Happy Birthday Bunting Tutorial
Recently I was asked to make this banner for a special little boy turning one, so I thought that I would create my first tutorial with it. This Happy Birthday banner was created as two pieces, but the tutorial could easily be customized with any saying and size.
Fabric for triangles: one yard total
Fabric for circles: 1/4" yard
Fabric for letters: 1/4"yard
Scissors or Rotary Cutter
For this bunting, there are four different fabrics used in the triangles. We got a half of a yard of each triangle fabric. The teal is used for the circles and we got a forth of a yard of it.
Step 1: When working with any fabrics, make sure you always prepare your fabric by pre-washing and ironing it. This will ensure that the fabric will not shrink if it is washed and dried in the future.
Step 2: I began by using my bunting template, which can be downloaded free when clicking the link below. Print this out and trace it on your fabric using a fabric pencil.
Step 3: Cut out the triangles. Since I am making each word a separate banner I need 17 total triangles after they are sewn together, so I cut out 34 triangles. It is a good idea to decide what fabric you want where and then you will know how many of each fabric you need to cut out. I suggest using a rotary cutter instead of scissors to save time, but you can use whichever method you prefer.
Step 4: Iron the fusible interfacing to both the circle and letter fabrics. This will provide stability with the appliques.
Step 5: Trace and cut out the circles. You will need one circle for each letter. Happy Birthday needs 13 circles. For these circles, it will probably be easier to go ahead and use scissors.
Here is everything cut out and in order. Laying it out helps keep visually because you can remember where each letter belongs.
Step 6: For my letters I cut out cardstock letters with my Cricut Machine. You will only need one of each H, A, P, Y, B, I, R, T, and D, because you will use these as a template to cut out the letters from fabric. I went ahead and cut off the serifs of the letters for simplicity. My letters are 2 inches tall.
Another option would to print out the letters using a font you like from your computer, cut them out, and then use them as the template.
Step 7: I pinned the paper letters to the white fabric and very carefully, cut out the fabric letters. This is one of the most time consuming steps, because of the small details. Take your time, it really isn't that bad.
Step 8: Pin the circles to the top layer of the triangles, both facing up. I am using red thread for the circle for more of a dramatic look. This is a spot where you can have fun with the colors because the circle is pretty easy to applique.
Step 9: For the circle applique, set your machine to the zig zag setting around the middle. I set mine to 3 for the circle and 2 for the letters.
Step 10: Pin the letters and carefully applique around all edges. The hardest part is the inside of the round letters like the B and P. If you go slow and do not rush it, you will be able to get a clean stitch. I got good use out of my seam ripper because I had to redo the insides multiple times. I also suggest using the same color thread as the fabric of the letter because it will not show mistakes as much.
Below is the finished applique with the letter and circle.
Here are all of my letters and circles finished.
Step 11: Pin your front sides of your triangles together. Sew them together with coordinating thread. I keep the edge of the fabric inline with the edge of the presser foot to get a clean and straight line. Remember before you start sewing to change your settings back to a straight stitch.
Step 12: After you sew the two edges, snip the bottom point.
Step 13: Cut notches around the tip. I did two on each side. This will allow the fabric to fold and create a clean edge. If you leave the fabric full and uncut, it will bunch up and you will end up with thick points.
Step 14: Fold all of your sewn triangles right side out and pull them tight and iron them. Don't skip this step because you are going to want them to lay flat when completed.
Step 15: Serge the top of the triangles to prevent any fraying and to make sure the tops were straight. If you do not have a serger, it is okay to skip this step because the bias tape will protect the edges.
Step 16: It is a good idea to iron the bias tape folded before you pin the triangles in it. You will need to now fold and pin the bias tape to the tops of the triangles. Make sure the letters are in order and facing front. I left about an inch between each triangle. The center of Happy is the first P and the center of Birthday is between the H and D. Fold your bias tape in half longwise to find the exact center and pin the triangles accordingly.
Step 17: Sew the bias tape along the edge. Try to stay in a straight line and really close to the edge. Also be sure to have the top of your triangle at the fold so when you sew, you will catch the triangle. This will provide stability. I just cut the tips of the sewn bias tape diagonally to prevent fraying.
You are all finished! Enjoy your Happy Birthday bunting!
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