What you’ll need:
- 1 yard red felt
- 1 yard gray felt
- Red embroidery thread and embroidery needle
- xacto knife
- Small wooden dowel cut to 13″
What to Do:
1. Cut your red felt to your desired banner size. Mine is 10″ wide and 15″ tall (this will be the longest point). If you’d like to make sure your lines are straight, use a yard stick and trace the lines onto the felt lightly.
2. If you’d like your banner to come to a point at the bottom like mine, you’ll need to measure how high you’d like your curve to reach, I chose to make my curve stop after 4″ up from the bottom. Measure the end of the curve on either side of the felt, marking it lightly with the sharpie. Then on the bottom of your banner mark the middle with the sharpie. Cut your right side curve from the middle to the mark that ends the curve (4″ up the side). Repeat on the left, trying to keep the slope of your curve even.
3. Lay the cut piece of red felt sharpie side down on top of the gray felt, trace the red felt’s shape onto the gray and then cut out the gray banner piece.
4. Time to pick your words!!! A few tidbits I picked up along the way:
- Avoid complex fonts (like calligraphy), they’ll be really hard to cut out…
- Choose a font that has a bold font-weight, skinny fonts will be hard to see.
If you’re uncomfortable freehanding your font, print it out on a standard sheet of printer paper, then using the xacto knife cut the black letters from the paper. This will create a template for you to trace your letters onto the felt!
5. Trace or draw your letters onto the gray (top level) of felt as lightly as you can. Then it’s time to cut them out! If you have a xacto or artists knife that can handle cutting through felt and leave a clean edge (no fuzzies) go for it! For the rest of us (my xacto is woefully dull) start the letter with a xacto (choose the straightest part of the letter you can), making just big enough a hole for your scissors. Then using the scissors, cut out the rest of the letter. NOTE: Make sure your red felt is NOT under the gray felt when you cut it!!!
Pop the bottom red layer underneath when you’re done!
6. Pin the two layers, top and bottom, together. To the top of the banner you’ll want to add straps, measure the straps to be sure they’ll fit around your dowel. Mine were about 1.5″ wide and 3″ tall. The straps should be folded in half, then pinned beneath the top (gray) layer and the bottom (red) layer so that the bottoms of the straps are not visible on either side. Ummm also right about this step I decided I wanted some triangles in my banner so I unpinned and added them! Get creative with it!
7. All set? Great! we’re almost done! Grab about 4 feet of red embroidery thread and needle and tie a double knot at the end of the thread. Pull the needle and thread through the top layer only right at tip of your banner (this will hide and protect the tail of your thread). Pull the needle and thread back down through BOTH the top and the bottom, then use a running stitch to outline the whole banner, leaving a quarter inch margin (if you run out of thread it’s okay just finish your stitch and repeat this step until you’ve made it all the way around).
8. When you’ve come full circle (make sure you go through the straps!) tie off your stitch by pulling your needle and thread through one layer but not the other, with the needle and thread sandwiched between the two layers tie a knot around the last stitch you made (still between layers). Cut your thread with a little tail.
9. Now you can finish here by dabbing a little glue at the tip between the top and bottom layers and then cutting the thread tail, or like I did for this one you can use the tail to tie on a tassel! Make your tassel then tie the tassel on using the embroidery thread tail. Dab glue on the knot and trim off the extra tail thread.
10. Slip the dowel through the straps, tie on some string or ribbon and this baby is ready to hang!