Time always seems to pass by quicker this time of year. Everyone has presents to buy, dinner parties to plan and a bazillion priorities on their to-do lists. It can drive anyone crazy, so we’ve crafted up a little reminder for ourselves to just take a moment and have a good time. You can customise this banner with your own holiday mantra and use it yourself, or gift it to a friend whose bare walls need a little sprucing up. Read on to find out how!
What you’ll need:
- Large piece of fabric – we got canvas at about 30″ x 24″
- Transfer sheets (if you’re printing on black/coloured fabric, make sure to buy sheets specifically designed for that)
- Fabric cutter/scissors
- Sewing pins
- Gold cord
- Exacto knife
- Cutting mat
- Thick wooden dowel (not pictured)
Decide on the size of your banner, and cut out two rectangles to fit that size. Make sure to leave about 3″ (7.5 cm) extra fabric up top as that will be needed to wrap around the dowel later for hanging. Also add in about 1/2″ (1+ cm) extra fabric around each of the two pieces – this will be our ‘seam allowance’, or basically what is used to attach the two pieces of fabric to each other.
When you have two fabric pieces in the ideal size, you can add in a triangular tip at the bottom by folding each piece length-wise and then cutting from the bottom of the fold up to the side of the piece. The angle of the piece is up to you and should work with the design you’re placing on the banner front.
Heat up the iron, and fold in that seam allowance from Step 1 for each piece of fabric. As you’re folding, run the hot iron along the crease to really hold it in place. If you are using a heavier-weight fabric like canvas, use the sewing pins to hold the folds in place if the edges start un-folding themselves.
Once you have ironed both pieces, you can attach them by either gluing them together with white or fabric glue, or sewing them together on a sewing machine. If you’re gluing, make sure to apply the glue on the seam allowance, as well as throughout the middle of the banner. While sewing gave it a neater appearance over all, the difference wasn’t that big between the two so gluing is perfectly fine if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.
When the two pieces of fabric are fully attached to one another, take the wooden dowel and fold the top of the banner over it. It should be snug, but not tight, so leave a little bit of wiggle space. Then either glue or sew the flap in place. We used a different fabric for the back of this banner to better show this step, but that’s totally optional.
Side note: many craft stores sell wooden dowels in 1 meter lengths, so you may need to trim them down to size with a small saw or exacto knife, depending on how thick the dowel is.
Print out your design on the transfer sheet. Remember that any text you want on your banner needs to be printed out backwards so that it can be read the right way after it has been ironed on. It doesn’t hurt to test out the print on a regular sheet of paper first. Then cut out the design a small amount out from the edges and arrange them on the banner.
It’s time to bust out that iron again! When you’re happy with the arrangement of your design, follow the instructions on the transfer sheet package and iron all the pieces on. The hotter the iron, the cleaner the transfer. Also make sure to press down firmly and let paper cool down before you start peeling off the backing.
Once the letters are on, do not place an iron directly on them! This will melt the letters and you’ll find bits of your design attached to the bottom of the iron instead. If you want to iron your banner flat, make sure to do it before you do the transfer.
We had a few little mishaps during the transfer so some of the letter turned out a bit spotty. That’s not a deal breaker though – just plop some matching acrylic paint on to a paint brush, and fill in any gaps that you see. To avoid unsuccessful transfers in general, think of these transfers as fake tattoos for fabric. When you’re lifting off the backing, do it gently and make sure to separate the film from the paper entirely.
Finally push the wooden dowel back into the top fold, and create a knot at each end of the gold cord. Pop the gold cord over each end of the dowel and voila!
If you give this tutorial a shot, make sure to tag us on Instagram at @demetres and show us the result! Check back here for more creative ideas over the next month as we get ready for the winter holidays. ⛄