Today I am sharing a tutorial on the Easter banner I used on my mantle this year.
I constructed it using my Silhouette although you could make a similar banner without one (the way I made my “He Is Risen” banner), but the silhouette does make it a lot easier (and faster.) This is also my submission project for April's Silhouette Challenge. There are dozens of wonderful projects linked up to this blog hop and I would encourage you to check them out (they are linked at the bottom of this post.)
I couldn’t find any really good online tutorials on working with fused fabric lettering, so I thought I would share how I got it to work. There are plenty of tutorials out there on transferring large shapes, but keeping letters aligned and small details like the ‘dot’ on the letter i is much more complicated. I wanted to transfer the fabric letters without distorting them or hand placing them one at a time.
You also could use vinyl for a project like this, but I love the look (and unlimited color and pattern choices) of fabric.
The first thing I did was decide on what I wanted the banner to say and which font I wanted.
Remember when cutting out fabric, the thinner or more detailed the cuts are, the more likely it is to fray. You want your shapes to be relatively ‘meaty.’
To conserve fabric (and interfacing) I squeezed the phrase into the smallest space possible. That is why the “Here” is upside down and angled.
Next I fused sewable interfacing (I used Silhouette brand but after doing this with other projects I realized you could use Steam-A-Seam or Wonder Under as well.) The Silhouette brand is NOT permanent and won’t hold up to washing, but it is fine for something like a banner.
To cut the fabric, you need to remove the paper backing and stick the fabric (glue side down) to the cutting mat:
I also have a separate blade specifically for ONLY fabric:
Silhouette sells a ‘fabric blade’ which is actually just like any other replacement blade only the housing is blue so you can tell it apart from the others. You also could just mark one of your blades and use it exclusively for cutting fabric. The fact the housing is blue doesn’t matter at all.
Here is what the fabric looks like after the cutting:
Next I ‘weeded’ out all the fabric I didn’t need:
Here is what was leftover when it was completely weeded:
You are left with your letters stuck down to the cutting mat (you can see I lost my capital C and would have to re-cut that one):
Now you could hand peel them up, one by one and fuse them down to the banner, but that sounds like a nightmare. Instead I used some dollar store shelf paper to transfer the letters. To do this I stuck the shelf liner down on top of the letters and then peeled it up with the letters attached. A few letters didn’t want to come up and I was able to get them started using a pin to lift them off the cutting mat:
You can NOT use standard vinyl transfer paper or even contact paper because they aren't sticky enough. You need it to be really sticky in order to life the glue coated fabric off the cutting mat.
Once I had the words stuck down to the shelf paper I cut them apart and stuck them down to the background fabric:
Flip the fabric to the reverse size and fuse down the letters with an iron (be careful to not press for too long, you don’t want to melt the shelf liner):
Make sure you allow the fabric to cool (so the glue on the fusible interfacing solidifies) and then peel the shelf liner off:
Once the shelf liner has been removed, you can press the letters down again without fear of melting anything.
Once I had the words fused to the backing fabric, I was able to cut it down to the size I wanted:
I cut out burlap panels slightly larger than the yellow fabric and a rectangle of fusible web (in this case Wonder Under) the same size as the yellow fabric.
I fused the yellow panel onto the burlap using an iron:
Here are the completed panels:
Now all the hard work is done. To give them a more finished edge, I frayed the edges of the burlap:
I took the finished panels and strung them onto some clothesline left over from my clothesline eggs:
The little ties in between the panels are nothing more than fabric strips I cut out of the same green fabric I used for the words, tied in bundles along the clothesline:
And the finished banner:
Using this technique you could make it say anything “Happy Birthday” “Merry Christmas” “Lordy, lordy, looks who’s 40!” The possibilities are endless.
Now go and enjoy all the other entries in this month's challenge:
1. Dream a Little Bigger // 2. So Much Better With Age // 3. Adventures in All Things Food // 4. Creative Carnival // 5. The Kim Six Fix // 6. feto soap // 7. One Dog Woof // 8. The Experimental Home // 9. From Wine to Whine // 10. Architecture of a Mom // 11. Grey Luster Girl // 12. Minted Strawberry // 13. Designed Decor // 14. Tried & True // 15. Silhouette School // 16. Bringing Creativity 2 Life // 17. Weekend Craft // 18. Practically Functional // 19. Please Excuse My Craftermath... // 20. McCall Manor // 21. unOriginal Mom // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. A Tossed Salad Life // 24. A Glimpse Into Barb's Life // 25. Kate's Paper Creations // 26. Simply Kelly Designs // 27. Cutesy Crafts // 28. Persia Lou // 29. Whats Next Ma // 30. Two Purple Couches // 31. The Frill of Life // 32. Nearly Handmade // 33. Get Silvered // 34. Ginger Snap Crafts // 35. Life After Laundry // 36. The Sensory Emporium // 37. Monograms & Cake // 38. The Thinking Closet // 39. My Paper Craze // 40. Chicken Scratch NY