Monday, April 30, 2012

Photo Banner How To

As I've mentioned in a few previous posts, the smallest member of our house just celebrated a birthday. Being a (sometimes) frugal gal, I decided to bypass store bought decorations and try my hand at crafting my own.

Pinterest was my best friend during the weeks leading up to N's FIRST b-day party. I searched and searched for decoration inspiration, and I kept coming across photo banners - month by month photos of the birthday boy or girl, strung together and hung for display. It seemed easy enough for this not so crafty girl to attempt.

Here's are basic "How To" directions to help you get started with your own photo banner.

  • Choose one picture from each month of the child's life that you wish to include in the banner. I used pictures from birth through one year, totaling thirteen photos. Be sure to select pictures that are all of the same orientation - all horizontal or all vertical.
  • Upload photos to Photobucket. You'll need to sign up for an account if you don't already have one.
  • Use Photobucket's basic editor to adjust image quality (click Adjustment). Auto Fix is an easy option if you'd rather not put much effort/time into editing.
  • Adjust the size of the images, found under Adjustment. Make sure each image has the same width and height. My images were approximately 700 x 400 pixels. 
  • Add text to your photos, labeling the month of each picture by selecting the Text button. Photobucket has many new and interesting fonts to choose from. Play around with fonts and text placement!

Here's where I would do things differently. I placed the text in a different location on each picture, where I thought it looked best.  I should have known better, but placing text at the top of the image created some issues when it came time to assemble the banner. I had to hole punch through some letters and some words overlapped. If there had been more time for a redo, I would have placed all text at least an inch below the top of the image.

  • Save your images. If working on a Mac, open Microsoft Word and click and drag the images (full image, not thumbnail version) from Photobucket into a Word document. If working on a PC, download your images, save them, and then insert into a Word document. 
  • In Word, double check the size of your images (Format, Picture, Size) to make sure they are all the same. Adjust if necessary.

  • Print and cut out images. If I had more time, I also would have mounted the images on patterned scrapbook paper. 
  • Cut pieces of thin ribbon, about 4-5 inches in length. Punch holes in the upper corners of each image. Thread ribbon through the corners of consecutive images and tie as show below. You could choose to create one long banner by connecting every photo, or you might consider dividing the banner into two sections. My banner became two sections because of the text placement issues I mentioned above - Newborn through 6 Months and 7 Months through 12 Months.

  • Cut longer pieces of ribbon, about 10 inches, and tie to the outside corners of the first and last image (newborn and 12 months in my banner), as shown below.
  • Use tape or pins to hang banner on wall.

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