A child’s first birthday is a very big deal to parents. It’s the first official party you get to throw for your little one! If you’re anything like me, you want to go overboard for their very first birthday celebration. Over the next few weeks I will be featuring a number of decorating ideas for a 1st birthday party. These are all simple yet adorable ways to spruce up your home or other venue to show off your little guy or gal’s milestones in their first year of life. I went a little bit over the top when making these decorations but they can easily be altered to take a little bit less time and effort yet still look fantastic. I also have a big stash of scrapbooking supplies which allowed me to embellish to my heart’s content without breaking the bank buying all new stuff.
This first tutorial is a 12-Month Banner showcasing your little one’s growth each month. I took a photo every month of Miss O’s first year on the actual day she turned X Months Old. Not everyone is this obsessive. Chances are you took plenty of pictures during the first year and have a picture from each month – just check the date stamp once they are loaded onto your computer and pick the one closest (and cutest!) to the actual day. I actually uploaded a photo each month to Instagram so I had 13 perfect square photos that I had printed (most photo places will now print 4×4 photos just for Instagram photos). If you are using 4×6 photos, simply alter the dimensions in the instructions below. You can also use a paper cutter to trim each photo to 4×4.
12-Month Banner Tutorial
- 13 4×4 photos – one from each month including day they were born
- Decorative paper to match your birthday theme; can be scrapbook paper or solid paper
- Approx. 70″ of ribbon
- 13 clothespins (& Mod Podge & fine sandpaper if you want to decorate them)
- Circle punch (1/2″) or large confetti
- Number stickers (make sure you have enough 1’s!)
- Paper cutter (This will save you a lot of time but you can also use scissors & a ruler)
- Adhesive; I prefer acid-free double-sided tape but you can use glue, glue dots, etc.
- Scotch tape
Using your paper cutter, cut thirteen(13) 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares from your paper. If using a ruler & scissors, mark your measurements on the back of your paper and cut them out. Attach your photos centred on each square.
I lucked out with over-sized pink vellum confetti; otherwise, use a circle punch to make 13 circles. Put the numbers 0-12 on each one. Attach with adhesive on one corner of each photo. You can omit the circles and simple put brightly-coloured, larger number stickers right onto the photos. My choice in numbers were too small and wouldn’t stand out without the circles.
The clothespins are optional – they were entirely decorative and completely non-functional. I just thought they were cute and as I mentioned earlier, I went overboard (my kid was a good sleeper so I had the time!). If you choose to make a horizontal banner, the clothespins can actually be used to attach the photos to the ribbon. I decided to decorate them using the fancy paper I used as background for the photos. To decorate them, measure the front of a clothespin. Using these dimensions, cut slightly larger strips of paper – I used the scrap from the backgrounds. Put a thin layer of Mod Podge on the clothespin and press a strip of paper on. Brush a layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper making sure to seal the edges. Allow them to dry completely – I suggest 24 hours. Once dry, sand the edges of the paper down. I like to rub slightly onto the front of each pin to give it a more distressed look. I also stuck on little pink gems. Voila! Decorative clothespins.
Lay your photos in order and upside-down on a flat surface. Lay your ribbon down the centre of the photos and attach using scotch tape. Leave about two inches at the bottom and plenty of excess at the top so you have enough to tie a bow when you hang it. Flip it over and attach your clothespins if you made them. If you chose to make a horizontal banner then you can either skip the taping part and simply hang them from the ribbon using your clothespins or else you can tape the ribbon about 1/2″ from the top of the photos.
To hang the banner, I simply took a picture off the wall and used the existing nail to hang it. The banner was hung next to a door that was used a lot (Miss O has a summer birthday) so the wind kept blowing it. To keep it in place I used a tablecloth weight. If you’ve never seen these, check your local dollar store. They are handy for weighting down tablecloths outside. I also use them on lightweight plastic tablecloths inside the house during parties as I find people walking by will waft the cloth up and down. They’re quite handy – and cheap!
Check out our Birthday Party Pinterest Board for more great ideas.
Andrea can always be found with a new craft in front of her, a form of technology on her right and a coffee on her left. This is how she survives suburbia with her two crazy toddlers in tow.