DIY Happy Birthday Banner with Silhouette Machine

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My daughter will be turning 2 this month and I wanted a special theme birthday party for her. Her favorite cartoon is Squeak on BabyFirst TV.  If you have not heard of BabyFirst TV, they show educational cartoons for babies and toddlers. Since it is not as popular as other children’s cartoons, it is hard to find party decorations. However, nothing a Silhouette or Cricut machine can’t fix!

Supplies Needed

Silhouette or Cricut machine

Printer

Cardstock or construction paper (color(s) of your choice)

White cardstock (medium weight)

Glue dots or glue stick

Hole punch

Ribbon or string

Since all my supplies were left overs from other projects, I spent around $20 for printer ink. (That is actually being generous.)

DIY Layered Happy Birthday Banner

Layered Construction Paper Banner

Firstly, I started by picking out a banner template from Canva and saving it to my computer to use in Silhouette Studio. You can skip this step and draw your own banner in Silhouette Studio if you prefer. *This was my first project with my Silhouette, so I was still learning the ropes.*

After creating or uploading your banner template, make a copy and paste beside the original. Adjust the second banner template to fit inside the first banner. My banner measurements are listed below.

L 9.5 x H 6.5 Back

L 8.25 x H 5.75 Front

** Before cutting, check your page setup dimension to ensure they are the correct size of the paper you are cutting. For example, I am cutting from a letter size (8.5×11), no mat and with my Cameo 4. I also prefer to have the “show cut border” checked to ensure I am inside the cutting zone.**

Depending on the size of your paper and/or banner template, you may be able to fit both sizes on one piece of paper. 

Click Send, verify the correct edges are cutting (they will be outlined in red), select your material and tool. Silhouette Studio auto fills with settings for each material, I recommend a test cut to ensure the settings are correct. 

Font

I wanted a playful, but easy to read font. I came across Almond Cream font through a bundle I purchased on SoFontsy and immediately knew I had to use it! 

My original plan was to cut “Happy Birthday” on white cardstock, but I thought this would look too plain. I found an adorable polka dot paper background called Rainbow Confection on SoFontsy, which I uploaded into my “Patterns” section of my Silhouette Studio Library. It worked perfect with the construction paper colors I already had.

How-To Print & Cut Your Letters

To print your font, first decide on the size to coordinate with your banner size. See picture below. My font size is 613.29.

In a new tab, cut and paste your letter. Click on the letter to select it, select the fill panel, fill with pattern and select your pattern.

Before sending your font to your printer, on page setup select “Show Print Border” and “Turn On” registration marks. Like before, position your font to fit in the border and you may be able to fit more than one letter on your paper.

Now go to File and Print. **Once you print, DO NOT ALTER YOUR IMAGE! This is very important**

Place your printed font into your Silhouette machine, click send in Silhouette Studio, select your setting as before with the banner and cut. As before I recommend a test cut.

How to Trace Images to Remove a Background

Since my daughter’s favorite cartoon characters are not popular, like Minnie Mouse or Paw Patrol, I resorted to Google image search. I found several of her favorite characters, but the backgrounds would need to be removed before I could print and cut.

It is fairly easy to remove a background from an image in Silhouette Studio. 

Open your file, select the Trace panel, have your image selected and  click “select trace area.” The area that will be traced will show in yellow. Adjust the threshold as needed to include your entire image. Click “Trace and Detach” and you have an image with no background!

**The circles at the top of each character would not trace out for me. Since I am a newbie with Silhouette Studio, I decided to pick my battles and will continue to work on this step.

With your image traced, follow the same steps as above in the Print & Cut section.

Assembling Your Layered Happy Birthday Banner

Once all your pieces are cut out, it is time to assemble your layered birthday banner. I attached each item with small glue dots, you can also use a glue stick or scotch tape. 

After assembling, I used a small hand held hole punch to make two small holes at the top of each banner. 

I used a leftover ribbon from our wedding (9 years ago) to string the banner together. 

** If you use ribbon, I do not recommend using a sheer type. I did not realize my ribbon was sheer until the night before the party and had to make do.**

Conclusion 

With this being my first Silhouette project, I did run into a few problems. Most were my own doing. Overall, I was very pleased with how the birthday banner turned out and the smile on my daughter’s face was priceless!

For more videos on how-to use your Silhouette machine or Silhouette Studio, I recommend Design Bundles Youtube channel.

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