two of my absolute favorite simple ways to decorate for a party or just holidays in general are paper lanterns and banners. while you can do a banner in simple paper-glued-to-ribbon for a really easy [and quick to clean up] decoration, i think there is something really special about sewn fabric ones made with more detail. when there is so much more work put into making it, i think they can really become treasured family items that get pulled out each birthday, christmas, thanksgiving, or for whatever the special event may be. soulemama is a great example of how something like this can become really special to your kids, just because of the tactile handmade-ness of it, and the tradition of it being present every year they can remember [she has a great pattern for one in her new book too!]. i love that idea, and want to have things like that for my kids- i think it's one of the great things about handmade. i still have loads of smocked dresses that my mom made for me as a little girl [which my daughter now wears] and quilts that make my guest bed extra snuggly.

these are the banners on my must-make list!

for thanksgiving.

having written just the other day about how my love of fall leaves collided with my love of banners- a leaf banner is perfect for thanksgiving, but also great since you can leave it up all throughout fall. a couple of pumpkins on your porch, a couple of "falling" leaves floating through your living room... perfect.

for happy birthdays.

i have been wanting to make this pink and brown birthday one for my daughter's 1st birthday which is approaching really fast! it is literally half-cut-out on my project table. my idea was that i could turn it backwards so that just the pink sides show to be hung in her room on all the non-birthday days. i love that mix of amy butler pinks and browns in this one, sooooo yummy. i only have less than a month to get mine finished!


meringue designs' shop on etsy has a fabulous, classic batch of 'celebration banners' and even a pattern for sale if you don't want to waste time winging it like me! i've been majorly loving that "merry christmas" one for a long time now. i have a green one started that i think will definitely have to become a christmas banner with some red letters and maybe some snowy white dots! i'm loving the idea of stringing it in contrast to wherever you hang your stockings... maybe across a staircase railing or along the top of a bookcase. i'm thinking mine will end up like a mix between the christmas one of this:
and a little bit of this, from cupcakery:

[ps- i had to grin at the order of these three, since having a birthday on november 29th has always made my holiday coundown go thanksgiving, birthday, christmas. love it.]

[pps- there are loads of super inspiring banner ideas on flickr!]

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