Happy Birthday Banner

August 10th, 2015

It took me some time, but it’s here! My do-it-yourself “Happy Birthday” banner tutorial with FREE template downloads! You can now be the proud craftsman of this fine speciman:


A word to the weary: This banner involves many tedious processes so be sure to give yourself plenty of time and spread out the process over a few days.

There are some corners to cut if you’re looking for a banner that’s easier to make:
1. Forego the badges
2. Use pre-cut letter stickers
3. Leave off the person’s name

I hope this tutorial finds it’s way into a few inspired minds. Share away and if you’ve got questions, post it in the comments. I’ll answer as soon as possible!


1. These FREE! Downloadable Templates
2. 8½ x 11 sheets of decorative paper for the flags (NOTE! The number of letters in your message = the number of sheets of paper you need. I needed 18 sheets for my banner and used 3 different patterns.)
3. 8½ x 11 sheets of white paper for the badges (NOTE! You can fit 5 badges on 1 sheet of paper so take the number of letters in your message and divide by 5 to get the number of sheets of white paper you need. I needed 4.)
4. Two 8½ x 11 Mounting Adhesive Sheets
5. Ruler
6. Scissors
7. Cutting Matt
8. Precision Knife
9. Pen or Pencil
10. Some twine, string or ribbon
11. Brads (NOTE: The number of letters in your message minus 3 = the number of brads you’ll need.)



Step 1: Once you’ve gathered your supplies, print out the FREE! templates and proceed to cut out the badges and the flags.



Step 2: Trace the badges onto your sheets of white paper. You’ll need 13 “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” banner badges and you’ll need (number of letters in the name) “NAME” banner badges.



Step 3: Cut out the badges you traced.



Step 4: Trace the banner flags onto the backside of the decorative paper. You’ll need 13 “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” banner flags and you’ll need (number of letters in the name) “NAME” banner flags.



Step 5: Using your ruler as a guide, cut out the banner flags that you traced.



Voila! I would call it a day if you haven’t already!



Step 6: Haphazardly cut out the letters you need, and place them onto a peeled side of mounting adhesive. I was able to fit all 18 on 1 sheet, but you’ve got 2 in case!



Step 7: And now for the most time consuming part of the whole project. With your precision knife, proceed to cut out all of the letters. Having 2 kids and being super busy I made it a goal to simply cut out a few letters a day. You could also opt for letter stickers!



Step 8: Peel the back off of your newly made letter stickers and apply them to their corresponding badges. The larger (“HAPPY BIRTHDAY”) letters go on the larger badges and the smaller (“NAME”) letters go on the smaller badges.



Step 9: Lay out your banner in the order it should be. Using small cut pieces of adhesive, mount the badges to the flags. The larger (“HAPPY BIRTHDAY”) badges go on the larger flags and the smaller (“NAME”) badges go on the smaller flags.



Step 10: With your precision knife, make a small vertical slit in the corner where 2 flags overlap. Push a brad through to connect the flags together. Continue this until all of the flags are properly connected.



Step 11: To hang your finished banner, cut small slits in the outermost corners of each word (I hang each word as a separate banner). Push some twine, string or ribbon through the hole and make a knot. Cut length accordingly.



And there you have it! I would love to see all the banners made using this tutorial so take a picture of your finished product and please send it my way!! –me@danirae.us

New site, new chapter

July 24th, 2015

If you’ve been wondering where that Do-It-Yourself birthday banner post is (promise it’s next!) and what I’ve been up to lately, well, here it is: danirae.us. Please do me a favor and check it out!

I also want to share that I’m currently looking for a full-time position. So, if you feel inclined, I would GREATLY appreciate any endorsements and/or recommendations to my LinkedIn profile.

Thanks guys, operation birthday banner post is already underway!


July 24th, 2015

I took Dakota and Mieka to the Arboretum this past Tuesday and at the end of our time there I decided to try shooting some video instead of pictures. Then, yesterday, I summoned up some of my mad TV production skillz from high school to make this:

Two discretionary notes: 1. If you just ate or had lunch, viewer beware, it’s a little shaky at times. 2. Yes, this video is set it to the best band in the world: Coldplay.

Mieka’s Berry First Birthday

April 1st, 2015

My baby girl is growing up! Despite the fact she’s been toddling out of my reach for a few months, Mieka is now officially a toddler. And so begins the stage of whole milk drinking, nap time dwindling, and long sloppy smooching (just the way I like it!). Sometimes Kevin and I think Mieka might be a real-life genius. Then we’ll catch her eating dog food and think, “Wow, she’s striving to create a better dog food formula, how smart is she?” Although I can’t condone the dog food taste testing experiments, I fully support her quest to read every book in this house a thousand times over. Happy birthday miss Meeks, you will always be my strawberry sweetie.

















Credits: Strawberry Tissue Hearts from The House That Lars Built // Cupcake Toppers from Plumcake Parties on Etsy // Red Polka-Dot Leggings from Pitter Patter Shop on Etsy // Strawberry Wax Paper from Giftaholic on Etsy // Happy Birthday Sign with printable template from Banana Mustache

Strawberry Fields Tunic: an Old Navy Dress hemmed by my grandma (Thanks grandma!) and designed/screen printed by myself with huge help and thanks to Tim Sievert and his friend Brett. THANK YOU!!! The Peter Pan collared onesie that’s underneath was found at Once Upon A Child. Um…I love Peter Pan collars!

Mini Strawberry Hair Clips: Made with these strawberry appliqués from Boutique Supplies Co. on Etsy and glued onto red mini snap clips.

Strawberry Sugar Cookies: Made using this amazing sugar cookie recipe from Baking a Moment and with this strawberry cookie cutter from CopperGifts.com. Many YouTube video tutorials were used to help me decorate them!

Thanks: A big thanks to my mom for making the strawberry cake pops and mini fruit pizzas. Yum! Also, thanks to my sister-in-law Tara for the Etsy Gift Card she got me for Christmas. It helped make this wonderful party possible!


September 8th, 2014

Kevin and I recently teamed up for the design and development of KevinTruckenmiller.com—a portfolio site of his work in music. The site is a responsive, one-page design with some trendy parallax scrolling. The “work” section is a discography of albums he’s credited in and offers listening samples on rollover. The site also features some fun looping clips of music videos for songs he’s been a part of—my favorite part! As always, I enjoyed working with Kevin to bring this thing to fruition and am hopeful it will bring him more clients to make music with in the future!







And, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the live site in it’s full glory at: KevinTruckenmiller.com.