How to Make an easy, cheap Halloweeen Banner (or Pennant)

So it is the first cloudy day in Southern California in a very long time - and this change in weather inspires the Crafty Chick in me.  I made this Halloween banner in 2 1/2 hours - no lie!  It was so cheap and easy I just had to share.

I made a template 14" across the top and 17" long.  This is kinda large because the expanse of my porch is 12 feet, so any smaller and they would have looked dinky.  If you are making a banner for, say, a 8 foot fireplace mantle, you might want to make the triangles smaller.

Using a rotary cutter, I placed the short end of my template along the fold of the burlap to avoid having to sew a seam here.  Doubling the fabric is important to add heft to the pennants.

Using Word or Photoshop, print 7 1/2" letters and skelaton-head images.  Cut them out and use them as templates.  With a tailor's chaulk pencil on black felt fabric, I traced the templates then cut out the letters and skelatons. 

I spray-basted the letters to the penants (you can find spray-basting in the quilting section of your craft store).

I then measured roughly three arms' length of fat jute string and began sewing the pennants onto it, leaving that amount (about 15 feet) as a tail.  Tucking the string into the fold, I sewed down one side then up the other side of each pennant. If you look closely, you can see I was super-sloppy with the sewing part.  I was going for speed, not accuracy.  ... and it would be hanging outside and only seen from a distance, so perfect stitching wasn't needed.  I didn't even bother to iron anything.

Using a darning foot on my sewing machine, I sewed the letters onto each pennant.  Again, this took seconds per pennant because the stitching would not be visible.  Sewing the letters on had 2 benefits:  It made the fabric more stable and ensured that the letters wouldn't fall off when it rained.

Here, you can see the finished banner with its loooong string tail.  I thought maybe I was making the tail too long and could cut it later, but as it turns out, the long tail made it very easy to hang from the pillars on the porch.

For this project, I bought 3 yards of burlap for $12 but only used half of it.  I bought 1/2 yard of black felt ($2) but used less than 1/4.  The string was around $3 - I used ultra-thick jute, not your normal thin kind used for packaging.  I found everything I needed at Joann's (on sale!).

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