Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas and Birthday Banners

 Last Friday I was reading the weekly e-newsletter I receive from Stampington & Company and in it they featured a project by artist Shannon Sawyer for a journal which they call a Christmas "To Do" list. It was Shannon's project that inspired my banners. The cover of the journal actually featured a banner similar to the one I made in that it used the words Joyeux Noel.

I also liked the idea of making another banner with the word "Peace". It would fit with the theme if I used French for that too, so I googlized the word and also made a Paix banner.

I enjoy working with paper but I'm not an aficionado. I don't craft with paper very often but I've always had an affection for pretty paper and I collect it when I see something that I really like. I tell myself that it is for another day. I never know when I might come up with the perfect project or have that special gift to wrap with extra special care. My holiday banners were perfect for breaking out my paper stash.

Quite a few years ago, pre 9-11, I flew a lot of what United called Shuttle. I loved working those trips. We had busy days that went by fast with 16 to 18 hour layovers in great places! Shuttle is gone now and so are those great trips that I remember with affection... Anyway, back to my banners. The paper I used for the banners I'm blogging about today, were purchased way back in the 90's while I was on one of those wonderful Shuttle layovers in Salt Lake City. I remember this because there was an unbelievable scrap-booking store in the mall across the street from our hotel that had all kinds of beautiful paper and supplies for crafting with it. I shopped there more than once... I was like a kid in a candy shop. I occasionally think about that store and wonder if it's still there.  

The tools I used for my project were tools that I had on hand. Paper scissors (my sewing scissors are cherished and remain "pure" by never touching paper! ...gosh, that sounds a bit snobbish on my part but at least you know how I feel about my sewing scissors, and it is true that there are mineral additives such as clay in paper that dull scissors quickly.), pinking sheers, two rotary cutters with two different blades, rulers and a cutting mat, a glue stick, a tiny round hole punch, a heart shaped hole punch, some bakers twine and my computer and printer. I also used some semitransparent template plastic that I had left over from a quilting project I did years ago. Since I'm not serious about crafting with paper I do not own a paper die cutting machine like a Cricut, or a Sizzix but I imagine that if I had one I could have done all kinds of fancy shapes and actually cut the letters out of paper rather than just printing them. ...*sigh* I might have to consider a die cutting machine one of these days.

The first step was to figure out what shape I wanted to make each individual banner and how big I wanted to make everything. Once this was done, I cut out a template from the semitransparent plastic. I used this template for the letters and since I could see through it; it would be easy to center the letter in the shape. I then went to my computer to play. I opened up Word and experimented with fonts and found the one that gave me the "feel" I wanted. I then played with the formatting, trying to space the letters so I would have room around each letter to cut out the shape that I had made from the template plastic. I did print out a couple of drafts on plain paper to make sure I had the spacing right before I put my fancy paper in the printer.

Once I had my letters printed out on the fancy paper, it was just a matter of cutting everything out and putting it together. Using the template, I traced the cut lines for the letters and the rest of the assemblage was cut with the rulers and a rotary cutter. Just a note about the bottom backing layer that has the pinked edge... I cut this layer out with a straight/plain edge and then pinked the edge after all the layers were glued together. Once all the individual banners were assembled I punched tiny holes at the top on each side of each individual banner so I could string the bakers twine through them and make my banner swag.

I was feeling inspired and was having so much fun making my Christmas banners that I decided to make a couple of Happy Birthday banner swags while I was at it! By the way, Mother Nature was in a stormy mood today and it was pretty much overcast all day, that's why my pictures are on the dark side.

After making three banners with the pennant shape (Joyeux Noel, Paix and this birthday banner) I thought it would be fun to try a square shaped banner...

For this banner I used a rotary cutter with a squiggly blade to cut out the bottom backing layer and I added paper punched hearts.

All in all I had a ton-o-fun and I have 2 days of dishes sitting in the sink to prove it! Maybe I should switch gears and go get a little work done! Or... New Years is right around the corner! I think I NEED a banner for that! : D  

1 comment:

  1. Fun project! I never thought of using pinking shears on paper..will have to give it a try.

    PS: your leaf crust is beautiful! I got a pie plate with a lip for Christmas hoping it would solve all my ugly crust woes, and it helped for sure, but I still have some work to do. Darn! Thought I could blame it all on faulty equipment!