I decided pretty early on that James just had to have a home made birthday banner for his Sweet Baby James Cowboy Party. After all, without a banner how could anyone possibly know that it was his birthday? There were only the balloons, the cake, the outfit...but, that's beside the point. Birthday banners are classic and iconic and James was going to have one.
After looking at a few pictures online, I decided on this method for making the banner:
1. Create a pattern for the pennants, letters, and star embellishment on Photoshop Elements. You can find the pattern here.
2. Cut everything out of felt. I made most of the pennants blue and the letters red. However, the pennants that would be the spaces between the words were red with brown sheriff stars, which made for nice contrast, but still fit the overall color scheme.
3. Pin the letters to their individual pennants. I would suggest lining up the pennants, so that you can make sure that the letters will be level when the pennants are eventually attached to the ribbon to make the banner.
4. Sew around the letters using a quarter inch seam allowance.
5. Pin sheriff stars to their individual pennants. Sew around the stars using a quarter inch seam allowance.
6. Choose a ribbon to sew your pennants onto to form your banner. I found a nice half inch wide bandanna print red ribbon in the ribbon aisle of my local fabric store.
7. Lay out your ribbon with the wrong/bad side facing up. Lay your pennants face down (wrong side up) on the ribbon. Match up the top edge of the pennant with the top edge of the ribbon. The top corners of the adjacent pennants should be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart. Remember to leave at least 8 inches of ribbon at both ends of the banner for hanging. Pin the pennants to the ribbon.
Note: I decided to divide my pennants into two groups and make two banners, since my message was so long. That way I could hang one above the other. The first read, "Happy Birthday" and the second said, "Sweet Baby James."
8. Sew down the middle of the ribbon to attach the pennants to the ribbon.
9. Hang banner and enjoy!
Just in case you missed the link for the pattern above here it is again:
Cowboy Pennant Banner