Easy, Cheap DIY Party Pennant Banner

Every now and then I post a food related craft that I hope will add some joy to your family meals, parties, and picnics. Full disclosure: I know I’ve said this before, but just to reiterate, I am not a crafty person. When it comes to crazy fabricky, gluey, scissory things, I give up.

First off, I have tremendous patience in my kitchen. Said patience does not extend to cutting out finicky shapes or hand-stitching for five hours. Second off, nothing I make turns out better than something I can buy (food is obviously excluded from this statement, y’all. Don’t be cheeky.)

But for my picnic last week, I wanted a pennant banner.

In addition to being impatient, I’m always dirt poor. Poking around on Etsy for a pennant banner to purchase, I noticed that these triangles attached to string literally cost $20 and up. Don’t get me wrong; some of them were nice triangles attached to string. Fancy fabrics, lettering, etc. But not nice enough to make me spend $20. On triangles. Attached. To. String.

Enter felt, staples, liquid stitch, and string. This craft was literally one of the easiest I’ve ever attempted, as evidenced by the fact that I was successful at it.

I did the whole thing in an hour or so, and the only reason it took me that long is because America’s Got Talent was so enthralling that night. Did you guys see the girl on the Russian barre? The woman with the long blonde braids and the operatic voice? The silver-clad pole danc– uh. Okay, well. Back to crafting.

This pennant banner would work with any color of felt squares (e.g. red, white, and blue for Independence Day). It’d also be easy to cut out felt letters to liquid-stitch onto each of your triangles for a “Happy Birthday” or “Welcome Home” banner.

Best of all, the whole project costs about $8 — and since I bought a big spool of string, packs of felt rectangles with extra colors, and a whole tube of liquid stitch, I can actually make 2 or 3 more banners with the materials I have left! Perfect.

Easy Party Pennant Banner

Yields: about 24 feet

Supplies needed:
spool of hemp string
Liquid Stitch or similar product
15 felt triangles*

*Note on triangles: I bought 5 packs of multicolored 8″ x 5″ felt rectangles at the dollar store and then cut just the red rectangles into triangles — saving the black, blue, and green for another project! You could do this or buy sheets of felt and cut out the triangles. You want a base of at least 5 inches and a height of about 8 inches to achieve the look shown above.

1. Leave about 2 feet of string empty before you add your first triangle — this gives you some space to tie your banner onto a hook or column.

2. Place the base (the long end, not the point) of your first triangle under your string with just about 1/4 inch of felt sticking up beyond the string. Staple both corners to the string (see photos above).

3. Squeeze a line of Liquid Stitch under the string between the two staples and hold the string against it for a few seconds until it begins to set. It’s best to go the full length of the string so the triangles won’t bunch up (I realized this too late. Oh well. I just have to do a little triangle fluffing before I hang mine.)

4. Measure about 4 inches from the corner of your attached triangle and lay your next triangle under your string (I actually placed a sheet of paper on my workspace and marked off a 4 inch space so I didn’t have to measure each time). Repeat steps 2 and 3.

5. Continue until all triangles have been added. Leave about 2 feet of empty string after your last triangle for tying.

6. Let dry overnight. Store your banner wrapped around something that can act as a spool (I used a mini plastic shelf, but have used empty cereal boxes, etc., in the past) like you would store Christmas lights, so it doesn’t get tangled.

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Secret Garden Craft: Simple Luncheon Napkins

Part of making a celebration special is the thought behind it. I wanted the Secret Secret Garden Party to be particularly special for my sister, so I decided to incorporate some handmade touches — things that showed thoughtfulness in their detail. There was a problem, though.

I am not crafty.

I love the idea behind crafting and think I could be good at scrapbooking, sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making — if I had 42 hours in a day instead of 24. But I don’t have any extra time, so I don’t have any experience in the crafting world. My mom regularly encourages me to take up sewing, and I regularly reply that I need another hobby like I need a lobotomy (which, in case you’re wondering, is not at all. Yet.)

So, how do you add a handmade touch to a party without many crafting skills? Presenting simple, low-sew luncheon napkins for the crafting impaired.

While these do take a little bit of time, no sewing machine is required, and you can dress them up or down depending on the effort you want to expend. This quick craft is great for adding a handmade touch to a celebration, creating color-coordinating napkins for your table, or dipping your toes into the cold crafting water. I loved that I could sew on little appliques in contrasting fabric to make a sweet, shabby chic product.

Simple Sweet Luncheon Napkins

Help with this craft: DIY Maven
Yields: 9 luncheon napkins

Supplies needed:
2 yards fabric for napkins
1/4 yard fabric for appliques (optional)
Liquid Stitch or similar product
clear nail polish
thread (I used embroidery thread for decorative cross-stitching, and regular thread to stitch around the appliques)

1. Cut your napkin fabric into 13″ x 13″ squares.

2. On each square, fold over the right side of the napkin 1/4″ and press well with the iron. Fold the right side over another 1/4″ and press well. Repeat these two folds on the left side.

3. Fold each corner down, forming a small triangle, and press these well.

4. Now fold the top down 1/4″ over the triangle and press well. Fold it over another 1/4″, press well, and then pin. Repeat this with the bottom.

5. Use a simple cross stitch to secure the corners. Sometimes I used just one large X, over times I flanked it with smaller cross-stitching on either side. It’s up to you. You can use embroidery thread or regular thread in a contrasting color for this.

6. Use a cotton swab to evenly apply Liquid Stitch under the top, bottom, left, and right edges, pressing firmly to seal. Now your napkin is complete and ready to embellish, if you wish!

7. Cut out shapes of your choice from contrasting fabric. Use clear nail polish to lightly paint the edges so they won’t fray.

8. Attach your applique with a little liquid stitch to the location of your choice.
9. If desired, use a needle and thread to stitch around the applique to give it a sweet handmade feel.
10. Repeat these steps on all napkins. Let napkins dry overnight. If you liquid stitch the applique well and secure the mitered corners carefully, these will probably be fine being machine washed on gentle. I’m using mine more for decorative purposes.

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