A beautiful bunting is a great way to celebrate the birth of a newborn and a fun project for the older sibling(s) to do too!
I received a beautiful fabric bunting during my first pregnancy that my thoughtful and creative friends made as a gift for me. But when I took the bunting out to use for the arrival of baby number 2, it felt like it was Beatrice’s bunting, it just felt wrong to use. So at 39 weeks pregnant, without time to drag out the sewing machine, I decided to put the task on hold until the baby was born, and I decided to opt instead for a paper bunting. Cheap & cheerful!
When my mother arrived to help out, I put her in charge of bunting production (one of many things). I gave her an assistant to help, of course… her nearly three year old grand daughter! I set them up with all the supplies needed to make a painted paper bunting. And I have to say, I think the lovely little fella is very lucky to now have his own bunting with a beautiful story as well. Painted by his grandmother, mother and big sister.
It was a very organic process, with a jet lagged grandma, a 10 day old breastfeeding baby, and a toddler. But we basically did the following:
• Cover table with an oil cloth or protect your table / paint surface.
• Choose a variety of different papers, we had about 8 -10 pieces of thick scrap card stock, watercolour paper, and some artist quality coloured paper. The paper needs to be durable so you can paint on it. For all the materials: paper, paint, and string, I chose to limit it to three colours: pistachio green, blue and white.
• Lay all the paper scraps out and make it an experimental project. We used watercolour pencils first, then added a paint tray of a few colours I premixed in blues and greens. White paint helped to keep things looking bright and light! (I avoided putting out any colours I didn’t want used).
• To keep this fun, we used both brushes and hands to paint! This is a great activity right before bath time 🙂 And I just popped the plastic painting tray into the dishwasher since all the paint was water based. Easy.
• Let the painted paper dry over night, then make a triangle template and trace as many as you can out if the paper (my triangle was about 8 inches and I made 20 triangles in total), cut them out with sharp scissors. This step was the most time consuming, and needs to be precise. Provide younger children with kid safe scissors to have fun cutting up the leftover scraps so they can stay busy too while you do the ‘clean’ triangles.
• I used stripey bakery string (leftover from a present), but something lightweight yet strong is best. Layout all the bunting triangles to see how close they need to go on the string, and then heat up your hot glue gun! These are super easy to use, but definitely only for adults. Fold a little pocket for the string to sit in and make sure to apply a thin line of glue along the folded crease so the string is at the same place along the bunting. (I did this last step when my daughter was at the playground with her dad.) And I spaced the bunting about 2 finger widths apart but you could use a ruler if you’d like exact spacing.
• And voila! You can now hang the completed bunting in a place of pride. Our bunting is very long (I had to crop it for the photos) and yet it stayed in place with washi tape, if you used heavy fabric or materials it would not be so easy to hang without nails / tacks, etc.
Even the scraps are pretty! Great reused as tags on birthday presents.
Beautiful baby bunting. One of a kind, made with love by three generations. I plan to use it every year to mark his birthday… do you think he will mind it at his 18th birthday? :).
We may need to make a tradition of it now, a paper one for everyone in the family once baby Joseph is of painting age.
I loved it so much I kept it up until he was three months old. A great way to celebrate the fourth trimester, and a nice backdrop for those early baby photos too.