Barnyard Birthday Banner


Sitting on the couch watching Netflix the other night, I realized that I had forgotten to post about making the birthday banner for His Majesty’s birthday party.  The cow print and gingham theme of the Barnyard Bash was originally inspired by this pin from Shindig Diva.  Can any patterns convey a barnyard bash better than cow print and gingham?  I don’t think so.  But, I knew I wanted to do gingham tablecloth and gingham trimmed mason jars on the tables, so I decided to focus on cow print for a Happy Birthday Banner.   Enter this cow print fabric scored with a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.  I bought 2 yards, which was about double what I needed, and that was on purpose, given that almost every sewing project I undertake involves at least one error.  Thankfully, though, this one did not involve any major errors, and I have quite a bit of cow fabric leftover for something else that comes along.

I started by checking out this awesome tutorial at Martin Family Living, which also includes a template, which you can find here.  I didn’t want to take the time to do a two sided banner though, which saved me several steps.  I printed out the template on regular old printer paper (because my husband wasn’t home, and I didn’t know how to print on card stock), and traced my triangle pennants on the back side of the fabric in pencil.  I did a pennant for every letter, and I even cut out a few extra, just in case.

Then I sewed a 1 inch gingham ribbon along the back of each triangle, leaving about a foot on either end.  I did a separate banner with Happy, one with Birthday, and one with His Majesty’s name, which allowed me the flexibility of hanging them vertically or horizontally, since I didn’t know exactly how it was going to look when I started out on this project.

Then I went to work on the letters.  I made templates and traced them, backwards, in washable marker on the back of a sheet of white felt. (That way, if anything funky were to show from the markers, it wouldn’t be on the “good” side of the letters.) 

Then, I cut the letters out, and traced around the white letters, this time tracing them onto red felt.

I did this because I wanted a little bit of red to show around the white letters, to play on the gingham ribbon.  I just freehanded the tracing.  See how I went all the way up to the edge on the felt here?  It saved a little bit of space. Low stress.

Then I cut those out, too. See how the letters look together? I stuck them in the sink with some dish soap and rinsed the marker out of them and then let them dry on my counter overnight.

Then I sewed the letters on to the triangle pennants, in red thread.  I just did the best I could to follow the curves of the letters.

After that, I used hot glue to adhere these cute little wooden animals to the end of the banners.  They are 67 cents at Hobby Lobby, and they come in all different themes: farm animals, rocket ships, dinosaurs, sports, all sorts of possibilities.  I used a chicken, a rooster, a cow, and a sheep.  They didn’t have a pig, which bummed me out, but I made do.  A pig would have really gone with the theme, though.

I had my husband hang it across the windows along the back wall of our family room, so it could be seen from the front door, when guests entered for the party.


I was pretty proud of this thing, and if I’m being honest, I left it up for 2 weeks after the party. It jazzed the place up a bit, made me smile every time I walked in the door.

It was simple enough to make, and good thing, because Christopher’s birthday is in a few weeks, and he has mentioned that I never made *HIM* a birthday banner (in a very dramatic, jealous, almost-twelve-year-old kind of tone), so now I’m on the hook to make one for him, too.  The sewing took about an hour, and the real time was tracing and cutting out the pennants and the letters.  I could reuse it if I wanted to throw another Barnyard Party, but I don’t think I’ll have the opportunity to do that, so I’ll try to find someone to give it to, you know, to share the love.

Here’s what I used for this project:

1 yard of fabric for the pennants

fabric banner template from Martin Family Living

5 yards of 1 inch ribbon

2- 12×12 felt sheets for your letters  (my letters are 3.5 inches tall, and I put them end to end, fitting 9 letters to a sheet)

4- 12×12 felt sheets for the accent color behind your letters (you have to space these out more, which is why you need more felt)

Thread in coordinating color

washable marker or pencil


sewing machine (optional, but it sure will save you some time)

wooden accent animals or figures to go with your theme (optional)

hot glue gun (optional, for use if you want to use the wooden accent figures)

Using my 40% off coupon, and getting the ribbon on sale for 50% off, I spent about $12 on this project.  Some fabric birthday banners go for $35 on Etsy, and they don’t look much different from this one that I made myself in a few hours in the evening– especially not from a few feet away!

Have you made anything great lately?  Tell me about it!


2 responses »

  1. You did such a great job. I have not made anything worth nothing as of late, but I am pretty impressed by your banner. You did a great job and I love that you left it up. We leave birthday decorations up for one week and we call it birthday week. You get to keep the cards up and the decorations but after the week they have to come down (and we are both adults and LOVE IT)

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