Send a social distancing Congratulations to your favorite graduate or amazing person with this photo Congratulations banner. Find complete directions on how to make a mail this by clicking here!
At the start of all this craziness, my middle son shipped out to Basic Training with the Army.
Let me tell you, that was probably the hardest goodbye I've had in a long time.
But, he's thrived in Basic. I am so proud of the man he has become. He sacrificed being first to help the kid in the back of the line keep going when he wanted to quit. He's been the moral booster when the have been "smoked" all day. And his smile has made my day every time I have seen or heard it in the rare phone call.
I am so absolutely proud.
And he's graduating this weekend from basic.
With the social distancing craziness, we can't go visit him on family day nor be a part of his graduation.
I'm sure many of you are feeling the same sadness with school graduations cancelled too.
So I'm going to share with you how we mailed my son a Congratulations banner to help him have his family "near" on his big day.
I started by asking all his family members to take a picture of themselves holding a piece of paper. It works best if the picture was vertical and the paper was being held vertical. (Don't forget to tell them to smile because apparently that was a thing... who knew?)
Once I had all the pictures, I pulled them into my print program (I use Printmaster, but you can use Canva or Photoshop...whatever works best for you.) I cropped them so I had two pictures on a 4x6 inch sized photo.
Then I added the letters to spell "CONGRATULATIONS!!"
The great thing about this is you can spell "Congrats" or "Congratulations" with lots of exclamation points, depending upon how many pictures you ended up with.
I love to use Walgreens Photo for printing my pictures because they are right around the corner from my house, they are quick, and they almost ALWAYS have a coupon for their photo lab. (Plus, you can get a few more cents back if you go through Rakuten --formally Ebates before you upload your picture order.)
With two pictures per 4x6 inch print, I cut them in half when I got them back. Then I hole punched the top corners.
I used an "army" green colored ribbon to thread through the top of the holes to form a banner. I found my ribbon in the craft section of Walmart where all the ribbon is. It only costs about $0.50 for a role and I didn't even need the whole thing.
The best way to thread this is to start with the "C" and thread it so you can keep pushing the letters into the ribbon as you add more. This way you don't waste any or cut the ribbon too short.
Once the pictures are all on the ribbon banner, I folded them acordian style so I could mail them.
I made a card using this "I taught my children to stand up for themselves" graphic from Katies Uniquities on Etsy. Inside the card I added the chorus from The Bonner Family's song "Never Alone" and wrote a note telling him how proud we all were of him.
I cut two little pieces of paper and taped it to the ends of the banner. On one I wrote "Grab with right hand here" and the other "Grab with left hand here. Lift up and out."
Then I placed the banner inside the card with the ribbon ends and instructions outside the card.
The idea is that he'll open the card and see the instructions. Then, follow them (he is in the Army now...so hopefully he can do that more than when he lived at home. LOL.)
This will bring the banner up and out so it's hanging there wishing him Congratulations from his whole family.
Boy, I wish I could be there to celebrate with him. But as we all keep those we love safe by social distancing, I know he'll feel us there with him and feel our love.
This is a great idea for anyone you want to congratulate long distance. And it's a quick and easy project too, which makes it actually more likely to get done during this crazy time.