Banners and garlands are such a nice project because you have so many options, so it’s probably a type of project that you will frequently see on this blog. So for my very first one, I wanted to do something a bit more simple and went with a pastel rainbow felt banner using a basic flag shape.
What You Will Need for this Project
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9×12 Felt Sheets
One thing I didn’t mention in the tools list that you might also need is a needle threader. Depending on how many strands of embroidery floss you want to use and how good you are at threading your needle, you may not need one. I wanted my stitching to stand out a bit more, so I used all six strands of my embroidery floss so I did need a threader.
At the moment I’m just using one of the very cheap ones that you can buy in the sewing department at any craft store, but when using those you need to be very careful. I don’t even know how many of them I’ve broken trying to thread embroidery floss. I’ve seen a threader made especially for embroidery floss with a much thicker loop, but I just haven’t gotten around to buying it yet.
EDIT: I now use an embroidery needle threader whenever I am sewing with embroidery floss. The smaller end works fantastically with my size 2 crewel needles and I can now thread my needles easily without worrying about the needle threader breaking.
How to Make a Pastel Rainbow Felt Banner
Step 1: Trace Flags for Pastel Rainbow Felt Banner
First, you will trace two flag shapes on each color of felt. I apologize for not having a downloadable template for the one I used. I’m still in the process of creating a resource library for files like that. As soon as I get everything together, I will link it here. It’s a very simple shape, though. My full flags measured about 6 1/4 inches tall and 5 inches wide, with a triangle cut from the bottom.
EDIT: The Resource Library is now open! If you want to download the flag template for this project, it can be found by clicking here.
I find the easiest way to trace the shape onto the felt is to use a water soluble fabric marker. That way once you have cut your flags, all you need to do is rub a little water over the trace lines and the marker will disappear. Or if you’re feeling lazy (like I was this time) the markings will disappear on their own in a couple of days. I’ve used these types of markers on several different types of fabrics and haven’t had a problem yet.
If you don’t have a fabric marker handy it’s always possible to use a permanent marker, just be aware that since you won’t be able to remove the trace lines afterward you’ll need to be a bit more precise when cutting out your flags.
Step 2: Cut Flags for Pastel Rainbow Felt Banner
This step is pretty self-explanatory. Simply cut out your flags along the trace lines you just made.
If you used any sort of permanent marker to trace your flags, try to cut on the inside of your trace lines so they won’t be seen on your final project. If you used a fabric marking pen, you don’t need to be nearly as careful. And after the flags are cut out you can erase the lines with a little bit of water, or wait for the lines to disappear on their own.
Here are all the flag pieces after they were cut out. I love how the colors look together.
Step 3: Sew Flag Pieces Together
Now you’re going to take a pair of cut flags along with your embroidery floss and embroidery needle, and sew them together using the running stitch. If you have any questions on how to do the running stitch, check out my previous tutorial by clicking here. It goes in depth on how to do this stitch, plus some other information.
The size of the embroidery needle you will need is going to depend on how thick your thread/floss is and how many strands you are using of it. Since I used all six strands of my embroidery floss, I needed a bit wider of an eye on my needle. I used a crewel needle in a size 2 and that ended up working well for me.
Do the running stitch all the way around the flag. I found it easiest to start in the middle of one of the sides and worked my way around from there.
When you get to the top of your flag, make sure every stitch is horizontal, like in the example picture below.
By keeping your top stitches going in the same direction, it will ensure that the flag doesn’t hang at a weird angle on your yarn.
Once you finish your first flag, sew your other five flags the same way.
Step 4: String Flags Onto Yarn
Now you will need your cotton yarn to string your flags onto so they can be hung up. If you don’t have cotton yarn on hand, baker’s twine is pretty much the same thing. Or you can use any other type of stringing material you have on hand. I prefer cotton yarns for banners because to me they just seem a bit more sturdy than regular acrylic yarn.
Decide how long you want your banner to be and cut your cotton yarn just a bit longer than that. Don’t be afraid to overestimate this part. If it’s too long you can always cut it down, but if it’s too short you will need to cut yourself another piece.
Using your yarn needle, string your first flag onto the cotton yarn. I decided to start with the last flag, but you could start with the first one as well. If you want your flags to be in a certain order, pay attention as you are stringing them on so they don’t get mixed up.
Even though the yarn needle is much more blunt than a regular sewing needle it can still go through the felt. I’m sure there’s a better tool out there that wouldn’t poke through the felt as easily (if anyone knows, please let me know in the comments!). But as long as you don’t try to rush, the yarn needle works just fine.
String the remaining five flags onto your yarn.
Step 5: Tie First Loop
Take one end of your cotton yarn, it doesn’t matter which. Then tie a loop and cut off any excess yarn as close as you can to the knot. This will allow you to hang up your banner once it is completed.
If you are planning to hang it up some other way and don’t want loops in the end of your yarn, feel free to skip this step.
Step 6: Adjust Flags on Pastel Rainbow Felt Banner
Starting from where you tied your loop, you can decide how far apart you want your flags to be spaced. I spaced mine about as far apart as the width of each flag, which is about 5 inches.
In the end my banner ended up being just about 6 feet long. But of course you can adjust the spacing of your flags if you wanted your banner longer or shorter.
Step 7: Tie Second Loop
Before tying the second loop, take one last look at the spacing of your flags and make sure everything is where you want it, because once you tie it off you can only make it shorter, not longer. If everything looks good, tie your second loop on the other side of your banner. Then cut off any excess yarn near the knot.
Again, if you don’t want loops on the ends of your banner you are free to skip this part.
Step 8: Hang the Pastel Rainbow Felt Banner
Now that your project is done you can hang it on the wall and admire your good work. I hung mine off a couple of thumbtacks pressed into the wall. But you could use nails, command hooks, or anything else that will be able to hold your banner up.
For those of you who would like to watch the video tutorial for this project, you can see it below:
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I’d love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and happy crafting!