How to: make paper banners

Lately I’ve become obsessed with handmade paper banners — they’re super sweet, really easy to make and can be customised to suit all different occasions.

Alana's wishing tree

This is where it started; a banner to hang above Alana’s wishing tree during her 30th birthday party.¬†Inspired by these darling heart garlands made by Alarna from Little Jane St, I headed straight to Salvos and picked up three old children’s books for the princely sum of 20c each.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Be creative about your paper choices and try to recycle. I brought colour to my heart banners by giving the old children’s books a new life and recycled an old card sign for a second design using triangles. You could also cut up old magazines, vintage novels or pre-used wrapping paper.

2. Chose a shape for your garlands — I’ve used hearts and triangles but rectangles and circles would also work. The size is up to you. My large hearts were 9cm wide and 7cm deep and the smaller lettered hearts were 7cm by 6cm. The triangles in my second design were 15cm by 15cm. Make a master shape and use it to trace out the others so they are all the same size.

3. Cut out your shapes and use a hole-punch to make two holes in the top corners of each piece. Get your font on and handwrite your chosen message, a letter to each shape.

4. Get threading! Ordinary household twine works fine. Just thread the twine from the front side of the shape through the left-hand hole and then poke it through from the back side on the right-hand hole. Keep doing this all the way along and you’ll only be able to see a small amount of twine joining each letter.

5. Use the extra twine on each side to hang your pretty new banner.

Our third banner was a group effort celebrating the “Tarp Mahal”, our little home during the Woodford Folk Festival. We enlisted the help of artist-in-residence Ash to ensure our letters were super-stylish. It all came together during an arvo relaxing on the lawns of New Farm Park, which marked the first time we took our Crafternoon sessions outdoors — it won’t be the last.

Ash drawing

Tarp Mahal

Merry Xmas banner

I loved the look of the hearts so much, and there were a few Christmas scenes within the pages of Lady and the Tramp, that I made a little ode to Christmas for our little house. We didn’t have a tree so it was nice to have a small festive touch.

– Koren

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