Birthday Banner Tutorial

Hand-Lettered Circus Birthday Banner

Our baby boy’s first birthday is coming up!  I know everyone says they can’t believe how fast time goes, but it’s true!  We usually do a big first birthday party but keep the rest pretty simple.  For this guy, I decided to do a circus theme (thank you Greatest Showman) for his party.  AND being who I am, I plan to add in some hand-lettered touches like this banner!

Here are the materials I used:

First, figure out how big the banner needs to be.  I’m planning to put this one outside to welcome our guests, so it needs to be big.  I measured out 5 feet of paper.  Luckily, our little table just fit it!

I used the measuring tape to start sketching out some guidelines in pencil.  I found the center vertically & horizontally.  Then, you start sketching your message with pencil.  You can also sketch your ideas on a regular piece of paper first if your rather not have so much to erase.  I already had an idea of what I wanted to do, so I didn’t really sketch everything out beforehand this time.

I’ve found it’s best to start with the middle of the word & work my way out.

This can be a lot of trial and error (like realizing that this l should be a c), but that’s the beauty of pencils!  Feel free to play with shaping the letters, mixing up the fonts, making some words smaller.  There are font & design rules, but they’re made up by creative people who always break the rules anyway.

Once, you’ve finalized you design, grab a straight edge or ruler & start making those final lines.  I’m still using pencil here so that I can erase any extras later.

Now, I’m ready to paint.  I used the fanciest of the fancy art supplies here .  (Only the best for my baby!)

I used the width of the foam brush as my guide & started filling in the outlines I made.  I used a small paintbrush for the small cursive letters in the middle and other small details.

I didn’t get any pictures of the painting process because at some point I was holding the soon-to-be birthday boy in one are & painting with the other.  Good thing this is going to be a yard sign & doesn’t have to be even close to perfect!

Once the paint dries, the last step is to erase all of your pencil lines.  I always have a lot of these, so this takes me a while.

And there’s the finished banner!  Can’t wait to see it hung up out in the yard.

I’ll make sure I post a picture of it all pretty on Instagram, so follow me there to see!

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