Airplane Birthday Party (Part 2)

On to the best part of party planning — the decorations!

Even though I had planned to have an airplane themed party for Ethan months before the event, all my decoration ideas came to me last minute so I was literally up until 5:00am the night before crafting and sewing.  And of course I didn’t finish.  But I did manage to make a few decorative pieces to fit the theme.  The party setup didn’t end up as dramatic as I wanted it to, but does a 2-year-old really care?  No, not really.  It was more for me, I think!

I used felt for everything.  It’s so easy to work with.  I had purchased a bunch of the small felt craft sheets at Joann.

I wanted to make a simple banner that was less time consuming than the fabric one I had put together a couple months ago.  Using felt was the perfect choice.  It was easy to sew and it didn’t fray.  I traced the letters on the back of a heat n’ bond sheet and fused them onto white felt to cut out.  The font is from here – it’s the same font I used for the fabric banner.  Next, I cut out 28 rectangles (14 red and 14 turquoise ones) and 14 pieces of (decor bond) fusible interfacing, each about 4.5 by 5.5 inches in size.  I sandwiched the interfacing between 2 rectangles and sewed the edges closed (by topstitching) with a small white rectangle enclosed at the top for the loop.  It was super easy — no need to to turn the piece inside out!  I then inserted a string of jute twine through each rectangle loop and voilà – there’s my felt birthday banner!  Pretty snazzy, eh?

My next project was an airplane banner.  I knew that this would be the most time consuming piece but I really wanted to hang a few airplanes and clouds up on the wall!

I had a small wooden airplane I had purchased from Michael’s a while ago for another project so I used that as a template to make my airplanes.  I made three airplanes but needed to cut out double the amount of pieces because I added a layer of interfacing to make them firmer.  The airplanes weren’t exactly the prettiest things from the back side, but they were being hung on a wall so it didn’t really matter.  I did the same for the clouds – added some interfacing between two pieces of white felt.  I sewed a small loop on the back of each piece to string the jute twine at the end.  What do you think?  Not so bad for making this banner last minute, right?

And finally, I made a simple bunting banner.  The pennants were small – only 4″ by 4″.  Again, I added interfacing to make them stiffer.  I sandwiched the interfacing between two felt triangles and only sewed the top closed.  I then sewed another line about 1 cm from the top seam to create a pocket for the string.  That’s it!  I got lazy and didn’t sew the edges closed around the triangle.  But hey, it still looked alright from a distance when hung up!

I know I’ve said this before – banners make me so happy!  They are festive and can really jazz up a space.  They are a must for every party!  It was definitely worth staying up for!

xoxo, Jen

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Birthday Banner

Can I tell you how much I love banners?  They make me so happy!  I would hang them everywhere if I could!

A good friend of mine asked me to make a fabric birthday banner for her little girl.  Of course I said yes!  I thought that making something girly would be fun since I don’t have a girl.  And it would also be good practice before I make another banner for Ethan’s birthday.  So here is how it turned out!  I actually loved it!  I love how all the colors blended together.  I took a risk using the aqua color for the lettering but I think it stood out well against the background fabrics.

I’ll briefly run through the steps I took to make the banner.  I created my own template for the scallop base.  You can find it here.  It measures approximately 6 inches long and 6 inches wide.

Materials you will need are:

  • scallop template
  • 3-inch tall letters in any font you like (I used Luckiest Guy; here is my template)
  • 5 or 6 different fabrics for the front of the scallop ( I will call this the main fabric)
  • muslin (natural color) for the back of the scallop
  • solid contrasting color fabric for letters
  • fusible medium weight interfacing (I used Pellon decor bond)
  • heat’n bond lite (for letter appliques)
  • one package of 1/2 inch wide double-folded bias tape (3 yards) or you can make your own
  • the essentials – sewing machine, scissors, thread, fabric marker

Iron on interfacing to the wrong side of the main fabric.  Trace scallop template onto the interfacing side and cut out.  Do the same with the muslin (except the muslin will not have interfacing).  You should end up with 14 colored scallops and 14 muslin scallops.  You will be working with the colors first so you can set aside the muslin pieces for later.

