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!


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.

“Even When I’m Gone” Music Video

September 28th, 2013

My husband Kevin along with his band, Quietdrive, recently debuted the single, “Even When I’m Gone” to mark the start of Childhood Cancer Awareness month this September. The song was inspired by Kendal Lividini who, at 17, passed away after a courageous battle with Acute Myelogenus Leukemia. Despite the circumstances she faced, she showed that hope, love, positivity, and strength are what really matter in life. Through Team Kendal Kidz, Kendal’s parents are able to keep her message and dreams alive by spreading smiles and hope to kids with cancer.

The song, released through Team Kendal Kidz, Children’s Cancer Research Fund and Rock the Cause Records, is a tribute to those who lost their lives too young. It’s available to buy on iTunes and all proceeds go to Team Kendal Kidz and Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

The music video for “Even When I’m Gone” was released just last week, and I’m proud to say… PUNY produced it! I was excited to be a part of something so meaningful, profound, and close to my husband.

Please help to spread awareness and Kendal’s message by sharing the song or video with friends!


Behind the Video
Lead designer Tousue Vang along with design director/PUNY partner Vincent Stall created a concept that centered around an eternal beating heart, that upon closer inspection, shows us the memories and legacies left behind by the kids who’ve gone before. Whether it be Claire’s love for art or Zach’s gift for music, the visuals give us an idea of the passion and drive contained within each young soul. My role in the video included designing a couple collages, gathering stock photography and image assets, image production, and some photo retouching.

All of the imagery reflects the beauty held in the lives of the individuals and was meant to be symbolic for each person’s passions and accomplishments.

These beautiful photos of Kendal help demonstrate the simple and natural image enhancements—done in effort to make the photos even better than they already were. A little bit of color correction and red eye adjustments really helped to increase the overall quality of the video. At the same time, we were conscious and very careful not to interfere with the nostalgia of these precious moments captured.

This video is easily one of my favorite projects to ever take part in and I’m so happy that PUNY involved me. The message and meaning that this video carries surpasses anything I’ve ever worked on before and I’m so proud of my PUNY colleagues (Tousue Vang, Vincent Stall, Mark LaCroix, Mike Owens and Chris Handrick) for making this video great!

Taryn Christine Photography

August 1st, 2013

I’m excited to share that Taryn’s site is finally live! It’s a simple, responsive, one page design with a modal gallery and a blog feed in the footer. The design features muted colors—inspired by vintage globes & maps, hand drawn lines over beautiful photography, and watercolor textures behind cutout photos. The launch of her accompanying blog has been pushed back to September/October due to Kevin’s jam packed music schedule. I’ve included how the integration of her blog looks in the site designs below, but you may notice it missing on the actual site for now.






The dual-sided “sticky” navigation bar converts to a one-sided menu button in the mobile realm that side slides to reveal the content areas and “follow me” links.




Find Taryn at www.tarynchristinephotography.com and be sure to consider her for your next photo session! I know I can’t wait for her to take photos of my family again soon!