’re doing this yourself, and don’t have Photoshop, you can use any of several online photo editing programs (here’s a list of 28 of them!) or just buy number stickers from your local craft store and slap those babies on! I’m sure you can get creative.

So that’s that! Super easy, but fun and very pretty! What do you think? If you try it, be sure to stop back and share a link. I’d love to see!



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  • Jamison Hiner

    Looks awesome

    • Dawn Sailors

      Thanks, Jamie! We need to get the girls together again one of these days. I’m sure they must miss each other.

  • Lindsay Thomas

    Oooh that would be a cool banner. I may steal this for Payton’s first birthday!


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