Sunday, November 25, 2012

Love Banners + A Tutorial

I was moving things around in my craft closet earlier, and I found my Kaiser Craft Chapter One 6.5x6.5 paper pad lying* on a shelf. It was all by itself since my boxes hold 6x6, not 6.5x6.5. I picked it up to fondle it, and a bunch of small pieces tried to escape. ENOUGH, I said, ENOUGH. I took all the small pieces out of the pack, cut them into strips, and made ... you guessed it: banners. I may be in a rut.

I pretty much pulled a repeat of the other day and started sticking banners to white card bases until I ran out of banners. I ended up with 16 more cards for OWH. Whoa.

Here's one:

That's just three pieces of Chapter One paper stuck down with a 3/8" strip of one of the black sheets layered across the top of it. Why 3/8"? First, it's between 1/4" (too narrow) and 1/2" (too wide), and second it perfectly holds a 1/4" wide tape runner with no slop-over. It's just meant to be.

Here's another one:

With that one I got all crazy and overlapped the banners.

Here's a high-waisted model of the previous card:

I had to do SOMETHING to keep it interesting.

And a low-rider version:

These are really easy to make, and if you switch them up a little, it doesn't get boring.

I'm going to take advantage of this banners post to do a brief demonstration of how I cut my banners. I've tried several methods, as demonstrated by many crafters, but this is what works for me.

I'll show my preferred method first. I start by cutting the card stock into strips:

Next, I cut a short slit up the center of the bottom edge of the strip:

I don't draw the pencil line when I do it; it's just so you can see where I cut. I don't measure this but it's about 1/4", or maybe 3/8" or 1/2".

Next, you make the first diagonal cut, from one bottom corner to the top of the center cut:

Then you make the second diagonal cut from the other corner:

Ta-da! How easy was that?

This works no matter how wide your paper strip is; you just do the same thing:

Cut up the center, then come in from one bottom corner:

Then make the last cut:


Some people like to skip that first center cut and free-hand the whole thing, but I need the guide to know where to stop.

Another method I use when I have squillons of these to cut at once is to use a square punch:

This is a 3/4" punch, but I've used larger ones, too. You need to stick the paper strip into the punch like this:

Make sure the corner of the punch is in the center of the paper strip, and the two bottom edges are about equidistant from the sides, then punch:

Ta-da! Same effect with one punch vs two or three cuts. I use this when I have a ton to do, but it's really a wash for me. I get frustrated lining up the punch, but since I've embraced non-symmetry in my world, I'm good with whatever comes out.

Now, let's say you've cut a banner but you don't like it. Maybe it's too pointy, like this one:

This can happen if you make your first cut up the middle too deep; then the diagonal cuts are on a very sharp angle. This is easy to fix! Here is how I trim mine that behave badly:

I drew the lines for demonstration purposes, but I just cut from the edges to the center on a less-sharp angle. Here's the first cut:

And after the second cut, it's much better:

See? Just like the other ones.

Now you've also seen that you can control the angle of the points based on how far in you make the cut up the center. A shorter cut yields a less-severe angle.

Now go off and play with some scrap paper, then go forth and create!

Thanks for stopping by!

*Yes, I had to look it up. According to this site: Once you lay (put or place) a book on the desk, it is lying (reclining, resting) there, not laying there.


  1. No, I do not need a square punch... After Thursday and again tonight, I'm done with banners for the moment. They are excellent for small scrappy bits so I'm going to try and not maky any for a while.

  2. maky? really. make.

  3. Well, now I feel foolish....I always freehanded my banners, and it was bugging me so I bought a small square punch. Turns out it's often too small. Why did I never think to gee, I don't know, find the centre first? All that to say - no matter how obvious it seems to you, boy am I glad you shared how you do this, because you just made my life easier :)
    I think I need to go make some banners now :) Maybe not 16 cards' worth in a shot, though!

  4. I love banners and I think you should keep on making them. These cards turned out really well - good job disappearing scraps. Thanks for the tips, too.

  5. Love me done banners!! I get frustrated with lining up the square punch too-scissors are always out on the desk too. I think we're crooked soul mates. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

  6. these are ♥FABULOUS♥!!! i love the "empire waist" one, especially, but mostly i love that there are LOTS of different versions and many of them are going to such a brilliant cause as OWH!!!

    ps: my (lifelong teacher) mom has a whole rap about "laying" and "lying" which involves chickens... but unfortunately... i get usually distracted midway thru & start wondering what happens if said poultry-based lifeforms not only end up ON MY BED, but whilst there, begin simultaneously producing eggs AND telling untruths??!?!? for one thing, i'm pretty sure at that juncture, grammar concerns would fly out the window having been undermined by the huge flurry of LAUNDRY PROBLEMS!!! so, in the end, i'm never quite sure which is right, and usually try to find alternate phrasing. the end. love, lauren :) :) :)

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

PS: I've had to disable Anonymous comments, because the spammers were killing me. If you are unable to comment, please email me your comment and I'll get it posted for you. Sorry. (stoopid spammers)