Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmas Banner

(Yes, I am back on my laptop! Hooray!)
 We will be spending Christmas in Savannah, and of course all the Christmas decorations are in Asquith. So i decided to make some festive looking holiday decorations.
One of the projects is this banner/garland.
I've made a couple of garlands before, like the ones I have hanging up at the shop.  Because a few people have asked about whether there is a pattern, I decided to take photos and make a little tutorial here!

1. Pick out some nice fabrics... I decided on 3 patterned ones with a Christmassy look. plus white.
Cut them into strips, I think mine are 8 inches wide.
 1. Make a cutting template. 
I cut  a couple of rectangles, 6" x 8 ".  Fold the rectangle in half and cut the diagonal triangles off the edge.
 this is what it looks like opened up:
 3. Use the triangular pieces as cutting guides for the rest of the triangles you want to cut
 I cut a stack of colored triangles, and white ones to use as the backs of the flags.  (You can have the flags be colored fabric on both front and back, especially if you hang the garland in a way or place that both sides are showing.  I decided to use white on the backs because I didn't have enough of the Christmas fabric to do both sides)
 4.  if you want to put words or anything else on the front of the flags, do it now. 
  I wanted the garland to spell out Merry Christmas, so I decided to make red letters and attach them with fusible web.
To make the pattern for the letters, I just made some 2 inch lines on freezer paper and sketched out the letters. (on the dull, papery side!)
 I ironed fusible web onto the back of two rectangles of red fabric:
 then cut the letters apart, and placed them on the right side of the red fabrics, ironing them down so they would stick long enough to cut them out. (freezer paper is like that!)

 5.  Lay out the flags in some sort of plan.  I alternated the colors, and then planned where the letters would go.  I decided to make 3 sections of words rather than one really long garland.  I put the letters on the flags and then ironed/fused them down to make a permanent hold to the fabric.
I did a trial one where I stitched around the outline of the letter, but it was time consuming, and I decided that I really don't think it's needed on a seasonal garland.  But, it could be decorative on some projects! 
Or, you could just embroider letters!
 Also at this time, I sort of figured out how much fabric I'd need to use for the length of the top string.  If you need to join strips together, it's nice to use a diagonal join to reduce bulk.

6. Layer each of the triangles with a backing fabric, and stitch around the lower 2 sides,
 clip the fabric at the bottom point so that it won't get too bumpy when you turn the flags right side out.
I used the blunt end of a paintbrush to help push out the sharp points at the ends of the triangles:
Iron the triangle "flags" so that they are nice and crisp!  If you want, you can embellish them more....

6. To make the string that connects the flags, I make it using 2-1/2" strips of fabric.  Iron them in half lengthwise, like you are making a binding,  (In other projects I've used the leftovers of binding strips that I just joined end to end. 
 then, iron the raw edges to the inside crease, like in the photo above.

7 Lay out the flags beside the string, and space them out where you want to sew them on. 
 For this project, I put them pretty close together, about 1-1/2 inches apart.  At other times I've put them farther apart.
Then sew the "string" closed along the double fold edge, slipping the triangles inside the string as you go to hold them in place. 
I sewed on little bells to the ends as well, to make it more festive!

I hope you give this project a try!!
                (they are fun to make)


  1. thanks for the great instructions!
    And Merry Christmas to you! You are not missing the snow...we dont have any!!


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