Friday, April 3, 2009

Easter Banner Project

I'm going to share a great little project with you today that you can do by yourself or with children. It's an Easter banner that is easy and fun.

First we're going to get together all our supplies:

Muslin or broadcloth - about 14 x 16 inches
backing fabric
straight pins and a needle
fine point permanent marker
masking tape

I'll be giving you instructions at the end of this post on how you can get the pattern for free.

If you notice in the above photo, I have two stacks of fabric. One stack is a color combination that will produce a primitive banner and the other will become a brighter banner. It just depends on your preference.

First and foremost this project is the best possible excuse to go out and buy a new box of crayons. Happiness for under $3.

The first thing I'm going to do is take the pattern and tape it securely to a window. This is going to serve as a substitute light box. If you have a light box, use that.

Using a piece of fabric that is larger than your pattern, tape it so that it completely covers the pattern.

Isn't this great? We can see right through the fabric. I guess I don't need to mention that you need to be doing this during the daytime!

Using the black permanent marker we're just going to start tracing the lines.

Once the main design is traced, take a ruler or a straight edge and trace the outer edge lines.

I simply used a brochure that was sitting on the desk. When you've traced the outer lines you'll remove the fabric and the pattern from the window.

Now the real fun can begin. Sit down at the table and start coloring. Tape the fabric to the table so that it will remain taut while you color.

If you notice as I colored in the leaves I used two different colors of green and shaded it. Keep coloring. There are no rules except try to stay within the lines! I would suggest that you keep a scrap piece of your fabric off to the side in order to test colors before you commit. Press harder for more intense color and lightly for soft color.

Here's my coloring on the darker colored fabric.

Here's the banner on the white colored fabric.

Here are the two, side-by-side.

You'll notice that on the tan fabric I can use white for the fence posts and on the white fabric I need to use brown.

We're done with our coloring and we need to set the color to the fabric. Place the banner face up on your ironing board. Cover with a press cloth or a piece of white paper.

Set your iron to the cotton setting, dry - no steam. Iron for about 5 seconds. Don't push the iron back and forth, pick it up and move it over until the entire area has been covered. Allow to cool.

Place the paper pattern over the fabric piece, pin down and cut out. My pattern is on an 8-1/2 x 11 inch of typing paper. What we're doing is using the paper pattern as a guide to trim the fabric to final size.

Make a sandwich out of the colored panel, the batting and the backing fabric. Each layer is just slightly larger.

No need to be precise with this. Just lay the colored panel over the batting and cut. Eyeball it.

As you can see the print fabric is facing up because it's going to be peeking out from under the batting. Again, I'm just cutting freehand.

Pin all three layers together so that the fabric doesn't shift or bunch up.

Using whatever colored thread you'd like take a running stitch around the edge to bind all three layers together.

Attach a small plastic drapery ring, or a loop of fabric or ribbon to the back for hanging.

Here are the two finished banners:

The primitive one -

and the brighter one -

Did that all make sense? I hope so.

This project is so much fun and you can draw your own design or have the kids sit down and draw on paper, trace and color their own designs. You can do these for every season, birthday banners, whatever!

- Email me at:
- Put the words "Easter banner" in the subject line.
- I will e-mail you the PDF file.

This terrific technique was developed in the mid-1990's by a craft designer named Ronda Matney. Her patterns were produced under the name "Plain Brown Wrapper" and were a series called, "Don't Go Out of the Lines". They were larger and more detailed than the simple design I've created. I bought almost every one she produced. I've searched the web and I don't think she's publishing them any longer. But if you're interested you might be able to find some on Ebay.

Thanks for joining me for this tutorial and let me know if I've forgotten anything or if it's not clear.

Bottom line - - get together as a family or a group of friends and have some fun with this!


American in Norway said...

Soo cute! I was looking for something fun to do over the weekend with the kiddos.

Thank you for the comment. Believe me... if I ever seriously get ill or hurt.. I will be on the FIRST plane home... but my husband... is in denial... : (

Heidi said...

OH are we gonna sew like crazy women when you get up here! That is DARLING!

Jody Blue said...

Very cute! and fun to peek out your window!

Vee said...

Oh that's wonderful! I am saving this on my list of things to do with the grands one day. I think they'd love to have something like this to keep. Course I did just find a brand new box of crayons the other day...

BeFRuiTFuL said...

Thanks for the fun tutorial.

Just added you to my favorites and put a link to this fun tutorial on my blog.


Teresa said...

Wow, great step by step.
Love the project.
Thanks for sharing

lifeinredshoes said...

Well just look at you, are there no end to your talents?
Thanks for sharing, you're the best!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

This is a fabulous idea!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I love it! Did you know that if you iron a piece of freezer paper to the back of your cloth after you've traced it and are ready to color that it will stabilize it so you can color easier? I also do that when I want to make a label and I can write on the fabric with ease. Then just peel off the freezer paper and proceed with your layering. blessings, marlene

Becky said...

Adorable, Suzanne. Thanks for sharing! Looks like a plan for the grands. Becky

Kara said...

So cute, and so much faster than embroidery!

disa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gribouille81 said...

very nice bannière, i like thes
i am french girl (61 years ! ! )
i live in France, Tarn ,sud -weest and needle is wonderfull

Renee said...

I love them all, last one is my favorite