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I Love You Banner for Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Yay! It's February! I get to decorate for not one, but two holidays this month - Valentine's Day, and Mardi Gras, which goes up right when Valentine's Day stuff comes down!

The first thing I've done for Valentine's Day is a 'I Love You' banner. It's very simple, and looks pretty nice!

Materials:
I used scrapbook paper to cut the hearts out - I used a red & white checked pattern. To stencil the letters, I used a paper from Thailand that had little strings running through it (I know there's a name for that, but I don't know enough about paper to know what to call it!) and isn't quite 100% opaque. In total, use one sheet of scrapbook paper for each letter and space (so for 'I Love You', I needed ten pages, plus a couple extra in case I made a mistake) and half that for the letters and spaces of the contrasting color, because you can do multiple letters on one sheet of paper.

Also:
Letter Stencils (or if you're really good, you can just do this freehand)
Stencil paint (I used white)
Stencil brush
Decorative Scissors (these have a little scallop edge. You could use a straight scissor, too, though)
Mod Podge (matte or glossy - I used matte for this)
A cheapy black foam brush to mod-podge with
Ribbon to hang the banner with
A hole punch, or improvise carefully with a pen

Directions:

First, I cut the hearts out of the checkered paper freehand.

I Love You Banner

(Quick note - I wanted to have a heart space between each of the words, so out of the solid red paper, I freehand cut a small heart shape. You can see those in the last banner pic below.)

Next, I cut rectangles of the red paper to stencil my letters on. I just laid the stencil on top of the paper:
I Love You Banner

And dabbed the stencil paint on with the brush in an up & down motion. This keeps the paint from trying to get underneath the stencil, and it has a nice look to it once you lift the stencil. It looks a little more natural than 'painted on':
I Love You Banner

I used my scallop scissors to cut down the original letter paper once the stenciling was done. Next, I just glued the letter paper onto the heart with some Mod-Podge, then I Mod-Podged the entire front of the heart. This makes certain that the letter stays in place:
I Love You Banner

I Love You Banner

I gave everything a few hours to dry (although it's mostly dry in about 15 minutes), then punched a hole through the middle of the top of each heart to make a place for the ribbon. The very easiest way to do this is to fold the heart in half length-wise so you know the hole will line up. Then I just strung my ribbon through each of the holes:
I Love You Banner

And attached it to the mantle (all cleaned off, ready for more decorations!):
I Love You Banner

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