Make it a more Green Halloween this year by forgoing the paper and plastic decorations in favor of this cool fabric banner that can be used year after year. We originally chose the Spooktactular fabric collection, which put a fun and different spin on the traditional black and orange, adding purple, lime green, and white. The neighborhood ghosts and goblins are sure to be impressed.
You’ll love the easy way we show to cut your triangle banner “flags” from one finished panel that is “pre-backed” with soft felt. Standard packaged bias binding is used for the hanging trim.
Our project is based on using a charm pack. This is a bundle of 5″ pre-cut squares from within one coordinating fabric collection. It’s a great way to go when you have something that calls for simple patchwork. You save time with the pre-cut squares and the bundles are very inexpensive. One of our favorite online outlets for charm packs is Fat Quarter Shop.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 22 5″ x 5″ fabric squares: we originally used Sanae’s Spooktacular charm pack
- ½ yard of 45″ wide heavy felt; we used black
NOTE: You do need a final piece that is apx 9″ x 45″ so the WOF (width of fabric) is important. If you are unable to find 45″ wide felt, you can get 1½ yards of narrower felt and cut vertically. You should then have enough to cut a couple felt panels and could make a second banner.
- 3 yards extra wide double-fold bias tape; we used black
- All-purpose thread to match fabric and binding
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Pinking shears or rotary cutter with pinking blade and mat
- Straight pins
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Iron and ironing board
- Place 22 squares in your desired order on large flat surface to form a two-square by eleven-square patchwork rectangle.
NOTE: If you are using a charm pack, the squares you will get are random. For the best look, mix and match to create a pleasing design, alternating darks and lights, patterns and solids, bolds and petites.
- From the felt cut one 10″ x 45″ panel.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Pin one top row square to one bottom row square, right sides together.
- Sew together, using a ½” seam. Press the seam allowance open and flat.
- Continue in this same manner until you have eleven equal two-square strips.
- Pin one two-square strip to its neighboring two-square strip. Be very careful to align your seams so you end up with nice square corners.
- Sew together, using a ½” seam.
- Continue in this same manner, adding one new two-square strip each time, until you form the completed two-square by eleven-square patchwork. Remember, at each seam, pin and stitch carefully to keep your seams aligned so your final intersecting corners will be exact. Press seam allowances open and flat.
- Trim ½” from both short ends of the patchwork. Iron flat. Since you were oh-so-careful, all your corners should come together at perfect points.
- Center the completed patchwork on top of the black felt. You’ll trim off the excess felt when done. Because felt is grippy, you shouldn’t need to pin much, if at all, in order to hold the patchwork and felt pieces together.
- To form pennants, use a piece of 8″ x 11″ notebook paper as a guide. Line up the top of the 11″ side with the top corner of a square then angle it down diagonally through the middle of the square to the bottom. Carefully cut through both layers along this diagonal with the pinking shears or pinking rotary cutter.
- Continue in this manner, zig zagging up and down across the banner.
- You will end up with ten full pennant pieces with two half pennant pieces remaining. Discard these two half pieces. Trim off any remaining felt at top of each pennant.
- Take the black bias tape and slide each pennant piece into place inside the tape’s fold. Make sure the top of the pennant goes all the way into the fold and line up the pennants top-point to top-point, one right after the other.
- Pin in place. Be sure to leave several inches at the each end of the banner for hanging.
- Carefully straight stitch close to the edge of the black bias tape, making sure you catch both the front and back of the binding. Continue all the way to the end of the binding so the ties at each end are stitched together as well.
- As an option, tie a scary spider between each pair of pennants on varying lengths of thread.
NOTE: The edges of our banner are not sewn down or hemmed; they are simply pinked. We liked that the fabric and felt could flutter in the spooky night breezes.
Hints and Tips
Make a triangle pattern
If you’re feeling unsure about the “free-form” notebook paper template described above, you can make a full triangle template. Your base would be 8″ and your mid-point line would be 9″. Cut out your paper template and pin in place, then cut or pink through the layers.
Alternate binding method
Because this is a “fast-and-easy” project, we’ve suggested a simplified binding technique above. However, it can be a little bit tricky, because you must be very careful with your stitching line in order to catch both the front and the back of the binding. If you’d like to use a more traditional binding method, we suggest the following steps:
- Using a zig zag stitch, attach all ten pennants together in a chain. Simply feed one pennant piece into your sewing machine right behind the other to create this chain.
- Apply the bias tape in a traditional two-step process. Unfold and stitch first to the front. Then wrap the binding over the edge and edgestitch front to back through all layers. If you are new to binding, check our our full bias binding tutorial.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Michelle Pacheco