Iron on heat’n bond to back of solid colored fabric.  Trace letters onto the paper side of the fabric and cut out.  You can now peel off the backings to the letters and applique them onto the right side of the main fabric scallops.  You will be appliqueing through four layers – the solid colored fabric, the heat’n bond, the main fabric, and the interfacing.  There should be one scallop with no applique.  This is the “space” to separate the happy and birthday.

Next, pin the main fabric scallops and muslin scallops right sides together and sew along the outer edges.  I used a 1/4 inch seam.  Leave the top (straight edge) open.  Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end to secure the stitches.  Cut out notches or little triangles along the curves.  Flip right side out.

It should look like a pocket now.  Iron the seams.  Do this for all 14 scallops.  Next comes the fun part.  Time to sew all the pretty scallops together.  Pin scallops.

Take your bias tape and fold in a 1/4 inch at the beginning to hide the raw edges.  Pin your first scallop (the “H”) about one foot from the beginning of the bias tape.  Tuck the top of the scallop inside the bias folds.  Sew from the beginning of the bias tape (to close the tape) to the end of the first scallop.  Take your next scallop (the “A”), tuck into bias folds, and sew across the tape.  Keep doing this for all the letters.  Remember to include the blank “space” scallop in between the happy and the birthday.

Leave another foot of bias tape after all the scallops have been sewn on for tying.  Remember to tuck in the raw edges at the end for closing.

And there you have it!  A scalloped happy birthday banner!

xoxo, Jen

Valentine’s Day Prep

Love is in the air! Love has been in the air ever since our little Ethan came into our lives. He brings such great joy to our hearts and we can’t imagine life without him. Our little sweet pea.

But it’s that time of the year where I have an excuse to make pretty things to hang in the house. I have been obsessed with bunting banners lately. Really obsessed. I have been pinning tons of them to my Banners board on Pinterest. It’s such a simple way to dress up the home for a festive feel during any holiday. We had a little Valentine’s playdate for Ethan and his buddies at my house yesterday. I knew that a little decorating was in order. I had never made one before but thought this would be the perfect time to start!

I wanted to make a pennant bunting out of burlap. I just love the old vintage and rustic look of burlap – not to mention that it is eco-friendly too. And relatively inexpensive to buy if you’re not able to find some recycled coffee sacks anywhere. The burlap was $3.99/yd at Joann Fabric and I had a 50% off coupon, making it only $1.99/yd. Great deal.

I found an awesome (and super easy) tutorial for a Valentine’s heart banner over at Finley & Oliver. I pretty much followed it step-by-step, but used cotton fabric instead of felt for the hearts. I wanted a long banner so I made it with 17 pennants. I hand stitched them together using some thin jute twine. I made a happy birthday banner as well since we were also celebrating my friend’s birthday. The font I used is called Carnivalee Freakshow. I used Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On adhesive on the burlap and the fabric seemed to stay on pretty well. I love how the banners turned out!

The playdate was loads of fun. I had a talk with Ethan about sharing before his friends came over. I know that this “mine!” thing is just a phase, but still… I wanted the playing to be somewhat pleasant. It worked, I think! Ethan shared his toys like a big boy. We had a Valentine’s playdate too last year with the same kids. We took a cute group photo of the babies back then when they were barely crawling. So we wanted to do it again this year to compare with last year’s photo. I think it was a little easier to get the kids to sit still last year. All it took was some singing and dancing on our part. But that was before they turned into these wild, I mean, energetic, mobile creatures. 🙂 They are all so adorable and lovable.

The babies at 8-months-old last year on Valentine’s Day.

Flash foward a year later… the kiddos (now 20-months-old) in the same order as above.

Here are the kids cooperating for the camera — BEFORE we moved them around to reflect the order of the original photo from last year!

And finally, pictures of all the yummy treats!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Jen