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Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Tutorial from Freshly Handmade...

Gorgeous Stacy from Freshly Handmade agreed to participate in our Holiday Tutorial series, and we are so glad she did. This banner is so darling! Her blog is full of amazing projects,  great tutorials with well written instructions and great photos (as you will see here). She quilts, decorates, DIY, designs, cooks, she does it all! Be sure to check out her blog, and she is a fun one to follow on Instagram as well @freshlyhandmade. Now to decide if I can fit some time in to make this banner!?!

Greetings Quilt Story readers! My name is Stacy and I blog over at  Freshly Handmade. This is where I chronicle my many different creative projects, from sewing and quilting to painting and decorating. I'm a DIY junkie and fabric lover, probably like many of you. I'd love to have you stop by and introduce yourself. While you're there, check out my other tutorials. I am excited to be sharing my Christmas Bunting Tutorial with you today. It looks great on a fireplace mantel or just hanging on the wall. Let's get started!
Approximately 4" x 78"


  • Print out of templates (see below materials list)
  • 1/2 yard cotton linen blend or enough scrap fabric to make 15 banners (I used Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Blend in Natural)
  • Cotton print scraps for 14 letters, at least 3" x 3" in size
  • Small amount of green and red cotton print scraps for holly leaves and berries
  • Paper backed fusible web for light to medium weight fabrics
  • 3 yards cotton twill or polyester ribbon, 7/8" wide
  • Dark brown thread
  • Thread that blends with the ribbon color
  • Small scissors
  • Large scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Clear acrylic ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Straight pins
  • Pencil
  • Ink pen or water soluble pen
  • Starch (optional)
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine (is that too obvious?)


STEP 1:  Click on the image below to download the template pages. Print page 1 on either copy paper or white card stock. I recommend printing page 2 on card stock since it helps to have a stiffer paper for the banner template.

STEP 2:  Lay a piece of fusible web, rough side down/paper side up, on top of the template page. With a pencil, trace all the letters, as well as the holly leaves and berries, from pages 1 and 2. It's a good idea to identify the direction each letter should be by marking them with an upward arrow. Some are more obvious than others. No need to trace the banner template on page 2.

STEP 3:  Cut out the letters, holly leaves and berries outside the traced lines.

STEP 4:  Place each letter on top of the fabric print you've chosen. You must place the rough side of the fusible web onto the wrong side of the fabric.

STEP 5:  Fuse the paper and the fabric together using your iron and the manufacturer's instructions for the fusible web. For Wonder Under, I use the wool setting with no steam. I press in 8-10 second intervals, two times. Let cool.

STEP 6:  Using your small scissors, cut out the letters, leaves and berries along the pencil line.

STEP 7:  Go back to page 2 of the template and cut out the banner template along the black lines if you haven't done so already. Using an ink or water soluble pen, trace around the banner template onto the linen fabric and cut it out. Make 15 banners.

If you have yardage instead, cut 7" wide pieces and place the template in a row as shown below. This is a big time-saver.

STEP 8:  Using the end of a straight pin, gently score the paper on the letters, leaves and berries and remove the paper.

STEP 9:  Center each letter on a banner. I recommend temporarily placing the ribbon on the top of the banner so you can see where the center is once the ribbon is attached.

STEP 10:  Fuse the letter to the banner with your iron in the same manner in which you adhered the fusible web to the fabric.

STEP 11:  Using the dark brown thread, stitch around the letter catching just inside the edge of the fabric. You'll want a small stitch length. I set mine to 2. If you are new at doing this, I recommend setting your sewing machine speed to low until you get the hang of it. I went around each letter twice. Your stitching does NOT need to be perfect, so don't sweat it if you veer off course a little. Believe me, mine are not perfect and I like them that way.

Here is what it will look like.

Use a hand stitching needle to bring your loose top threads to the back of the banner. Tie the threads into a knot to secure and trim.

STEP 12:  Stitch around the edge of the banner in the same way you did the letters. I made my stitch length a little longer for the borders and stitched approximately 1/16" to 1/8" in from the edge. Repeat these steps for all the letter banners.

Here is how you will lay out the holly leaves and berries. Leaf 1 is on the left and Leaf 2 is on the right.  Press to fuse the fabrics as before.

Here is how you can stitch it.

STEP 13:  Take your 3 yards of ribbon and lay it out straight on a flat surface. Measure in 16" and place your first banner. Align the top of the ribbon with the top of the banner and pin in place. Do the same for the rest of the banners, leaving a 1" space in between each banner. The holly leaves and berries banner is placed in between the words "MERRY" and "CHRISTMAS". Using thread that blends with the ribbon, sew along the top and bottom edges of the ribbon along the width of the banner. Continue to sew the ribbon onto all the banners. Clean up loose threads.

STEP 14:  I like to force my end tails in the right direction by sewing them down, especially if I am using ribbon that is printed only on one side. To do this, you're going to make a corner like you would if you were binding the corner of a quilt. Start by bringing the ribbon tail up and over itself to create a triangle. Leave about a 1" space between the banner and where you are creating this fold.

Fold the ribbon back down onto itself so that the printed side is on top. Pin in place and sew down where the ribbon layers meet. At this point, you can trim your tails to be the same length.

STEP 15:  By this time, you've handled your bunting pieces quite a bit which means the banner tails may be curling a little. I like to spray a light coating of starch on the banners and press flat before hanging. If you prefer stiff banners, you could probably add interfacing to the back side of each banner.

STEP 16:  Turn on some Christmas music, pour some eggnog, hang the bunting (careful not to drink too much eggnog before this step or it might be crooked), step back, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy your new holiday decoration. Oh wait, was this supposed to be a gift??

Happy Holidays to you all! Thank you to Heather and Megan for inviting me to participate in this year's Holiday Tutorial Series! 


Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said...

your bunting is the cutest! Great tutorial!

Catherine said...

This is so charming! I just picked up a polka dot charm pack and wasn't sure what to do with it. Now, I'm thinking a cheerful banner would be perfect. Thank you for the detailed tutorial!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely idea. Very pretty.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely banner! I like the idea of using contrast thread to make the letters stand out more.
Thanks for the great tutorial!

Amy DeCesare said...

I just love it! Looks so easy, and your version is just adorable. I love that it will take up next to no space at all in storage, too.

Staci said...

How Perfect! I was literally thinking about making bunting 5 minutes ago and I opened up my blog reader and here's your tutorial! Thank You!

Shannon @ Modern Tradition Quilts said...

Super cute tutorial! Thanks for sharing it. It makes me wish I had a fireplace to hang it on. I bet it would be cute on a Christmas tree too!

Valerie said...

Oh thank you for such a cute idea. I'm definitely making this for my fireplace. Adding to my "sewing on Black Friday" list.

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