In this tutorial you will learn how to make a banner using chipboard and paint. These banners are all over Pinterest, but why pay for something that is so easy to make yourself?! If you have a spare hour, you can make this banner to perfectly match your wedding theme and colors.
- White chipboard (mine is 12×12 from Amazon.com)
- Paint in your chosen colors (mine is Navy and Gold)
- X-acto knife
- 1-inch foam brush
- Small paintbrush
Step 1: Marking out your squares
I have done this project with a few different sizes of squares and 4×4 seems to be the best size. If you are using 12×12 chipboard you will be able to fit nine 4×4 squares on each sheet. For this banner you will need 13 squares, or two sheets of Chipboard with four squares leftover.
Start by marking the 4 sides of each sheet with tick marks every 4 inches. Line the ruler up on the edge and mark at four and eight inches. Do this on each side then use your ruler to connect your tick marks, making your 9 squares. Do this on both sheets of chipboard. I did this on the white side so you’d be able to see it, but you can do it on the brown side so that you will not have any pencil marks on your white side if you like.
Step 2: Cutting the chipboard
Cutting chipboard can be a little challenging. It is too tough for most pairs of scissors; an X-acto knife does the job well though. It takes a few passes with the knife to cut all the way through the chipboard, just be sure you are cutting on the same line each time.
Step 3: Painting the edges
Once you finish cutting you will have a nice stack of squares. You can leave them plain like this, or you can add some dimension by painting the edges of each square.
Using the 1″ foam brush, add paint to the edge of the squares. You’ll want to do this using a stipple technique like you would for a stencil. You use a very small amount of paint for this–it will dry very quickly (mine were dry within about 15 minutes).
Step 4: Drawing the letters
You can draw whatever type of letters you like on your squares. I chose to copy a font from GoogleDocs on to mine. I went into GoogleDocs typed up Love is Sweet in a large size and then changed it into a few different fonts to see which I liked best. Then I did my best to copy it off of my computer screen. You can also print the page and cut out the letters to trace if you prefer.
Step 5: Filling in the letters
Next you will use your small paintbrush to fill in the letters (and hearts) that you drew onto the squares. Work slowly here. Precision is the name of the game, especially if you are using a dark color like Navy on white. Again, this is a very small amount of paint so it will dry quickly. I gave them half an hour to dry before the next step.
Step 6: Punching the holes
Next you will need a single hole punch but I’ve been told that a “cropodile” (a scrapbooking tool) works very well for this too. In the upper corners of your squares, just under where your edge paint comes together, punch a hole through the chipboard. If you are using a regular hole punch this takes some upper body strength, go a head and count that as your workout today!
Step 7: Stringing the letter together
Next, you will be stringing the letters together to make the banner. I measured my twine just by arms lengths. I did five arms lengths (one arm), and then cut the twine. This is way too much twine, but I wanted to leave room on the ends since I am not sure where it will get tied off yet.
Now, you’ll want to string the twine so that it feeds up through one the corner of one square and down through the corner of the next square. This will ensure that the majority of the twine runs behind your letters, not across the front.
Step 8: Tying off the ends
Once you have all your letters strung on the twine you can center them on your piece of twine and tie a knot at both ends to keep the squares from shifting.
Step 9: Cleaning up
I wait until the end of the project just to give the paint extra time to dry, but you can do this anytime. You’ll just want to go back with an eraser and make sure none of your pencil lines are visible, either on the edges or where you penciled in your letters.
Once you are finished, hang it up, stand back and admire your work.
This project is great for weddings, but also great for a mantle banner for the holidays, baby showers, and really any occasion. I’d love to see your take on it, so please post pictures in the comments if you decide to make this for your special occasion.