This week, most people are taking a short week at work, wrapping up on Wednesday for the holiday. So at SuzerSpace, I’m doing the same thing, posting my normal Friday post on Wednesday. That will give me more time to enjoy the holiday, and I wanted to squeeze these two crafts in that are Thanksgiving themed.
Script Thanksgiving Banner
Creating a banner of separate letters with holes for stringing isn’t too hard once you get a system down. I’ve done it for New Year’s, and for no reason at all, and then I’ve done some heart and bicycle shapes that used the same treatment.
So of course it was time to try something new. I wanted a “Happy Thanksgiving” banner that was in joined script letters. I knew it wasn’t going to be as easy as just setting the type in script and welding it together and putting the circles at the top and stringing it. Unless your string is exactly level, doing it that way would make the two words dive down in the middle at awkward angles.
But I wasn’t sure how I was going to figure out how to gracefully space the letters so they’d hang evenly. There’s science to how things hang on strings. It’s gravity, and -gulp- Calculus.
I’m very crafty. But not really mathy. But Adobe Illustrator is, in disguise. (Other software will do this too – I just have years of Illustrator experience so it’s always my go-to).
I measured off my window, and measured the low point of the garland that was hanging there at the time. I then created an Artboard in Illustrator the same dimensions as my window, and added a guideline at that low point. I then drew a oval that had the bottom part of the curve meet that low point dimension.
Then I set my type use the Type on a Path tool, and used the Type on a Path options window to set the baseline to Center. I fiddled with the spacing and then converted the type to outlines and ungrouped it so I could move the letters higher or lower on that path so that I’d have good spots to put the holes for the string.
Because of that pesky gravity thing, you need to keep watch that more of the heavy part of the garland is below the line, otherwise it will flip over when it is hung. I learned this the hard way last Christmas, when I created a garland of reindeer that unfortunately hung upside down because of where I placed the loop holes.
After merging in my DXF file, I moved the words around to get the best fit on my sheet (don’t always lock yourself into cutting things in reading order – diagonal often words best since it lets you cut more than the width or the length).
“Thanksgiving” was too large for my paper any way I spun it, so I did it in two parts, and then glued the overlap of the “s” and the “g” together.
I then threaded twine through my holes, and put the garland up, adjusting it to where the string reasonably looked like the curve I had set up in Illustrator. And it worked. Just like I planned it!
Thanksgiving Turkey Placeholder
My second Thanksgiving craft is based on this one. I didn’t do mine exactly the same way (I have a great stash of googly eyes), and because I used cover stock for my accordion fold it so it isn’t exactly level, but I love it anyway. If you make one, consider using lighter weight stock for that fan so it sits better. This could also be a great kids craft while they wait for dinner on Turkey Day.
Since the original post has a great tutorial, I’ll just share my photo of my finished version, and then let you enjoy your holiday!