iron and pressing surface, container of water, paintbrushes: medium, chisel, paper towels and plates, scrap paper, straight pins, scissors, yardstick, pencil
1. Press both fabric pieces. Square up edges of green fabric panel to ensure parallel using cutter. With green panel in horizontal position, press under 1/2" hem starting at sides, then top and bottom. At top, fold down 1" to create finished hem for dowel pocket. Adhere hems in place in order created, diagonally trimming corners to minimize fabric bunching. Let dry. Insert dowel through pocket; tie green ribbon on each end for hanging. Set aside.
2. Cut muslin panels: 7"x6" handprint, three; 3"x2" child's name, three; 10-1/2"x2-1/2" caption, two. (Note: Cut muslin straight with threads, or pull thread to make sure cut is straight and fraying is even.)
3. Have child lightly print name on scrap paper, then on name panel using pencil. Trace over pencil lines using fabric marker. Squeeze desired paint onto paper plate. Apply generous amount of paint to child's palm and fingers using paintbrush. Position hand onto handprint panel; press down on back of hand and on each finger creating bird. Lift hand straight up. Let dry. Repeat for each child.
4. Fray 1/4" along edge of name and caption panels using straight pin. Lightly pencil sentiment on caption strips; trace over letters with fabric markers. Let dry.
5. Squeeze fabric glue along edges of handprint and spread 1/2" from print using chisel paintbrush to "seal" fibers and prevent fraying. Let glue dry completely. Cut out each bird using scissors, carefully following finger shapes.
6. Cut three 3/4"-long yellow felt beaks. Cut yellow cording into 6" lengths. Gently pull cording apart into separate fibers, allowing ends to spin as they untwist. Divide jute into three piles; roll each pile in hands to create nests.
7. Arrange fabric components on green banner and adhere, applying glue 1/4" from back edges of each piece. Adhere nests below birds. Let dry.
8. Write date and special message to mom (if desired) on back of banner's dowel pocket using fabric markers.
1. For easy cleanup, cover flat surface with a plastic tablecloth covered with newspapers. When finished painting, simply roll up all layers and discard.