Fabric Banner

This is a quick tutorial to make a fabric banner. This particular tutorial is for the black background version. You can alter the directions for the others by skipping painting the background black and directly stamping with paint onto the gesso and then antique and seal from there.

Drop cloth - I get mine from Harbor Freight
5 gallon paint stir sticks - our local stores are sold out so they gave us some free ones with store name on them. Just sand off the wording.
Compound miter saw or some sort of saw to cut paint sticks
Staple Gun with staples
Ruler to measure and mark sticks
Air erase marker
Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue
IOD Stamps
Apple Barrel Multisurface paints
Waverly Antiquing Wax (Brown) and Clear Wax
Jute - for hanger (we used a thicker jute for this project)
Paintbrushes, makeup sponges, bowls or plates to mix colors.

Step 1: Lay out your drop cloth fabric on a table. I didn't know what size I wanted to create my banners so I just grabbed a pad of watercolor paper to use as a template and traced around it using an air erase marker. Work quickly because the marker can disappear before you are finished cutting it out. The paper of the pad is 10 1/2 x 14 1/2, so that is the approximate size of the tall vertical banner. I did the same thing for the small horizontal banner except I cut the vertical one in half to make two small ones.

Step 2: Fold over the long "side" edges and glue using Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue and a narrow stiff brush. I used the brush as a guide for the width to fold over but it's approximately 1/4 inch or slightly bigger. Trim off any frays after gluing. Leave the top and bottom unglued until the end.


Step 3: After gluing the long vertical sides, I folded the banner in half just to make sure the edges of the top and bottom were lined up properly and trimmed off any crooked edges.

Step 4: Unfold the banner and tape the top and bottom to some cardboard to stabilize. I used the box that my NEW, AMAZING, GLORIOUS, BEAUTIFUL, IOD STAMPS came in! Brush on gesso. I did not do the 2-3 coats like you would do for a painting. I did one rough coat focusing mostly on the middle for the heaviest of coverage. You can do as much as you want but I wanted some natural areas to add to an aged effect so I did more of a dry brush around the edges.


Step 5: Paint the surface roughly with Black and Gray Fox Multisurface paint from Apple Barrel. I use the multisurface because it is great for fabric and can be heat set with iron to get a soft feel. If you look at the photos below, you will notice a rough large brush stroke pattern of cross-hatching using the two colors. I left some areas natural.


Step 6: I stamped the dried fabric with white and toasted marshmallow using a makeup sponge. I did not mix the two but rather just used the sponge and dabbed in both to mix a little. I used the IOD Sprigs and Typeset stamps. After the stamp dried, I brushed, dabbed, smeared and rubbed Waverly Antiquing Wax onto the fabric with a brush, papertowel, my fingers... to age. 


Step 7: Mixing some Mermaid Parade Apple Barrel paint with black I randomly brushed and dabbed this around the banner to add some color. This gave it a moody feel and brought life to the dark color.


Step 8: When I achieved the look I wanted, I let it dry then heat set the paint with an iron. Just lay a piece of parchment paper over the piece and press with iron using no steam. This helps the paint to become soft and bendy. You can skip this step when only using gesso and stamps for the lighter banners.

Step 9: I do not have photos to make the hangers, sorry. They are 5 gallons paint stir sticks that I sanded and cut to 10 inches on our miter saw. I sanded a bit more and took the edges off a little to soften. Then I applied a coat of Antiquing wax mixed with water to stain the pieces and wiped off the excess.

Step 10: After the banner dried completely, I removed the tape and folded over the top and bottom raw edges and glued just as I did the sides. Placing the fabric onto the dried wood pieces (centering so there is a slight overhang on each side) I stapled the fabric. 

I then stapled on the jute for a hanger and at this point realized that the top piece of wood would flop a little when I would hang on wall. So to fix that, I cut a couple pieces of the stitched salvage edge from my drop cloth and placed those closer to the top and stapled the jute again. NOTE: I didn't staple the jute directly to the wood because the staples I have are too long and will come out the front of the sticks without that fabric barrier.  I will be looking for new staples that are not so deep for the next projects but just a fair warning to check your paint sticks and staple depth before you ruin a board like I did. A way to not add the little pieces for me in the future will also be to make the banner longer and staple it all the way at the top. This was trial and error but overall I think they turned out really cute.

Also I forgot to mention, I gave my final banners a coat of clear wax to help seal everything in but this step probably isn't necessary. I think I got a little wax happy 

These are the finished pieces and I hope this tutorial helps. You can message me on FB with any questions or email me at tammyilustr8s@yahoo.com