Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Birthday Party DIY: Rope Banner

Hubby and I aren't ones for traditional, store bought party decorations. There's nothing wrong with them, but we like to do our own thing. Last year, I made a few cool decorations, including a Happy Birthday Banner for my Will (check it out here or buy it here!). This year, we went a step (or five) further...

We decided on a Toy Story theme, which evolved into Will's Round Up, and kept at it even though Will suddenly became obsessed with superheroes after the holidays. He still loves Buzz Lightyear, but he mumbles about Iron Man even in his sleep! Half of his vocabulary is superheroes!

One of the ideas Hubby and I bounced around was this rope banner. I looked online and shockingly enough, didn't find much about it. Whaaaaaaaaaat?! Google doesn't have anything about a rope banner? Lo and behold, Nate Berkus did a twine ball craft on his show a few days later. Hmmm... I can just use that recipe (50/50 rope and water) on rope and see how it goes.

Rope - I used 3/8" x 50' Manila Rope from Home Depot.
Glue - Regular Elmer's is perfect. You'll need a lot though, so get the big jug.
Fishing Line
Wire - I opted for a thicker wire than just floral wire, but it was covered in twine, so it blended in with the rope well.
Tarp - or trash bags work, too!

Step 1: Get your rope and untangle it. Yes, it smells...

Step 2: Mix 50% glue and 50% water in a bowl or bucket. You want to be able to cover as much of your rope as possible with liquid.

Step 3: Submerge your rope in the bowl. It gets messy...might want to take it outside.

Weigh down the rope if you need to. And then wait. You probably only need to let the rope soak for a few hours. I had planned to only soak it overnight and start working with it during nap time, but Will decided not to nap the next day, so my rope ended up soaking for 2 days...

Step 4: Get to workin'! Lay out the rope on your tarp (or my ghetto fab trash bag tarp). I tied up the important cross points so the glue would hold in the places I really wanted to. Since I used fishing line to tie it up, I left it. It was clear, so you can't see it, and it just gave me that extra reassurance that everything was going to stay where it was supposed to. I weighed down parts that needed a little extra coaxing, while it dried.

I had to do the "happy" and "birthday" in two separate batches because I just don't have that much working space. It took a good 2 days to get each one to dry thoroughly, but that was also because it decided to rain and pour and storm like crazy the entire week before Will's party - and then rained a little on Will's party, too! Ack! I also wrapped the whole thing in the twine covered wire to give it extra stability. Since it was so stormy, the "happy" took longer to dry and I was worried about it not staying stiff. In hindsight, it really wasn't necessary, but gave me piece of mind.

And here's the finished product!

Here's another angle:

We hung it with more fishing line and screws. Nails would've worked just fine, or even the metal hooks that you can screw in by hand, but all we had were screws. Each letter has it's own line hanging it. This helped keep it straight and probably helped spread the weight of it out on all the screws vs just leaving it all up to 3 or 4 screws to hold each word. Again, it probably would've been fine with 3 or 4 screws, but it was nice to know there was no chance this was going to fall.

Not bad for less than $15!

See those cool Toy Story character cutouts in the background? Those are comin' atcha later this week!

1 comment:

  1. I like this a lot!!! Perfect for anything having to do with Woody and Toy Story.


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