I made this 4th of July Banner as part of the Handmade Gift Exchange over at Craftaholics Anonymous. It’s been a lot of fun trying to come up with something that my crafting partner will like, even though I’ve never met her. I have to admit, by the time I put so much love and thought into it, I wanted to keep it for myself! But that’s what it’s all about. I mean, who would want a gift that the giver didn’t think was special enough to keep for herself??
So, how did I make this beauty?
First, I started with a simple DROPCLOTH! If you haven’t seen the drop cloth trend going on in blogland, you have really missed out. So many things can be made out of this sturdy, versatile material. I got mine at Home Depot a while ago for another project, and there is still so much fabric left to do that one later.
First I made some templates from heavy cardstock. I used 8 1/2 x 11; 6x5; and 3 1/2 x 5 inch pennants for my patterns. I then traced the shapes onto my drop cloth material with chalk. *Using chalk to trace is the best tip I’ve read lately! * It disappeared as soon as I had the pennants cut out and they had been handled a bit. I didn’t have to worry about “erasing” my marks. To make a very long story short, it is best to take advantage of the seam that is already sewn on the drop cloth if you are going to make a single layer banner. Believe me, I learned the hard way that that seam is invaluable in keeping your banner together… So use all of the seams at the top of your banner for strength.
Next, I cut and ironed the “flags”. I was a bit afraid to iron them with direct heat, because I wasn’t sure what kind of materials went into these drop cloths. I can only imagine there’s some plastic in there… I hate ironing, but it had to be done, because this giant cloth comes folded up in an itty bitty package! Then I took some red pom-pom fringe that I had in my stash left-over from Christmas and sewed it to the top of the pennants. This is why the seam at the top was important. If I’d tried to sew without that seam on a single layer fabric, it would have pulled apart, as this fabric is kind of a loose weave.
I made the stencils for the letters and shapes on my Silhouette cutter. Super-easy!
I used regular craft paint and added textile medium to make the paint suitable for fabric. This just keeps it from cracking and peeling off. I am not sure what the name of this brush is, but it is the best thing I have found for stenciling. You just tap-tap-tap the paint on lightly, so that it doesn’t run under your stencil.
I like the texture of this fabric and the way paint looks on it. Its uneven and not really crisp. Perfectly Imperfect ~ Just the way I like it!
Now, I have mentioned
Yes, I painted Happy of 4th of July! I just got my pennants out of order and was on a roll…
I was not about to unstitch that flag and cut another and stitch again! Did I mention I stitched this whole 9 foot banner by hand? Crazy I know!! So, here is my solution:
Paint over my mistake with all red. Then I stenciled some white and blue stars over it. Now…all better…
Lastly, I attached about 2 feet of twine to each end for hanging. And hung it up to
Close-ups of the sections
Laura, I hope you enjoy it year after year!
Happy Independence Day everyone!
~Remember that our Freedom is a privilege, and it costs so many military families so much time away from one another.~
=>linking to these great parties...
Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange
Friday Flair at Whipperberry
Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading
Chic on a Shoestring: Flaunt it Fridays
A Diamond in the Stuff
Flamingo Toes Think Pink Sundays