Hand-Lettered "Welcome to Our Circus" Banner Tutorial

Our baby boy’s first birthday is coming up! I know everyone says they can’t believe how fast time goes, but it’s true! We usually do a big first birthday party but keep the rest pretty simple. For this guy, I decided to do a circus theme (thank you Greatest Showman) for his party. AND being who I am, I plan to add in some hand-lettered touches like this banner!

Here are the materials I used:

  • kraft paper roll (I get these at Dollar Tree because I’m cheap)
  • red acrylic paint (just the cheapest little bottles from Michael’s)
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • eraser
  • foam paint brush
  • small paint brush (nothing fancy!)

First, figure out how big the banner needs to be. I’m planning to put this one outside to welcome our guests, so it needs to be big. I measured out 5 feet of paper. Luckily, our little table just fit it!

blank banner paper

I used the measuring tape to start sketching out some guidelines in pencil. I found the center vertically & horizontally. Then, you start sketching your message with pencil. You can also sketch your ideas on a regular piece of paper first if your rather not have so much to erase. I already had an idea of what I wanted to do, so I didn’t really sketch everything out beforehand this time.

I’ve found it’s best to start with the middle of the word & work my way out.

sketch out idea on banner

This can be a lot of trial and error (like realizing that this

 l should be a c), but that’s the beauty of pencils! Feel free to play with shaping the letters, mixing up the fonts, making some words smaller. There are font & design rules, but they’re made up by creative people who always break the rules anyway.

banner creation development

Once, you’ve finalized you design, grab a straight edge or ruler & start making those final lines. I’m still using pencil here so that I can erase any extras later.

erase sketch lines on banner

Now, I’m ready to paint. I used the fanciest of the fancy art supplies here . (Only the best for my baby!)

paints for banner artwork

I used the width of the foam brush as my guide & started filling in the outlines I made. I used a small paintbrush for the small cursive letters in the middle and other small details.

I didn’t get any pictures of the painting process because at some point I was holding the soon-to-be birthday boy in one are & painting with the other. Good thing this is going to be a yard sign & doesn’t have to be even close to perfect!

Once the paint dries, the last step is to erase all of your pencil lines. I always have a lot of these, so this takes me a while.

And there’s the finished banner! Can’t wait to see it hung up out in the yard.

banner artwork for kids birthday party

I’ll make sure I post a picture of it all pretty on Instagram, so follow me there to see!

Cheering you on!


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