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4.17.2013

How to Make a Custom Felt Pennant Banner


For her birthday party, Sarah requested a purple banner.

I'd made a banner at Christmas time using old scrapbook paper, but I didn't have many purple sheets of paper, so I went to my favorite place, my heaven on earth, Hobby Lobby, to see what I could find.

I was happy to find some cardboard pennants pre-made, ready to be decorated. But the happiness was short lived when I realized that I would need to decorate those white or brown pennants.

I considered buying purple scrapbook paper, but again, the cost added up. (That stuff isn't cheap.)

Then I stumbled into the aisle with felt. The nice thing about felt is that it's easy to work with. And at $0.25 per piece, the price and the amount of work to make a nice banner was right.


Materials:
6 - 9" x 12" sheets of felt, two in each of three colors of purple
1 sheet of white felt for letters
1 roll of purple ribbon, 15' long
Purple thread
Glue


I cut the felt into triangles using my rotary cutter (from back in the day when I had the time and energy to make quilts.) But a simple scissors will do the trick.

Here's how to get three fairly equal sized pennants out of one piece of felt.


Divide the piece of felt into fourths (along the pink lines).
Cut each fourth at a diagonal (along the yellow lines).

Easy peasy! You don't even need a ruler. You can just fold the felt to get your lines. But you can use a ruler if you'd rather. Either way.

Next you need to pin the ribbon along the top of the pennants. I used a little bit of elementary level math for this:

Third grade math word problem: 
Anne has a piece of ribbon 15 feet long. She has 18 pennants that are 6 inches wide. If she wants 1 foot of ribbon on each end of the banner, how far apart should she pin the pennants?

Answer: 2.83 inches. 


(See kids? You really will use your math skills someday.)

But I didn't want to bother with measuring 2.83 inches. Instead I took the width of one of the excess pieces (which is 3 inches) and used it as a visual spacing guide to pin the ribbon to the top of the pennant.

If you do as I did, you will end up with an odd number of pennants on your banner and one extra pennant. I was okay with having an odd number of pennants because my daughter's name has an odd number of letters in it and I wanted it to be centered. You are free to measure 2.83 inches between each pennant, though, if you want to do that. Then you will use all your pennants and have an even number of them.


(Side Note:
Regarding the ribbon, if I did it again, 
I would have chosen a wider ribbon and 
folded it over the top of the pennants to
form a border along the front and back.
With the narrow ribbon, it is just on the 
front of the banner and I notice that as it
hangs I can see some of the felt behind the
ribbon. But it works either way.)


After I pinned my pennants, I sewed them to the ribbon. I didn't worry about sewing like a pro. A crooked line will do just fine. (Unless you're using a contrasting color thread.) (So don't use a contrasting color thread.)



Good help is always nice, but this project is so easy that you can do it without a kitty's help.


Now it was time to make letters for the banner. I decided to just do Sarah's name instead of Happy Birthday because I want her banner to be a decoration that she can put in her room after the party.

I eyeballed the letters and cut them freehand. If you do not feel confident with that, you can draw or print some letters in the size and font you want, then use them as cutting guides. 

(Side Note: 
is my favorite place 
to get great fonts. 
The best part is, 
they're all free!)

Once my letters were cut, I attached them to the pennant. I used glue because I wanted to be done with the project. You could sew them if you wanted to make sure they don't come off eventually. If you use glue, make sure the glue has time to dry before hanging the banner.


Wallah! Sarah has a custom purple felt banner for her birthday party! 



4 comments:

  1. What kind of glue did you use? I am planning on making a pennant valance for my son's room - complete with a black Mickey Mouse appliqué on each pennant.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What kind of glue did you use? I am planning on making a pennant valance for my son's room - complete with a black Mickey Mouse appliqué on each pennant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used regular school glue because that's what I had, but I would recommend the glue made for felt.

      Delete

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