Sarah Hatheway
November 30, 2013 11:00 am

It might not be calendar official, but you can feel it in the air: winter is here. The air is getting cooler, the sales are getting crazier and peppermint flavor is popping up in some surprising places. It’s hard not to get swept up in the seasonal spirit—particularly here in Chicago, where winter’s arrival is pretty obvious (and frigid!). I’m the type of girl who generally resists putting up holiday decorations until December 1, but I still wanted to welcome the season. So, I decided to spice up one of the (few) bare walls in my apartment with a cheery little banner, complete with a lyric from a favorite festive song.

This is a super customizable craft—you can make the banner in any color combination, size, or shape you want. The same goes for the words themselves. In keeping with the frosty theme, my banner reads “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” but any lyric or phrase will look just darling. Think of this as the sugar cookie of holiday projects: start with a sweet base, then pile on your choice of decorations!

 

Materials:

  • 1 1/2 yards white cotton or linen
  • 1 yard fabric in a contrasting color (I used felt so I didn’t have to worry about the edges of the letters fraying)
  • Yarn
  • Small wooden dowel
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Safety pin
  • Measuring tape
  • Ballpoint pen
  • White thread
  • Thread in a corresponding color to the letter fabric
  • Basic sewing needle
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Optional: sewing machine

Craft away:

  • Spread out the white fabric (make sure it’s ironed first). Measure out a long rectangle, 30 inches long by 18 inches wide. At one of the short ends of the rectangle, add a triangle 3 inches high at the tip.
  • Add an extra 1/2 inch around the entire banner, and cut the shape out.

  • Fold the extra 1/2 inch of fabric in around the entire banner, iron it to hold the fold in place, and pin it down.
  • Stitch the pinned fold in place using the white thread. If you’re using a needle and thread: sew using a simple in-and-out motion, and knot your work by passing your needle under the thread of your last stitch. If you’re using a machine: sew using a basic straight stitch, and knot your work by reversing a few of your stitches at the end of the row.
  • At the non-triangular short end of the banner, fold the fabric down 1 inch. Iron and pin the fold, then stitch it in place with the needle or the sewing machine, staying close to the edge of the fabric. This makes a little pocket for the dowel to fit into later.

 

 

  • Cut the letters of the lyric out of the colorful fabric. You can either freehand these, or trace out the letters using a template (I printed out letters to use as a guide).

 

 

  • Spend some time moving the letters around on the banner until you’re happy with their placement, then pin them down.

 

 

  • Cut a couple feet of the colorful thread and fold it in half, then thread the needle and tie a knot.
  • Hand-stitch each letter to the banner using a simple in-and-out motion.

  • Cut 3 1/2 feet of yarn. Tie a knot in one end of the yarn and attach the safety pin to it. Using the safety pin as a guide, thread the yarn through the stitched pocket on the top of the banner. When it’s through, remove the safety pin and untie the knot.

  • Trim the dowel down to the width of the banner, then slide it into the pocket as well.
  • Tie the ends of the yarn together to make a hanger.
  • You’re finished! Now you have a whimsical winter banner to add seasonal flair to your space.

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