I was busy this weekend making some fun banners. I admit that I got this idea from my daughter Robyn. She makes really beautiful fabric prayer flags. When I went to visit her a few days ago, she showed me some paper prayer flags and banners she had made. They were really beautiful and so easy to do. So I decided I would make a few and share them with you.
The first thing I did was pull out some of my painted papers that I always have on hand. I love making background pages or painted papers just to have around. They are great for art journaling, for bases of mixed media projects, for cutting up and making shapes or words out of the painted pages. There is lots you can do with them. Plus it is something easy to do when I can’t think of what I really want to do. It is a way for me to get in the creative zone by playing with paint and markers and stencils and stamps. So that is why I always have a lot of extra papers hanging around.
I grabbed a few papers and made sure to use the ones that were painted on both sides. I wanted my banners to be pretty on both front and back, that makes them perfect to hang in front of a window or a mirror, or so you can make them reversible for when your mood changes (that never happens, right?).
Once I decided on some papers, I started cutting them. I tried to use up as much of the paper as possible. I measured and marked the pages on both sides and then started cutting them. You can use up nearly all of the paper this way, with very little waste. And of course, as mixed media artists we will keep those little scraps for another project, right?
The papers I used were a bristol weight with several layers of paint so they were pretty stable. If you used a thinner paper (like copy paper) you may want to glue a couple layers together or reinforce the edges you will sew, otherwise you will just perforate the paper and it will fall apart. Water color paper works really nice for this project.
I made 2 sizes of flags. I was able to get 5 large flags out of each piece of paper, and 11 small flags (I cut the paper in half first and then cut the flags). I cut up 3 different pieces of paper. I used each piece of paper as a separate banner, however you could mix and match your flags and have as many flags as you want on your banner.
Once you cut your flags, you have a couple of options. You can assemble them ‘as is’, and be done with it. You can add words or stamp images or add pictures to each flag. You can add all kinds of layers if you want to, each layer adding interest and texture. You can add your extra goodies to both sides of your banner if you like. I used Stazon ink pad and used my Big Letter Stamps and my Breezy Letter Stamps for a couple of the banners. The other banner, I used the Stazon ink pad with some word stamps on tissue paper which I then used matte medium to adhere to the flags. The tissue paper just melts into the background so you only see the words. I also used some of the Tim Holtz distress ink pads to ink around the edges of the flags. It is just one more step to add that makes your flags a bit more finished. You could also use a marker or paint to edge each flag. Or this would be a great place to use that pretty washi tape you have been hoarding (I’ll have to do that next time).
Once you have decided what you are doing and how many flags you are putting on each banner, then you can just sew them together. Grab some fun fibers or cords and couch them on to your flags. I used some of the Silk Sari Carded Yarn for a couple of mine. I like the way the fibers look. They add a lot of color and texture to the pieces. You could also use glue or staples to hold the fibers in place. It’s fun to experiment with different options and see what you like.
Once you have sewn the flags together, your banner is done! I had fun creating these and they were super quick to do. Now that I have done these 3 banners, I have lots of ideas for making some more of them. How about you? Will you be making some too? Did you notice how I used my word for the year on one of the banners (explore)?
Now I just have to find a place to hang them up. Fun fun fun!
Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play
Blue Twig Studio – 5965 Whiskey River Dr – Colorado Springs, CO 80923 – USA