If you have an hour or two to sew this weekend, make a quick and easy banner that can be customized for any holiday, name or occasion. It’s also a great stash-buster project for any fabric and trim scraps you’ve been wanting to use!
Today is my sister Wendy’s birthday. Wendy is a prolific and accomplished crafter who always finds the time to make beautiful gifts for her friends and family, so I wanted to include something handmade with her present. I’ve been seeing cute celebratory banners on lots of sewing blogs, so I decided it would be a fun way to celebrate Wendy.
Here’s the birthday girl with her finished birthday banner:
I chose to spell out her name, which would also be a cute idea for kid’s or a new baby’s room. With the holidays right around the corner, you could spell out a phrase, such as “Give Thanks” using harvest- or autumn-themed fabrics for Thanksgiving, or “Joy” or “Cheer” using cute Christmas prints. Or you could skip words altogether, and just stitch appliques or fussy-cut images on each flag. Sew many options! We’d love to hear any ideas, tips or variations you have for this project, so be sure to share in the comments section!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Approximately 1/4 yard of print fabric for flags (amount depends on how long your name or phrase is)
- Approximately 1/4 yard of solid fabric for letters & flag backing
- 1/2″-wide double-fold binding (Length depends on your name or phrase. You could also substitute 1″-wide ribbon here or make your own matching binding.)
- All-purpose thread
- Double-sided stiff fusible interfacing, such as fast2fuse
- Scrap of card stock or heavy paper
- Fabric adhesive, such as Fabri-Tac (optional)
Make a triangle flag template from card stock or heavy paper. The flags for Wendy’s banner are 5 1/2″ equilateral triangles.
From the print fabric, solid fabric and interfacing, cut as many flags as needed to spell the chosen name or phrase.
On the remaining solid fabric, draw the letters needed to spell your phrase. The letters should be approximately 2″x2 1/2″ to fit on a 5 1/2″ triangle. Cut out each letter. Note: I freehand drew the block letters for this banner, but you could print out and trace templates of letters from a word processing program if you want to use a fancier font.
Center one letter over one print flag; pin or glue in place. Repeat to pin or adhere the remaining letters to the remaining print flags.
Set the machine to a narrow zigzag stitch, and then stitch each letter perimeter, lifting the presser foot to pivot around corners. Repeat to stitch each letter perimeter.
Position one solid flag right side down on the work surface, and then center one interfacing rectangle over it. Layer the first print triangle right side up over the interfacing, and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the interfacing to the fabric layers. Repeat to fuse interfacing to each flag.
Set the machine to a slightly wider zigzag stitch, and then stitch the lower edges of each flag, leaving the upper edges unstitched. Note: You could also use a satin or decorative stitch for this step, if desired.
Cut a length of binding that’s long enough to have about 10″ free on either side of the name or phrase. If you’re using ribbon, fold it in half lengthwise; press.
Fold the binding in half widthwise to find the center. If you have an uneven number of letters, determine the central flag, and then match that flag center to the binding center. Position the central-flag upper edge inside the binding fold, and then pin. If you have an even number of letters, position the two central flags 1/2″ each from the binding center point. Position and pin the remaining letters in order along the binding at a 1″ interval. Tip: If it’s too tricky to pin through the stiff interfacing, try using binder or paper clips instead.
Set the machine to a wide zigzag stitch, up to 7mm if possible. Beginning at one end, stitch the entire binding length to secure each flag upper edge.
You’re all done–hang up your banner on a wall or doorway and get ready to celebrate!