I do not sew. Well, I have good intentions to sew. I have a sewing machine. Out in the garage.
In reality, using a sewing machine is too much like math. It involves small threads, needles, cranky-things, following patterns, interface, zippers, and mechanical parts. I don’t do mechanical and I don’t do patterns. And definitely not cranky-things. (It’s all a lot like cardinal directions, parallel parking, and maps in my world) I’d really rather paruse Etsy for inspiration, and stroll through JoAnn, smelling cinnamon candles and picking fabrics. With my no sew DIY pennant banner that is exactly what I do. How about a fabric banner tutorial?
My No Sew Pennant Banner fits all my DIY criteria: Little to no skill required (CHECK). Cheap (CHECK). Therapeutic (CHECK.) Greater than or equal to macaroni art (CHECK). Can be done while watching TV (CHECK).
This banner was made for a sweet friend who just had a new baby girl, Lilliana Noel (Born today, actually! Congratulations!) Her nursery is totally mod. I loved her color palette: robin’s egg blue, scarlet, and gray. I did this pennant banner in two nap times.
Faye’s No Sew Pennant Banner
Here is what you will need:
- Assorted Fabrics
- Stitch Witchery
- Cardboard (to make a template)
- Jute Twine
- Iron and Ironing Board
- Glue Gun and glue sticks
Pick your fabrics: I like to do a fun combo of different fabrics on all my banners. I usually pick one or two large prints and then using that color palette, I fill in with solids, textured, and smaller prints (normally no less than five). Your inner Martha Stewart will know what to do. I find my fabrics at the thrift store, JoAnn and Ikea. JoAnn had tons of cute fabrics in stock right now. It used to be I had to go to the designer section to find anything I liked, but now they have tons of sale and regular-priced fabrics that are totally pennant-banner worthy.
My sister picked these fabrics from Joann and Ikea. One of the prints is actually a hem from some Ikea curtains! You only need about 1/4-1/3 of a yard of fabric, which you can get for about $2 or $3. Folded lengthwise, it is the perfect size.
Make Your Template: I usually go out to the recycling bin and grab a cardboard box for this. Sorry, non-math people, but you’ll need a ruler. Don’t eyeball this. Trust me. Normally, I make my triangle about whatever size lets me get the most triangles out of the fabrics that I have. When I made this particular banner, I had saved a template from my last project, and it was the perfect size for the pieces of fabric my sister gave me.
I was going to put in a link to an article how to make a perfect isosceles triangle, but everything I read was so ridiculously math-y. Seriously, I know how much we all loved eighth grade geometry, but in case words like “perpendicular bisector” make you want to doodle hearts on a notebook, here is how I made mine:
- Using the straight edge of a piece of cardboard, decide how long you want your triangle base to be. Mine is five inches, and that is about perfect. Mark that out.
- Now find the middle point of that line (2.5 inches) and make a little mark (this is the perpendicular bisector, in case you needed to know).
- Now decide how tall you want your triangle. Mine is six inches. Draw a six inch line up from your middle point.
- Now play connect the dots by drawing two lines from either end of your triangle base up to your middle point. Bam. Take that, geometry teachers of the world!
Trace and Cut Your Fabric Triangles
- I fold my fabric whichever way will give me the most triangles, in this case it was lengthwise. Fold it inside out, so you won’t be able to see the pen lines later. Iron a nice crease down your fold. Using your template, start tracing triangles, placing them as close together as possible.
- I was able to get three triangles out of each swatch of fabric. (I got six out of my gray fabric.) When I do these, I’m usually working with small scraps, so I trace and cut as many as I can get. That way, I have a lot to work with when I’m ready to put it all together.
- Now cut out your triangles.
- When you are finished, you will have a bunch of double-sided triangles.
- Turn your triangles right side out. I usually give mine a quick pressing when I do this.
Now your inner artist can come out. You will have a big pile of double-sided fabric triangles. Go wild.
- Arrange them in whatever order you would like. You can do them in random order, or in a pattern. I lay mine out on the ironing board.
- Once you have your perfect combo, stack your triangles in order so you can do the next part.
Glue Fabrics Onto Twine
- Now you need to get out your jute twine and lay out a long piece on your ironing board. (Or craft space. Whatev. Only people in Pinterest world have craft spaces. Who are these people?).
- Lay as many triangles as you can onto your ironing board.
- Open the triangles so the inside is showing.
- Along the crease of your fold, lay a long piece of twine. I never cut the twine until I have finished gluing on my triangles. That way I never run into twine shortage issues.
- Lay a line of glue down the crease of your triangle and press the twine into it. Do this for every triangle, continuing until you have included as many fabric triangles as you want.
- When you have finished, cut the twine, leaving yourself a few inches on either end.
Adhere Fabric Together
This is where my lazy craftmaship comes into play. If my mother-in-law is reading this, she is probably twitching. She is one of those people who has perfect craftsmanship. The kind that embroider large, beautiful, heirloom quilts. She has a craft space, in real life! In fact, she is probably going to cry right now when I tell you how I do this. I know, because she saw me doing this one time and said she would be really disturbed if I did not at least adhere it properly with some Wonder Under. Well, I used Stitch Witchery, and I am deeply apologetic that I have done so, but it’s so cheap and easy!
Stitch Witchery is really an iron-on adhesive web/tape meant for use on fabrics. There are tons of brands. It comes a little roll like tape and costs a couple of bucks. You can get it anywhere. I have gotten mine at Wal-Mart and JoAnn. If you have ever purchased Ikea curtains, they include a little roll so that you can hem your curtains to length without sewing. My Ikea curtains are hemmed with it.
- Grab your Stitch Witchery tape and hold it up next to one of your triangles.
- Without much precision, cut (or rip) off a piece that looks about the same length as one of the sides of your triangle. I rip. I’m lazy. Do the same for the other side.
- Now lay the pieces of Stitch Witchery along the edges of your triangle. It’s hard to see here, but you can kind of tell I lined up the Stitch Witchery with the very edges of my triangle. Don’t worry about the middle part; you only have to get the edges.
- Fold the triangle down, and press with your iron. This will adhere both sides together, giving you a nice double-sided banner.
After you have done this for all of your triangles, you are done! Snip the end of your jute, leaving a few inches. Now you have a fabric pennant banner perfect for a first birthday party or nursery. And you did it without sewing. During nap times. While watching Hoarders. Congratulations!
Has anyone else ever made a pennant banner? Did you make it for a birthday or nursery? Was it sewn or no-sew? Would you ever use this tutorial to make a pennant banner?