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How To Make Your Own Fabric Banners
Flag Holder - great for if you fly flags year-round
Decorations and Signage
Making your own signs and decorations doesn't have to be hard or complex. Crafting a fabric banner can be done easily and it doesn't have to break your budget either. If you are working on something for a group event, it's easy to have a one-day party or get-together and have everyone pitch in a little bit of effort and before you know it, you'll have a fantastic fabric banner to display.
Banners can be painted, glued or sewn which means there's a method for any skill level and means to fit just about any budget. With the graphics possible from a home computer, it's easy to come up with designs and lettering. So no matter if you are having a party, working on a banner for a school event or decorations for a booth display, there's so much you can do yourself.
How to Books for Banner-making
Making A Painted BannerClick thumbnail to view full-size
Choosing Your Banner Materials
Felt - When it comes to cheap, versatile, lot of colors, no fraying and easy to glue, there's nothing that gets the job done like felt. Many fabric and art stores sell both yardage and smaller pieces of craft felt. It can be cut and sewn or just glued together.
Cotton - For the most colors and patterns and a great range of textures and weights, you can make a fabric banner from cotton. This will fray, so it will need to be hemmed, but it can be relatively lightweight and is fairly easy to wash if you make something that gets used a lot. This is a great option if you want to do something with iron-on decorations.
Nylon - If you are making a banner that needs to stand up to heavier use and/or weather, it's often a good idea to go with nylon. This offers a lightweight material that is very strong. This will fray, so it will need to be hemmed. Doesn't glue as easily as natural materials. This material is more flammable than a natural one, so you may want to apply fire-retardant if that consideration is part of your situation.
Other Fabrics - In the end, just about any fabric could be used. The most important things to consider are
- Is this a long-term investment or just a one-off event?
- Is this indoors or outdoors? Will this banner need to be cleaned or reused?
- How is this banner going to be hung up? (this really needs to be considered from the very beginning)
- What method are you going to use to decorate it?
Garden Flag Poles
Decorating and Embellishing Your Banner
Painting - If you need something simple and don't want to spend a lot on materials, painting a fabric banner can be the way to go. To make it work, you need to be able to stretch your banner background tight so that the surface becomes easier to paint. Drawback: this method does not allow for mistakes or easy fixes.
Applique - This means that decorations and words are cut out of fabric and then attached to the background. This can be done simply or as complicated as you'd like, and works for both gluing down the pieces to be applied or sewing them on. The sewing method allows for the most changes and adjustments as applied pieces can be removed and reattached or replaced.
Fusing - This technique involves using special iron-on material to attach the decorations to the background. It can go a lot faster than sewing time-wise but it will cost a bit more for materials and you can't edit/change things once they have been fused together.
Setting heavy-duty grommets in the corners or along edges makes hanging banners easy, adaptable and quick.
Making An Applique Banner
Designing Your Banner - Before you even start to buy materials for your banner, it's a good idea to plan the entire thing out. This will help you save money and stick to a budget when it comes to buying supplies and it will save you time when it comes to making the actual banner. Butcher paper is great for making a life-size paper version of your fabric banner.
Lettering - The home computer has made this really easy. You can print out the wording you need for your banner on paper, using whatever font you like. Then after you print your phrases or sayings at the size you need, you simply cut out the letters and can then easily trace them onto the banner (for painting) or onto fabric (for applique).
Making Applique Easier - If you are doing glued or sewn applique, pin everything in place before you attach it more permanently. That way you can check the layout and make sure you like how it looks.
Think About Hanging It Up - You can sew on cords, or put grommets in the corners or along edges to make your banner easier to hang. If the banner is for a specific spot, then you'll know how best you can attach it. If the banner is going to be taken to various places and you don't always know how it might be hung up, make sure to design it so that you have some options.
Hanging Banners In Windy Spots - A big piece of fabric that gets hung up in the wind will act like a sail, which can rip down the banner or cause it to knock over other things. By making a variety of small slits all over the banner, this allows the breeze to pass through the fabric and will make it not act like a sail so much. You may have to work the slits into the layout so that they are spread evenly over the surface without ruining any of the design elements.
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