Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homemade Holiday Banner (12 Days of Green Christmas Crafts)

Next up on the crafty list is a holiday banner. Do you have one yet? This one was quick (and free) to make, and you can even get the kids involved. You can use any materials, but I chose to use burlap and a red wool blazer that I threw in the washing machine to felt up. Use whatever fabric you have lying around the house. Use funky patterns or mis-matched colors. This would be a great, green way to repurpose some ugly holiday sweaters.

You'll basically need fabric for the circles, fabric for the banner strip, yarn, paint, and potatoes. Yup, I said potatoes.

I cut the blazer into smallish circles (I traced around some ramekins from my kitchen to make a perfect circle, but I did it in 2 different days and used 2 different sizes by mistake. I preferred the way it turned out though, with the different-sized circles).

I also used 2 different blazers, and one was thicker than the other. For the circles made from the thinner fabric, I sewed them together with yarn and a big needle. Then I laid out the circles in the order I wanted them.
Now it was time to carve my potatoes into letters. (I did potato stamping to make the letters on my banner). To carve a potato, just cut it in half. You can draw on it with a pencil (it won't make marks, but it will leave indentations). Or you can just freehand it. I just freehanded it. If you have to cut out rectangular shapes, it helps to do it in pieces. Cut a triangle into the corners to get a clean cut.
You don't have to use a ton of potatoes to do this. I used two potatoes (four halves) to spell out "Happy Holidays." If you're cutting an "H," first cut it into an "A" shape and stamp it where you need to. Then, cut out the top of the A to make an "H". This can then become a "P" (if you add the little top part back in). Then, you can cut out all but the side of the "H" to make an "I."
An Important Potato Stamping Tip: If your letters are not symmetrical, you need to carve them backwards so they stamp in the right direction. (See my letter "P" below).
To do the stamping, apply paint to your potato stamper with a paintbrush, then stamp it onto your circles. A nice, heavy layer of paint works great on felt. I used washable tempera paint, but it came out faint. Acrylic would work better.
Now it's time to make the banner. Cut a length of fabric long enough for your letters to fit. (I had to sew two strips of burlap together.)
If you're using a fabric like burlap, you can intentionally fray the edges to give it a rustic look.

Now you're going to attach the circles to the background. Sew a length of yarn through the top of the circle, attach it to the background strip (it helps to have a big needle to do this), and tie the yarn off.

I had my circles dangle at different levels. That's it! I hammered it right into the wall with some nails. The banner says it all!

Check out some of the other 12 Days of Green Christmas Crafts:

December 14: 
Felt Owl Ornaments
December 15:
Burlap Ruffled Tree Skirt
December 16:
Easy Advent Calendars
Easy Advent Calendars
December 17:
Quick Gift Tags from
Kids' Artwork

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