Fabric banners are everywhere – they pop up in my Instagram feed all the time and I’ve wanted to have a go at making one for ages. There are a few ways to put your letters on, so I thought about embroidery or appliqué, but I love painting on fabric so decided to give that a go! There are so many possibilities with this project, so get creative with different fabric prints and paint colours. Then you’ve just got to decide what you want your banner to say!
You will need
Banner templates (click to download)
A craft knife or scalpel
Sticky back vinyl
1 fat quarter of fabric
Some lightweight interfacing
Fabric paint and a paintbrush
Pins and your fabric scissors
A 22cm piece of thin dowel, with the edges sanded to smoothen a little
Some baker’s twine
Stick your piece of vinyl to the cutting mat with some washi tape (this is easier to remove than something like sellotape). Then stick the word template on top and very carefully cut out the letters with a craft knife. Watch your fingers! Keep the outer edges of the letters nice and neat – there’s no need to worry about the actual letters as they will be discarded. When you have cut out all the letters, leave the backing paper attached.
Take your fabric (pre-pressed) and fold it in half, wrong sides together. Position the banner template and pin in place before carefully cutting it out. Notice that I have left an extra couple of inches at the top – you’ll need to do this too.
Cut out one piece of interfacing the same size as the banner template (no need to add the extra couple of inches at the top of this). Take the front piece of banner fabric and attach the interfacing to the reverse – make sure you have the bobbly side of the interfacing matched up with the fabric, and that you iron on the smooth side. Otherwise you’ll make a mess on your iron! Trim the edges if any excess is overlapping, and then fold over the extra bit of fabric at the top and place right side up on your cutting mat.
Now for the fun bit – painting! Make sure you do this on your mat or another protected surface, as the paint will soak through to the other side. Peel the backing off the vinyl and position the template on your fabric (the bit with the interfacing). Make sure that you take time to ensure that there are not gaps between the fabric and the template, as you don’t want the paint to run and mess up your lettering. Use a little bit of paint and start in the middle of each letter, working it into the fabric.
When you have painted all the letters, leave it to dry for 5-10 minutes and then carefully peel off the template. If you let the paint dry completely it will be more difficult to take it off, as the paint may crack as you do so. Once removed, leave it to dry completely before fixing according to the paint instructions.
Once the paint is dry, the banner can be constructed. Place the front and back pieces right sides together and pin around each edge. Stitch along the side edges, but not the top.
Trim the seam allowance to about half a centimetre, and the cut a few little notches along the curved edges – this will just help to avoid bunching up inside when you turn it inside out.
Turn the banner inside out and press.
Trim about 1.5cm off the top of the banner to remove rough edges and loose bits of cotton. Then fold over the top edge, tucking underneath to create a gap for the dowel to fit through. Check that the dowel does fit and then stitch along the bottom of the fold, close to the edge.
The final thing to do is to add the baker’s twine to be able to hang the banner. Tie the end of the twine to the dowel to pass it through the gap in the top, and untie it again once it is through. Measure the length of twine (as long or short as you like) and then cut to length. Tie the ends together and then pull it through so that the knot is hidden.
Ta-dah! Your banner is ready to display 🙂 You can make banners for all occasions – this is one I made for a friend’s birthday last month, which used this cool balloon fabric and gold fabric paint:
If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, you can also watch the video on my YouTube channel here:
If you have a go at this then I’d love to to see what you make! Share on Instagram or Twitter and tag @hellohoorayblog using the hashtag #hellohooraymakes 🙂