Pin It Hover Widget

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sewing Tutorial: DIY Valentine's Pennant Banner

We recently got a new arrival at the store from Riley Blake: a holiday banner panel for Valentines Day! This panel comes complete with already made pennant shapes with each triangle featuring a different print and in colors synonymous with the holiday of love. This presented the perfect opportunity for a fun and easy project to share and which results this absolutely adorable banner to hang for Valentines Day:

To make this lovely banner you will need--

1 panel of Riley Blake Valentines Banner
1/3 yard RJR broadcloth in color of choosing (we used navy blue)
1/2 yard Wonder Under
Quilter's Invisible Nylon Thread
Ribbon or Rick Rack (optional)

Sewing Machine
Computer and Printer -OR- Accuquilt
Paper Scissors
Pinking Shears -OR- Cutting mat and rotary cutter with pinking blade
Iron and Ironing Board

You will first want to decide what phrase to feature on your banner and make sure there are enough pennants included in the panel (each panel comes with 18 pennants). Remember to also count spaces as using up a pennant. We chose "Be My Valentine". If you have an Accuquilt, follow your cutters directions and cut out the letters you need for your phrase. If you don't have an Accuquilt, using a computer and a word processing software like Microsoft Word, type up the letters you need to complete your phrase. Set the font on a sans-serif type like Ariel or Helvetica. You can play with the different font faces you would like to see on your banner, but just remember the more detailed and/or complicated the font face, the more difficult it will be to cut out and sew onto your banner! Set your type face to a large size; we used 220 point font size but you could still go even larger than this. Print out some test pages to see which size you would like. Once you have the font face and size selected, print out all the letters you need and cut them out.

Cut out your pennants from the panel with pinking shears or with a rotary cutter using a pinking blade. By using a pinking blade or pinking shears, we don't have to worry about finishing our edges while simultaneously giving us a fun yet carefree look to our banner. If you want your banner to have a more polished, finished look you can finish the edges with a narrow hem or with bias tape. Don't forget to cut out the two strips from the panel as well; these will be used to sew our pennants onto. 

You may choose any applique method you prefer to attach your letters to your pennants; we chose to use Wonder Under and top stitching. For this method, iron the Wonder Under to the back of the broadcloth following manufacturer instructions.

Trace the outline of the letters onto the back of the Wonder Under, making sure to have your letters backwards so they are ironed onto the pennants front facing. Cut out your fabric letters while keeping the Wonder Under paper backing on.

It might be helpful to do a quick layout to get a rough idea of how you want your finished banner to look. I found this was helpful for me in deciding which prints looked best with the small navy blue letters on top of them and which prints were best used as space pennants in between words. Once you are happy with your layout, applique your letters onto your pennants.

To do this with Wonder Under, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions by first carefully removing the paper backing from your letters and positioning them in the middle of the pennant. Then with a damp pressing cloth, iron the letter onto the pennant with the fusible webbing side (or the wrong side of the letter) onto the right side of the pennant. Make sure your iron is on "Wool" setting and keep pressing until the pressing cloth is dry. Quickly press over the letter without the pressing cloth for a couple seconds to ensure all moisture is gone.

Sometimes it takes a couple tries to get a letter to completely seal itself to the fabric. Make sure your cloth is damp enough to cause steam when the iron hits it. If all else fails, make sure it is at least stuck enough until you can top stitch it on. 

Once all your letters are adhered to your pennants, using a small zig zag stitch and the nylon invisible thread, top stitch around all the letters to ensure they are securely fastened to their pennant. Make sure that your zig zag stitch pierces the letter fabric on one side and the pennant fabric on the other side. 

Next, join your two strip pieces right side together on one of the short ends to make one long strip. Then fold your one long strip right sides together hotdog way (remember elementary school with that reference!) and sew with a 1/4" seam to form a long tube. Turn your tube right side out and give it a good press. Finish the edges with double fold, narrow hems. 

Finally, rearrange your pennants as you had them on your rough draft layout and pin them to the wrong side of your strip with the top of the strip aligned with the top of the pennants. Even though we combined the two strips into one long strip, I found it was still not enough to accommodate all my pennants without overlapping them. If you do not want to slightly overlap your pennants, as seen below, then use ribbon or rick rack to attach your pennants to instead and make your banner as long as you want!

Sew your pennants to your banner and voila! You have a cute and festive decoration to hang in your home or office! This line of banner panels comes in more holidays; we cannot wait until these become available so we can make more of these festive decorations for each holiday of the year! 
If you have any questions or need help, feel free to email us at For more on what Fabric Center offers, visit our website at and keep checking back for new ideas and projects!

No comments:

Post a Comment