Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wedding DIY: Banner Making

I decided that since the wedding was on Flag Day,
we should go with some sort of patriotic decor though I didn't want anything too over the top.
And because the wedding was held at a state park,
I wanted something that would fit well with the setting
(nothing too frou-frou).
So, after checking out ideas on Pinterest
(if you don't Pinterest you really should, really)
I went with making a banner out of fabric pennants.
To start, pick your fabric.
Then decide on the dimensions of your pennants.
Ours were 9" wide by 11" long.
Make a template out of cardboard by first drawing a line the width of your pennant
in this case, 9".
Then find the center (4.5" for mine)
From the halfway mark,
draw a straight line 11" long.
Then draw a straight line from each end of the 9" line to the point of the 11" line to make a triangle.
Use your template to trace the pennants onto the fabric
Then you start cutting out the pennants.
I used pinking shear to prevent the fabric from fraying
since I didn't have the time or the interest in sewing hems.
But if you are so inclined or don't have millions of feet of banner to make,
that's an option.

It's good if you can get some cheap labor.
Note that we traced the template on the back of the fabric.
We also used regular pencils.
This way none of our lines would be seen on the good side.

Once they are cut out,
you need to figure out your pattern
(if you have more than one fabric print or more of one type of print than another,
it helps to lay things out visually)
Our banners were 74 feet long,
so the only area we had at home to work on them was the driveway.
That only works if the wind isn't blowing. 
So on to Plan B.
Luckily Big E has a friend with a large 70' X 100' barn
and we managed to work out the pattern there.
Big E wanted to try to determine how many pennants we needed using math
instead of needing to lay everything out.
While that would work in some cases
 (where you have a simple pattern or the same amount of fabric in each type)
it didn't work in our situation because
I'm a visual person who needs to see how things look.
Plus, we discovered that our original design plan wouldn't work because we didn't have enough 
striped fabric.
It took some playing around with the pieces to make a new pattern.
(math can't help you here)
Once the pattern is set,
it's time to glue the pennants to the twine.
I used a thick twine I picked up at Hobby Lobby
and hot glued the pennants to it by folding over a small amount of the top of the fabric.
I suggest not having a baby underfoot who
thinks playing and pulling on a pennant is great fun.
If you want a more polished look,
you can sew the tops of the fabric to provide a space to feed the twine through.
I wasn't doing that,
and the hot glue worked out just fine.
Here is the finished product.

Here is a shot with the banner in the background.
I was very happy with the results.
The simple banner went well with the rustic look of the park pavilion.
And those who weren't sure about the idea at first
ended up loving it. 
The total cost for making two 74 foot banners was about $70.
(and there was extra fabric I didn't need).
I'm hoping to use all the fabric for some sort of crafty project
that I can have to remember the day by.
Maybe a quilt.
Once I learn to quilt.