CREATIVE FAMILY FUN: Fly homemade pennant to celebrate birthday

By Donna Erickson

Birthday pennants on display. (Photo by Donna Erickson)

When there’s a birthday in your house, fly a pennant! This personal pennant celebrates the occasion and how unique the birthday child is. Make them together with your children now, and enjoy using them on their special day.


Here’s the stuff you’ll need:

— Sports pennant (for a pattern)

— Craft foam sheet the size of the pennant and smaller sheets in different colors

— Paper

— Pen and marker

— Glue

— Paintbrush

— Odds and ends for decorations, such as buttons, yarn, shells and ribbons

— 1/2-inch dowel, 24 to 36 inches long


Here’s the fun:

  1. Lay the sports pennant down on a foam sheet and trace the shape with a pen, then cut it out. Outline the letters of your child’s name on a piece of paper and draw around them with a pencil on foam sheets, using contrasting colors if you wish.
  2. Pour a little household glue into a shallow plate, and with a brush, coat one side of the letters. Glue them on the pennant.
  3. Now ask the birthday child, “What’s really special to you? Let’s picture it on your pennant.” The answer might be horses or in-line skating, chess or basketball. If the interest is quite difficult to create, figure out the best symbol for whatever your child holds dear. For example, a saddle for a horse or a king piece for a chess set.
  4. Draw the outline for the shape you want to create on another piece of craft foam and cut it out. Then think fun details. If it’s in-line skates, use buttons for the wheels. Draw lines on the basketball, or glue yarn on the saddle for reins.
  5. Once everything is drawn in and glued on, let it dry. Cut some horizontal slits along the straight vertical side of the pennant about an inch and a half apart. Weave the dowel through the slits until the pennant is flying straight up and down and out.
  6. Finally, grab a few medium-length pieces of ribbon and secure them in a small knot onto the dowel so that the ribbons cascade downward.

And there you have it — a birthday pennant! Wave it around and display it on your front porch so neighbors know there is a birthday child in your house. Or, fly it indoors propped between mounds of fruit in a large bowl or in a planter next to the dieffenbachia.

TIP: You need not limit the pennant’s use to birthdays. Wave it if your child has had a special day in school, won a big game or comes home with a good report card. You may even want to wave it when things aren’t going well, just to show that the family cares.


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© 2021 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.