How to make a centre band
July, 28th 2009
A centre band (sometimes called a belly band) is a strip of card or paper (or you can use ribbon) wrapped round the middle of a card like a belt. It is made slightly loose round the card so it can be slid off to read the text beneath.
To make a centre band firstly you need to decide how wide you want your band to be. The easiest way to do this is to try it out experimenting with scrap or printer paper. Cut a strip anywhere between three and ten centimetres wide, wrap this round your base card then trim it to the right length leaving an overlap of a couple of centimetres. Make several bands in this way so you can decide what width suits your invitation size and design best. Once you have settled on a size you use it as a template for your chosen decorative paper or card.
Attaching the two ends of the same strip of paper together is what creates your band. To adhere these ends use double sided tape or a tape runner and place the adhesive as close to the edge as possible of one end of the strip. Remove the backing if necessary and wrap round your base card, attaching the two ends at the back. Ensure the band is not sealed too snugly, that any extra overlap is trimmed and that the band is attached only to itself and not the base card.
What if my band isn't long enough?
You may find a strip cut from the long side of an A4 sheet is not long enough to wrap round your card. In this case you will need to attach two or more strips together. Firstly cut the strips of paper making sure they are exactly the same width. Place your adhesive over the end of the strip ensuring it is very close to the edges and attach the end of the second strip onto the sticky area. If there is a pattern, make sure both patterns face the same way. Once your strip is long enough to wrap round, form it into your band as above and trim any excess if necessary. If you are making a band to wrap an A4 card landscape you will need three strips cut from the longest side of your paper to make one strip long enough. Pay particular attention to the joins if you are using this size as they will be on the front of the card as well as the back.
Decorating your band
Now all that remains is to embellish your band as you wish. They can be left plain but a simple flower, heart or a few gems can really add to the design. Remember to keep the off cuts of any paper or card that are left over, you can use larger pieces later to decorate menus and tiny strips will finish your place cards and coordinate perfectly.