Fabric Banner Sew/No Sew Tutorial

Let me preface this post by saying I am no professional when it comes to sewing.  Normally when I make something, it’s never “perfect”… always has some type of flaw in it.  However, I am a lover of all things artsy & craftsy so when I see an opportunity to bust out my sewing machine, glue gun, scissors, and/or craft paper I’m all over it!  Last year sometime, one of my very talented cyber friends opened up her very own cupcake shop “Bratty Cakes” (you want some inspiration, you must check out her work… absolutely stunning.  She is no longer taking orders, but check out her photo albums and website).

Anyways, she was getting ready for an event and asked me if I knew how to make a fabric banner.  Well, I hadn’t made one before, but figured I would try.  Can’t be that hard right?   She ended up not needing one after all, but my brain was already spinning (as it does regularly when I get an idea)!  I thought I would go ahead and give it a try anyways because it was just too cute…. didn’t end up perfect, but I didn’t expect to either lol.  Months had passed and then these banner things started popping up everywhere!  Photographers were using them like crazy so of course I jump on the bandwagon again… this time I already had a head start on what worked and didn’t work for me.  Thought maybe I would go ahead and share!  Remember, I have no idea if this is the “right” way to make one of these… Im just a photographer trying to save a few bucks:)

Wanna learn how I did it?  Let’s do this shall we?

Materials needed:

  1. various fabric scraps approximately 6″ x24″ (I used five different $1.99 fat quarters found at JoAnne’s).  You will want at least 5 different patterns.
  2. large ruler
  3. pins
  4. at least 1.5 yards of quilt binding (in coordinating color as your fabric, I always use an off white/cream)  If you want a longer banner that you can possibly use outdoors and tie to something, use at least 2 yards of the quilt binding.
  5. scissors and/rotary cutter
  6. sewing machine OR if you want to try the new sew method, you will need fabric adhesive (FabriTac is my favorite and can be found at local craft stores like Michael’s & Joann’s)
  7. iron
  8. one cut triangle (you can use the template I made for mine right HERE)

First thing you want to do is cut your fabric.  Again, I chose five different patterns since I knew I was making a small banner.  Fold your fabric in half with patterns facing each other (right sides together).  Place your triangle template on top of the folded fabric and pin the three layers together.  Begin cutting the shape out…

Once your triangle is cut, remove the template and re-pin fabric together (again, right sides facing each other).  It should look like this.

Repeat the process with the other fabric pieces/triangles.  5 of these triangles will make a banner approximately 1.5 yards long…

Now comes the “tricky” part!  You gotta sew/glue the pieces together!  I chose to sew mine because I’m fancy like that.  Be sure to give about a 1/2″ seam allowance.  If you are going to glue your pieces together, I would glue right along the edge making sure there were no gaps in the glue line!  Sew/glue starting at one top corner, make your way down to the point, and then back up to the top corner.  Do NOT sew/glue across the top seam… you will need to turn the triangle right side out soon!

To get a nice clean point when we turn it out, I always like to clip the corners of my pieces.  Carefully snip the very tip off the corner making sure not to go through the stitching.

Ok next step, turn your triangle right side out!  If your TOP edge is a little rough and the corners aren’t matching up that great, trim the excess off to get a nice clean edge.   Also, if you aren’t getting your corner to really pop out to a nice point, I like to the end of a small paint brush to flip it out.  Be careful not to push too hard, but wiggle it enough to get a nice point out!  Finish the triangles off by pressing them with your iron.  Get all the wrinkles and creases out the best as you can and make sure its nice and flat!

Now it’s time to make the magic happen!  Let’s put it together!  Grab your quilt binding and fold it in half lengthwise to find the middle. Open up the binding and place one of your triangles centered on that spot.  Fold the binding back over and place 2 pins to hold it together.  Now you can add the other pieces.  I placed each of my triangles exactly 2″ apart.  So, find the corner of the triangle you just pinned and measure 2″ to the right/left… pin another triangle.  Do the same on the opposite side until you have all five triangles secured in between the binding!

Grab the sewing machine or the glue and we can finish this off!

