Monday, April 19, 2010

Banner with a Twist--It's Reversible!

Banners are everywhere and I finally jumped on the bandwagon. I have been avoiding it because they seem to take a lot of time to really make them pretty and then you can only use it a limited number of times. These banners changed that!

Most of the banners I see are made out of paper. What can be made from paper can usually be made of fabric, too, so that is the direction I took. It occurred to me that it should be reversible so I could use it more. Kind of like a two for one deal after doing the work. Besides, after taking the time to make it, it ought to be used a lot!

The trick to this was figuring out what to put on each side so there were the right number of letters and spaces to match the number of penants. I needed "Happy Birthday" and quickly realized it might be more versatile as two separate banners. I came up with a few combinations that would work for the reverse side, but I finally ended up with "Yay" and "Celebrate" and those are generic enough to be used frequently.

To make this banner, you will need 2 different fabrics for the penants, 2 contrasting fabrics for the lettering, extra wide single fold bias tape, and Heat N Bond. Note: I found two different fabrics that don't coordinate for the penants, but then found bias tape that matched both since it will show on both fabrics.

Start by tracing your penant pattern on your fabric. I purposely chose fabric that could be turned any direction just to make this easier. I traced with a water soluble pencil on the right side. Since I cut right on the line, I wasn't too worried about it showing, but just in case, I could wipe it off with a damp cloth.

Next, adhere the Heat N Bond to the back side of the fabric following the manufacturer's directions.

Lay your second color of fabric over the Heat N Bond with wrong sides together. Trim it so you have a piece the same size as the other piece. Fuse these together.
Cut out your penants. I used pinking shears for the sides and straight scissors across the top.

Fold your bias tape in half so the edges match up. I didn't use double fold bias tape for this reason--the edges don't always line up and I end up opening it, ironing it flat, and then ironing the fold back in. It is easier to just iron the fold in myself and know that the edges will match up properly.

Leave a little end for hanging your banner up and then sew the bias tape together near the edge. Place each penant in as you go. The corners should touch in the top fold as you add each penant.


Next, choose a font for your letters and print out letters the size you need depending on how big your penant is and whether or not there is a background (see notes at the end of this post). Cut out your letters.

Trace your letters backwards on the Heat N Bond paper.

Adhere this to the contrasting fabric with your iron. Cut around each letter and peel off the paper.

Adhere letters to the banner with your iron.


That's it! Pretty easy, but it takes a little time--
which is why I want to be able to use it a lot!
And, learning from my mistakes...It probably would have looked better (different?) to use a shape (circle or scalloped circle, I think) behind each letter. This would have allowed the letter to pop a little. I wanted it plain so I could make the letters bigger, but they get a little lost in the busy fabric anyhow. If you want a busy fabric with just letters, you could also use a bright and solid colored letter which would also help it to pop a little more.

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