How to Make a Birthday Timeline

By Drea Christopher ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Measuring tape
  • White or tan butcher paper
  • Scissors
  • Letter stickers or colorful markers
  • 4-by-6-inch photos
  • Double-stick tape
  • Black marker
  • Paper and pen
  • Temporary adhesive
  • Ribbon

If you’re hosting a birthday party for a friend or family member, you can add meaning to the festivities with a wall decoration that commemorates milestones in the guests of honor’s life. Create a birthday timeline that features photographs from the past and present, humorous and heartfelt anecdotes and a listing of the honoree’s personal, academic or professional accomplishments. Use craft supplies like colorful letter stickers or markers to help the nostalgic listing coordinate with other party decor.

Use a measuring tape to determine how much wall space you have to display the handmade birthday timeline. Cut a piece of white or tan butcher paper to the desired length with scissors.

Create a title for the birthday timeline across the top of the poster with letter stickers or colorful markers.

Affix horizontal and vertical 4-by-6-inch photos across the length of the paper with double-stick tape. Position the images directly below the title. Add the photos of the guest of honor including candid shots, portraits and images of him at work and at play in chronological order from birth to present day.

Draw a horizontal line with a bold black marker stretching across the poster and centered between the bottom of the photos and the bottom edge of the butcher paper.

Write a list of the milestones you want to include on the poster on a separate piece of paper to help you select the most important events and place them in chronological order. The tidbits do not have to coincide with the photos you’ve affixed to the timeline.

Count the number of milestones you have on your list to determine how far apart to space the “hash marks” along the timeline. If you have 10 pieces of text and your sign is 30 inches long, for example, use a black marker to draw 10 one-inch-long vertical lines space three inches apart that intersect the black horizontal line beneath the photos.

Add the date, milestone and a brief description or anecdote above or below each hash mark. Consider using different colored markers to write about different types of events such as red to signify personal milestones, blue to indicate school-related accomplishments, and green for career achievements.

Hang the birthday timeline on the wall with temporary adhesive. When the party ends, remove the sign, roll it up and tie it with colorful ribbon for the birthday honoree to take home as a memento.

Tip

Ensure the photos you use are reprints or color copies. Once you affix the pictures to the poster with double-stick tape, you won’t be able to remove them without tearing the paper or leaving a sticky residue on the back.

If you want to add historical context to the personalized birthday timeline, use an almanac or search engine to find world events, sports trivia and entertainment tidbits from the year the guest of honor was born or for the years you’ve included along the timeline.

About the Author

Drea Christopher is a freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in English. She has more than 10 years of experience producing features and SEO articles for national consumer publications, trade magazines and industry leading Web content providers. She has a particular interest in craft, entertaining, education, home and garden and health-related topics.