- If you are sewing the banner together, go ahead and start stitching.  I left about 1/4″ space above the bottom of the binding.

-If you are using the fabric glue, you will need to run a string of glue right along the top edges of the triangles (bottom edges of the binding AND do both sides).  Its probably easiest to do all of the triangles on one side and then turn the banner over and glue the other side:)

Viola!  Banner is now done and ready to be used!  I didn’t finish my edges of the binding since I knew I would taping them to the walls when I shoot with it.  Here is my finished banner (it’s taped to the wall just on the other sides of the triangles):

I hope someone finds this useful and gives it a try!  Get creative with your fabrics… be purposeful when you choose!  Match another prop you will be using like a basket  or hat!  Or try other variations of the banner!  I have seen semi circles done which are super cut also.  Check out your local fabric store and any clearance section they might have…. you could easily do this project for under $10 and have it 100% customized to suit your style/session!

Happy crafting:)

{leah} - June 27, 2011 - 9:46 am

Your banner is too adorable, Corina! ^_^

Gwen - June 27, 2011 - 10:04 am

I’m going to make mine this weekend!! Thanks, Corina!!

Jennifer Tortoro - June 27, 2011 - 10:21 am

Thank you so much! Can’t wait to try to make my own :-)

Michelle - June 27, 2011 - 10:54 am

Thanks so very much for this! I have wanted one of these but they are so expensive. Cant’ wait to make it!

Simone - June 27, 2011 - 6:51 pm

I just started maternity leave today – this sounds like a great project to keep me busy until our baby boy arrives! Thank you!!

Emilie - June 28, 2011 - 10:05 am

Thank you sooo much, i discovered these banners a little while ago and thought they made lovely props… soooo this week-end i decided to give it a try and am pleased to say they’re looking quite good, but since you’ve put this tutorial i will be able to make them look even nicer!!!

Tatiana Fowler - June 28, 2011 - 11:40 am

Thank you so much! Can’t wait to try to make my own :0)

brenda knight - July 2, 2011 - 10:38 pm

so i have to tell ya….i just finished my first banner!! thanks for the tips. i don’t sew so i glued it. it came out nice. not perfect but im sure with practice i will get better =) I created a toys story inspired banner for my daughters birthday =) thanks corina!! this was very neat! xo

Jenn - July 10, 2011 - 10:49 pm

Thanks soooooooooo much for posting how to make these flag banner!! Truly appreciate your tutorial, thanks for sharing!!

Amber Pommerening -Wheeler - August 1, 2011 - 9:35 pm

You rock for posting this!

sarina - September 16, 2011 - 4:44 pm

love it, thanks for sharing!!

Melissa - September 27, 2011 - 7:16 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this! I am going to make one for my son’s cake smash session in a couple of weeks! Thank you! Thank you!

A Productive Craft-ernoon - August 6, 2013 - 9:37 am

[...] http://corinanielsen.com/blog/fabric-banner-sewno-sew-tutorial/ She cheated and did a little sewing, but her ribbon is double sided so she gets points for being fancier than me.  [...]

Emeline Latzke - April 8, 2017 - 4:32 pm

OLE’ APOTHECARY’S CELL PHONE 101I’ve never written all this stuff before, so, TAP, I feel inspired to do so now for everyone who wants to become thoroughly bored.I keep my own cell phone on vibrate almost all the time. It’s clipped to my belt, anyway, so I can handle calls with minimum disturbance. And, if I do decide to turn on my ring tone, it’s a clucking chicken. I have this tone for three reasons: it’s funny as all hell; it is unique so I don’t have to wonder whose phone is ringing; and it is gentle on the ears of anyone who is listening. Some of these folks have a ring tone that has to be rivaling the volume of the record player I had as a kid, and sure, I like to be entertained by an explosive rhythm in the middle of an important meeting or conversation with someone.If I am driving and it rings, I do peek at the external screen to see who’s calling, and let them leave a message, but I NEVER talk on it while driving.

Berniece Lasher - April 16, 2017 - 9:50 am

thanks for putting it out here. Kissing Magic .

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