Carly Rubach

Say Congrats with a Pennant Banner

Learn how to craft your Congratulations with this pennant banner tutorial.

By - Aug 19th, 2012 04:00 am

There have been plenty of reasons to celebrate life, love and learning this summer. My dearest friend had her first baby, my aunt and uncle opened a beautiful business in Burlington, and my boyfriend completed his Masters program at UWM. I’m beaming with pride and I wanted to showcase my happy feelings with a handmade touch.

I see pennant banners everywhere these days and they range in their use of materials from card stock paper to decorator fabric. I’ve seen people use patterns to create their banners, but sometimes I’m straight up lazy so I look for a shortcut. This brings me to my favorite material, my craft studio must have: canvas drop cloth. I probably buy one or two of these every year and I find myself constantly using them for a number of projects.

I recently saw someone use drop cloths to make outdoor curtains, which I think adds a great neutral and cozy look. I’ve stitched lettering into the material to use as my pricing signage for craft shows. And you can even use your drop cloth as a drop cloth. So that’s neat.


Drop cloth banner I made for a craft show.

Canvas drop cloth
scrap fabric
fusible tape


For this particular banner project, I laid out my canvas and free-hand cut one pennant shape. I then continued to flip the pennant back and forth to trace and efficiently utilize my material. Once you have all your triangles cut out, you can line them up to get an idea of how long your word-of-choice will be. I think it would be super fun to create a phrase and layer the banners in a few lines.

I then pulled out a handful of scrap fabric and lined the pieces up in a color pattern to please my eye.

Next, start cutting out your letters. I free-handed this as well but you can find a font that you like, size the letters to the pennant and cut them out to use as tracers. I probably would have gone with this option if I weren’t rushing to get my Congrats banner up before my boyfriend got home from his final, which I failed at doing anyway.

The next shortcut comes in the form of fusible tape—another craft studio must-have. I use fusible tape constantly! Simply cut out a few pieces of the tape and place under each letter, press with a hot iron and BOOM, done.

You can get creative with how you hang your banner. I used a scissors to cut holes in each pennant corner and then I thread a bright yellow piece of yarn through the holes. The banner stayed in place for the most part but I used some trusty Scotch tape to secure any slippery slopes. You can also just tie adjacent pennants with a knot to keep them secure.

Because this was a no-sew project, the edges of your drop cloth will fray but that’s what adds character to your personalized, DIY banner. Or perhaps that’s what lazy people say to make themselves feel better. Either way, I think the result is charming.

I like to hang the banner with a dramatic “droop.” Although I didn’t achieve the surprise effect I was going for with my banner, at least I’ll be all set to say Congratulations to the next big accomplishment in our household.

Surprise someone special with a handmade banner and everyone will be feeling fine! And congratulations to all of you out there doing great things this summer. You did it!

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