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How to Make a First Birthday Photo Banner

After studying parties for the last year, there was one element that I knew I wanted to have at Little Bug’s barnyard bash – a first birthday photo banner

Although I don’t think Mr. Mountaineer and I have been perfect about taking a million pictures, we did have some sweet photos of our the year’s adventures as a family.  I didn’t care where it was displayed at the party, I knew I wanted to commemorate her first year with this special element.  Here’s how to make your own first birthday photo banner.

First birthday photo banners can range from simple collections of random photos to a more organized month by month collection. After looking at the large assortment of photos from the year, I decided to keep our wall mismatched and used about 30 photos from throughout the year.

1. Choosing the Photos

Selecting your photos is the tricky part because if you’re like me (and many parents out there), you have tons of pictures of your little one. Instead of focusing on months, I chose photos based on major milestones. For example, there had to be a picture of the first time she touched the ocean or visited New York.  You could also choose photos around holidays, important visitors or, if you travel a lot, your trips together.

2. Assembling Pictures

Although you could just hang the pictures up, I decided to add a background to each picture to make them pop more.  The background pattern also helped the photos match with the party theme.

For this photo banner, I designed a background with patterns from the party theme.  You could also use cardstock, glittered paper or another fun backing material.  If you have 4 x 6 pictures, just cut 5 x 7 background rectangles to easily fit the pictures. Use glue dots or another adhesive to assemble the pictures together.

3. Design Your Clips

Regular sized clothespins work great to hang the pictures. Since our party was barnyard themed, I painted my clips with a cow print. Just paint each clip white and then add black splotches on top. You could also create glitter clips or add a decorative embellishment. It’s fun to jazz up your clips to match your theme.

If displaying photos by month, create some month by month clips so guests can easily gush over how your baby has grown.  You can even transform your photo banner into a photo guessing game.  Check out more ideas here.

4. Find Hanging Material

To fit our barnyard theme, I used gardener’s twine to hang the photos.  Any kind of string or ribbon will work, though, including baker’s twine, ribbon or even fishing line.  You could also create a colorful rope using rolled fabric to add some more color.

5. Display Your Photo Banner

Going into the party, I wasn’t sure how I was going to display our first birthday photo banner.  I wanted a prominent location where all guests could admire the pictures.  But with the party being hosted outside, hanging space was limited.  I decided, albeit last minute, to display Little Bug’s gallery in front of the lunch and dessert tables.

Other suggestions for displaying your banner include over a fireplace, on the front of a mirror or along an empty wall.  Wherever you choose to hang it, make sure that the wall is accessible for guests to look at.  Everyone loves to see how much your darling little one has grown.

Although you might want to keep your first birthday photo banner as a keepsake, consider sending the pictures home with guests. Everyone feels special when they get to take home a little momento from a baby’s first year.

Planning a first birthday party?  Check out these first birthday party designs in the shop.  They are a beautiful way to announce and decorate for your little one’s important milestone. 

And if you need more ideas to make your celebration special, you can find lots more ideas here. 

Happy Celebrating,


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