Sometimes, when friends deserve to be the center of attention, it helps to give them a little push into the spotlight. Around here when someone needs a good fussing over we call Hallmark Designer Lindsay T. (You’ve met her a few times. She’s a tour guide, an avid card-sender, and a thoughtful gift giver.) Today she lets us in on her favorite way to make someone feel special on a big day: the personalized celebration sash.
I’ve always thought a birthday should be a big deal: It’s one single day out of the year to celebrate someone special. And I loooove my friends’ birthdays, because they give me a chance to write a nice card, send something sweet, or say “cheers” over a decadent meal.
But when we’re sitting at that fancy dinner, I always find it funny that no one around us knows it’s my guest’s birthday. Because of that, I’ve always been a big believer in adornments—tiaras, sashes, wild hats, buttons, etc.— that tell the world in no uncertain terms, “Hey. It’s my day!”
So when my near and dear friend Samantha was turning 30 in Nashville, I knew I had to make something for her to wear. And what better way to mark someone’s day than creating a sash they can wear all day long? I gathered some crafters and we spent an afternoon creating simple celebration sashes for our favorite people. We loved the outcome so much, I thought I’d share with you a couple of tips to make one for your birthday girl. Or bride-to-be, graduate, teacher, best co-worker—so many excuses/reasons!
Sashes (easy to find by shopping “sash” or “blank sash” online—or just cut about 72″ of a 3-4″ wide satin ribbon)
Bar pins (to decorate and hold the sash together)
Pencil or paint pens
All the bling: gems, rhinestones, sequins, glitter, pom-poms, tassels, buttons, flowers
Alphabet stamps or stencils
Paint palettes (or a paper plate or piece of cardboard)
Ruler or yardstick
Craft or butcher paper for sketching ideas and covering the table
Needle and thread
First, fold your celebration sash in half and do a little measuring: How long is your message space? Be sure to leave room for curves around shoulders and hips.
Then practice. Cover the table with craft or butcher paper and sketch out design ideas.What will your celebration sash say? Do you need to leave room for design elements, like hearts, stars or flourishes? What is your shiny-stuff-to-paint ratio?
You can draw a full-sized version right next to where you’re going to make your celebration sash: Try out letter spacing and give yourself a guide. If your sash is a light color, you can even trace over your sketch—practically foolproof!
Satin is a finicky material—so test your different colors of paint on scraps so you know how they’ll absorb and show up before you try the real thing.
Then, with a paint pen or a pencil, outline your letters and design.
Now just go for it! No need to be perfect or precise. Your guest-of-honor will just be thankful you made her something fun to wear.
Mandy painted her outline with glue, and then meticulously placed gems to create her bedazzled look.
Alyssa made a sash for her mom (love!!!) and adorned it with hand lettering, simple flowers, and a gorgeous palette of colors.
I was all about the alphabet stamps that Laura brought in from a teacher-supply store. It’s a simple way to say something bold—especially if hand-lettering isn’t your forte.
My favorite part was decorating the sashes, from poms-poms to gems, tassels to rhinestones. I dipped my gems in a little super glue (using tweezers is key!) and dabbed them on like confetti. Ashley made a simple tassel to sit on the shoulder, and Lynn added tiny poms for a fresh and fun approach.
Don’t forget to decorate the bar pin—the finishing touch that (literally) holds everything together.
In the end, we had a fun and festive range of awesome, handmade celebration sashes that any gal would be excited to wear. So next time your friend’s having a birthday—or any kind of special-ish day—bust out that satin ribbon and make her a little something to acknowledge it. Happy crafting!