DIY Birthday Banner

I absolutely love banners, especially homemade banners. Today I’m going to tell you how I used cheap gift wrapping supplies to make a custom birthday banner, and how you can easily make one, too.

I was walking through the $1 section at Target and found this collection of items and decided they would make for a fun project.

The supplies I scored from the dollar section.

When I got home, I gathered a couple more things from around the house and got to work.

Everything ready to go.

First, I arranged  the gift tags to see how many I would need, then simply wrote the message in Sharpie. How easy is that?! The gift tags were $1 for a pack of 8. I got 16 brown tags and 8 white tags, which was way more than I needed. Don’t worry if you mess up on the lettering, just keep writing. If I stop to fix or redo a letter in the middle, I always start obsessing over every little mistake and end up messing up a lot more. I looked through the letters at the end and replaced the ones that looked really bad (this is why it is good to buy extra tags!)

After the message was done, I set out to add a little sparkle. The glitter bags came in packs of two, but they were only glittery on one side (rats!) I cut the bags open and drew templates to cut out on the back. That way, I could play with the sizes before committing to the cut and wasting paper. I chose hearts (but you could do any shape, stars would also be cool.) I used double stick tape to attach them to the gift tags. Glue would also work well if you have that around the house instead.

close up of the hearts

I used the clothes pins to attach the gift tags to some twine I already had at home. At first, I wasn’t sure about what kind of spacing I wanted or if I wanted it to be one or two layers. My solution was to wait to cut the twine until all of the tags were attached so I could assess how it would hang (and not waste twine!)

the finished product

I just taped the banner to the mirror, but it could easily be hung by tying knots in the twine and hanging them on command hooks if you want it to look a little fancier. I chose the mirror because my boyfriend was coming home after dark, and that area of my place reflects light well at that time of day, calling attention to the banner and reflecting light on the glitter hearts.

What an easy and fun way to craft your way into a festive environment! The best part? You can create extra tags for each family member or friend and customize the banner for each occasion!

Another look at my cheap and chic banner.



Weekend Wreath Project: Complete

Okay, so I didn’t quite finish over the weekend (it was super busy and this little thing called “school” keeps getting in the way…) but I finally finished my wreath project last night.

After trimming up a bunch of succulents, I had to leave them for a few days to callus.

All of my tray projects came in handy here... and an old W magazine!
Some of my tray projects came in handy here… and an old W magazine!

I got so busy and had to wait a couple more days than I would have liked, but they didn’t look too bad once I started assembling the wreath.

moss on form
Putting the moss on the wreath form: big mess!

I made a huge mess putting the moss on the form. You’re supposed to soak the moss, squeeze it out, then tie it to the form. I used this wire tie stuff they recommended at the hardware store. Oh, and online it says to wear gloves when working with moss, FYI. Apparently you can get a fungus that gives you lesions. Yuck. Anyway, I decided to opt in on the glove wearing.

So, finally, here is the finished product:

Not bad, huh?
Not bad, huh? It is sitting on a trash bag for now because I’m attempting to protect the floor.

It looks a little wild, but that’s okay with me– I’m a little bit messy myself. Here’s the thing– you are supposed to let it lay flat for a while so that the succulents can take root. You mean you can’t hang it right away!?! That’s right, you’ve gotta let it sit. I think I may put a bunch of candles in the middle and use it as a pretty table topper til it is ready to hang.

All in all, I am pretty pleased with the results. I would post a link to a tutorial, but I kind of combined a bunch of methods because it seemed like pretty much every tutorial wasn’t detailed enough and I had to do a lot of outside searching about different aspects of the project (how to trim succulents, for example).

Here’s what my inspiration looked like:

If all goes well, my plants will grow in and the wreath will look fuller like this one. The tutorials said to space the plants out for growth.

So, now to answer all the questions that you rehabbers have in mind:

How much did it cost? It ended up being $45 for all of the succulents, and I could have made two small wreaths or one large. I opted for a large. The wreath form was $3, the floral pins were $2. The moss and the tie stuff cost $17. (I had gloves and trash bags :-)) I had to go to three different places (and to the Valley, which if you’re from LA, you know that’s a major pain) to get all of the materials. And it was a whole lot of work. So, in total, I paid $67 for the wreath (not including labor).

Would I do it again? It was a fun project, I like that I got to pick my own plants and lay out all of the colors. I don’t like that I have to wait to hang it. I really didn’t like cutting up the succulents– you had to get your hands in the dirt, and the first time I touched a snail, I almost freaked. There were spiders, rollie pollies, and worms in my plants. They were grown outside- that is normal, I get it. Bugs aren’t my thing.

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of being creative and making something from nothing, but for $35 more, I could have a ready to hang wreath with no work. I love what I have now, and I’m glad I did it, but I probably wouldn’t take on this project again. I was toying with the idea of making friends wreaths as a surprise for the holidays, but that idea has been thrown out the window. If you want to take it on, I suggest ordering a pre-made wreath online. You can get it for as cheap as the form, moss, and ties combined (if not cheaper) and it will save you a lot of time and mess.