Ok, ok, ok. I will admit it. This was the one post that I needed to have a follow-up, and I never did it.
Back in Summer 2012, I made this DIY Birthday Sign and published “Part 1” on the blog. I was really good about taking pictures to document the steps. And I got so excited, I published them once I was half-way through the project.
Then I took a break after painting the sign itself.
I had to figure out how to do the rest of the birthdays and hooks and attach it all together.
I figured it out and I finished the sign, but I didn’t explain HOW I did it. Here’s why I never posted my follow-up: I didn’t take pictures. Bad blogger, I know.
Well, I thought I had gotten away with it, but recently, our blog has gotten quite a lot of attention and popularity (HOORAY!!!), but with that, I’ve gotten quite a few questions about finishing the project. So, I got caught by you fantastic readers. I guess I need to backtrack and explain how to finish it, don’t I?
Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the steps, but I can do my best to explain how to recreate it. I hope you will forgive me! If you look at any of my other tutorials, you will see that I really have been good about including all steps from start to finish for my other projects. This one just, well, got left out.
As you could see in the Part 1 post, I had already figured out which font (Janda Curlygirl Chunky) and size (34) I wanted to use. I picked 6 of my favorite paint colors and painted the 1.5″ circles in those colors (2 of each color). These would be my month signs.
Once they dried completely, I used the same technique from Part 1 of coloring the back of the paper with a pencil and then transferring it over onto the little circle discs. I then painted the months onto the tags.
Finally, I spaced them out and glued them onto the sign.
The next step was attaching the ribbon onto the sign base. I cut 12 strips of ribbon to be a little longer than 1 ft each. I decided to cut them into a point at the end, and I used some fray check glue to prevent further fraying. Well, I have since come up with an easier method. FIRE!
Yes, with grosgrain ribbon, you can prevent fraying with heat! You can hold a flame (from a match or lighter) underneath the end of the ribbon, and it will make it so that it won’t fray on you. This technique does take practice, because you can’t hold the flame too close (it will burn the ribbon) or too far away (not hot enough). I will hold the lighter about 2 inches below the ribbon and just pass my hand back and forth for a little bit. I will then touch the ribbon to see if it has scarred enough. It won’t be too hot to touch, so you don’t have to worry about burning your fingers, either (if you do it right).
I then used some superglue to attach the ribbon to the back of the sign. You can also use a hot glue gun or a staple gun to attach this. Since it is on the back, it really doesn’t matter.
Names and Birthday Tags
Now, it is time to customize! Once you make sure you have the correct birthdays (a very important step), you will get an idea of how many discs and the colors that you will need. Don’t forget that families grow and so you will need extras. I made at least 5 extra discs of each color for this reason (marriages and births of new family members). I wanted the colors to be similar to the month tags, but I didn’t want them to be the exact color. So, I took the paint color and mixed it with a little bit of white to get a slightly lighter hue of each color. You can’t necessarily see it in the picture, but it looks great in person!
Once they all dried, I needed to personalize them with our family members. I was frankly tired of using my paint brush at that point, so I invested in something so worthwhile: a black fine-tipped Sharpie paint pen. So. Worth. It! At this point, I also decided not to use the same method for writing the names and numbers, so I free-handed it. You can still use the transfer method if you want, but I knew that it would be more personal to use my own handwriting in this situation, so that is what I did.
Attaching the Birthday Tags
I also invested in some super-strong adhesive-backed velcro to attach the tags to the ribbon. I spaced the Velcro evenly down the ribbon, and you can see from the picture that there is definitely room to grow. I only used as much Velcro as needed, and I saved the rest. I decided to use Velcro instead of glue or another adhesive, so that when we have changes and additions to the birthday sign, I can slide the tags down or up and it won’t change the look of the sign too much.