Have you noticed that glitter letter banners have been a big hit for part decorations in the past few years? They show up everywhere when you search for birthday party decorations online. You can get them in big block print, or fun cursive fonts, and in pretty much any color imaginable – and you can get them to say just about anything. Glitter name banners are especially popular for birthday parties and baby showers, but if you’re having a themed party, there’s all sorts of fun sayings you can get to liven up the decor. But before you go spending big money on one, you might want to think about making it yourself. Especially if you have a Cricut or Silhouette machine.
Making a banner or two is an easy and inexpensive way to spruce up your decorations and add a bit of sparkle.
And I love me some sparkle! So here’s some tips from someone who’s made far too many glitter banners since she’s had her Cricut.
Like WAY too many.
Glitter Cardstock – I really like the thickness of Paper Studio glitter cardstock from Hobby Lobby
A font that’s well suited for banner making.
Embroidery floss to match your cardstock
Needle threader (optional)
Printable stringing instructions for odd letters and shapes (Found in the Crafter’s Resource Library! Click the button below to get the password.)
Preparing your Glitter Banner SVG Cut File
You Cricut user’s know the drill. The first thing you need to do is make or upload your cut file. This is a pretty easy one to make on your own though. And if you want to use a script font, this is a good way to practice with the Weld button and the different text tools in Design Space.
Using Block Letters
First, pick out a nice bold font. You want the letters to be nice and thick so that they’re a little more sturdy. Thinner fonts are also more difficult to string. I like DIN Condensed, myself.
Type out the banner in all caps, and resize to how tall you want the banner letters. 3.75″ tall will get you 3 rows of letters per mat, 5.7″ tall will get you 2 rows. And, of course, 11.5″ will get you one row of letters (as long as none of them are wider than they are tall).
Once the size is all set, ungroup your text, and you’re ready to cut! If you want to save some space on the cut and waste less material, you can arrange your pieces so that you can fit as many as possible in a row of 11.5″ of less, then Align Top, and Attach. For example, Placing a T between two A’s will save space because you can squish them closer together.
It might not make much of a difference on short banners, but it can sometimes mean the difference between cutting into an extra sheet for just a few letters.
Using a Script Font
Using a script font is a little more tricky, but can look end up looking really nice if you do it right. What you’ll need to do is type out the banner in your script font – Do NOT use all caps for this, as it is even more difficult to read once it’s made of glitter. Adjust the size to where you want it. Script letters are not all going to be the same height, so there’s not really a good set size for this. Just use your best judgement.
Now go back in and adjust the spacing as best as you can using Letter Spacing button. This will probably not be perfect. You’ll have to adjust the pieces manually so that every letter in each word is connected. Just ungroup the whole layer and drag each piece to the right place. Try not to move the letters up and down, just side to side.
Now Adjust the spacing manually so that every letter in each word is connected.
Then, for each word, select the whole word, and press the Weld button to make the word all one layer. Do not attach all the words together. You should have one layer per word when it’s finished. Make sure with your sizing, each word is less than 11.5″ long, or it won’t cut. Longer words may need to be split in half.
Now it’s ready to go!
How to String your Banner
I like the needle and thread method best for glitter letter banners. Here’s how you do it so the thread only shows between the letters.
After you cut out all your pieces, arrange them in order and double check to make sure everything is spelled right.
Pick up first piece and hold so front side is facing you. Push needle through carefully from front to back, about 2-3 mm from the top left corner of the letter.
TIP: Hold the banner piece with your opposite hand as close to the needle as possible to prevent cardstock from bending and creasing when you push the needle through. )
Pull thread through the first hole, but only about 3-6 in. If you pull too much through it’s more likely to get tangled when you go back through the other side.
Bring needle around back of the piece and push it through from back to front, making sure it’s level with the height of the first hole.
Pull through so thread is taut.
Carefully slide piece down thread until it is in position. Leave about 1 finger width between pieces, and 3-4 fingers between each word.
Repeat steps 3-6 for each piece. Reference the chart below for help stringing irregular shapes
Leave extra thread on both ends for hanging the banner and trim both ends.
Stringing Cursive Glitter Banners
Stringing a banner made form a script font is a little different. The letters aren’t all going to be the same height, and you’re stringing whole words, not individual letters.
I find it easiest to start by laying out the entire banner with a bit of a curve to it, to try and mimic how it will lay when it’s hung up. Then try and imagine where it makes most sense for the thread to lay.
The thread needs to be at a fairly even height across the word and between words. It also can’t be too low, or the word will want to flip over itself and hand upside down. Try to pass it through thicker parts of the letter where possible.
Tips for Making Better Banners
- Add shapes: A quick fix if your banner is still a little boring is to add a coordinating silhouette on each end. Pine trees on a Christmas banner, or storks on a baby shower banner can make all the difference when it just needs a little extra something. Try to keep them at least the same height as your letters, if not a little bigger.
- Keep everything together: The farther apart you space your letters and words, the more difficult the banner will be to read. If you have a bigger space to fill, you’re better off making bigger letters.
- Don’t go too long: If you’ve got more than 4-5 words, consider splitting it into two banners, and hang the second half just below the first.
- Don’t let it fall: If you don’t have anything to tie your banner to and you have to tape it to the wall to hang it, tie a double or triple knot in teach end so the thread doesn’t slide out of the tape. (I learned this the hard way!)
Ok, friends, that’s all I’ve got for you today! Now go out there and get glitter on everything!