October is here and Halloween is upon us, especially if you are throwing a Spooky Party this Sunday (have you entered the GIVEAWAY?)! One of the projects I tacked this week was a “Happy Halloween” banner inspired by this one from Pottery Barn.
I loved the idea but not the price tag, so I made up my own DIY version.
Here is what you will need:
- burlap fabric, 1/2 yard
- printable iron-on transfers, such as June Tailor (make sure you get the kind for white fabric; the transfers will be clear, not white)
- rope or twine
- hot glue gun and glue
- iron and ironing board
For the burlap pieces:
1. Make a cardboard stencil the size and shape you want for the banner squares or flags. I went with a simple rectangle 8 inches high (1 inch would be folded down to attach it to the rope) and 5 1/2 inches wide. Trace out your 14 shapes, then cut each one out. I later decided that a big, black Sharpie does not leave very discreet lines (cutting burlap straight is tricky!) so I switched to my magical disappearing ink pen from my sewing basket. A regular finer tipped pen or marker would work too.
2. With the hot iron, press a 1/2 inch seam on the top of your rectangle. You will later use hot glue to close the seam around the rope so that the flags can be slid back and forth for perfect positioning. If your burlap is wrinkled, smooth it out while you have it here.
For the iron-on transfers
1. Print out your letters. Spoiler Alert: this is easier said than done! Make sure to follow the directions on your package because the image will need to be mirrored when it is printed so that it reads correctly once it is ironed on. This can usually be done in your Print settings, but I couldn’t figure it out on my new printer so I was able to reverse everything in Illustrator. Want a shortcut? Here’s my Halloween Banner all ready to print. Cut out all the letters.
2. Ironing on is the fun part, but make sure to read and follow the instructions for the iron-on transfers. According to my instructions, the iron should be set for cotton with no steam. Hold the iron firmly on the transfer for 20 seconds without moving it (think opposite of normal ironing and go against all your instincts). I had a few epic fails in this step and therefore had to reprint some letters (grrrr….). I also learned that it is definitely not a good idea to heat the burlap with the iron before adhering the transfer; both rubbing the iron and transferring to already hot fabric prevent the transfer from sticking.
3. Allow the transfer to cool enough for you to touch it comfortably, then slowly and carefully peel the paper part away. I would start in an ambiguous corner and peel gently to make sure the transfer did not pull up with the paper. If it started to pull up, I would move to a different spot to start out. I ended up having a couple of spots that did not stick well to the burlap, so I touched it up with a very light coat of glue.
Yay, a letter! Now repeat 13 times…
And your table will start to look like this:
Assembling the banner
1. Lay your rectangles out on the floor to see how long your rope needs to be. I gave some generous length on each side for hanging it; it’s a very long banner so depending on how much display space you have, you may want to double up with the “happy” above the “halloween.”
2. Place the rectangle on the rope and hot glue your seam down. Make sure there is enough space to slide the flag on the rope (i.e. it isn’t glued to the rope). Repeat with all the rectangles.
And that’s it! The cost was around $10, the priciest supply being the iron-on transfer paper.
Another option I considered was stenciling and painting. There are a lot of great tutorials around, like this one from Life Sweet Life. Or, you can try my method with one of these great fonts perfect for fall from Over the Big Moon:
I would love to see your ideas and how they turned out! Leave a link below or send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.