Making a Vintage-styled Paper Pennant Banner

We recently moved back home, and although it’s been months, we have yet to get our bedrooms decorated. My youngest daughter’s room is especially small and boring, with all white walls, making for a rather lackluster place to spend her time. Over the holidays, I thought it would be fun to make her a few decorative items that would add color and charm to her bedroom. I’ve seen homemade pennants and banners online, but the majority of them were basic, for celebrations, or bound for the backyard in Spring.

I wanted her pennant banner to be decorative, inviting; something special. I wanted to create somewhat of a “theme” in her room…and the pennant banner was only the beginning. I also created a fork and spoon wall hook and headband holder made from ribbon – also for her wall. These things started to bring her room to life, and were fun to customize into the colors and styles that she loves.

Use What You Have for Your Pennant Banner

Pennant banner edge is a recycled grocery bag!

I had some leftover, 12″ x 12″ decorative papers that emanated a vintage-victorian feel, so I decided to go with a vintage-styled theme. I have never made a pennant banner before, but I had ideas running through my mind, and so I went with it. Something that I really wanted to incorporate was to give each pennant a brown background or edging, and since I didn’t have any tan or brown card stock, I went with used paper grocery bags. I had a huge stash of them in my garage, so….Yes! So, now my project is partially eco-friendly. I have to admit, though, card stock would have been easier to work with, so if you have some hanging around, I would strongly suggest using it!

Tools Needed:
Hole punch
Paint brush
Straight-edged scissors
Decorative-edged scissors
Materials Needed:
Modge Podge
Brown card stock
Decorative papers
Yarn, string, or jute

Step 1.  Decide what size you’re going to make your pennants. Mine were about 8 1/2″ (long sides) X 6″ (short edge; closer to 6 3/4″ after border added)

Step 2.  Cut out your first pennant, check the size and shape, and then use it as your template to trace and cut out the rest of your pennants. You can make as many as you want. I made 50, so as to hang all around a small room, loosely.

Step 3.  Figure out how thick of a border you’d like on your pennants, then paste your pennants to your card stock using your paint brush and Modge Podge, leaving room around each pennant to cut a decorative border. If you decided to use grocery bags, first cut them open and iron them as flat as you can (using a pillowcase over the top).

Step 4.  Set your card stock or grocery bags (with pennants pasted on) aside to dry for a few hours.

Step 5.  Using your decorative-edged scissors, cut around the two long sides of all of your pennants, leaving about a 1/2″ inch border. Cut the “top” or short side flush with the pennant edge.

Step 6.  Punch holes along the topside (short side) of your pennants. You can evenly punch 4 holes across, which will allow you to weave your string in and out, leaving two large stitches. What I did was punch 3 holes evenly across the top, then used a crochet hook to single stitch through the holes. However you’d like to do it is fine with me – get creative!

Step 7.  String your yarn or jute through your holes, connecting all of your pennants together into a long banner. Make sure and leave space between each pennant to allow a nice “hang” when you put your pennant banner up on your wall. I recommend about 3″-5″ between each pennant, but it’s really up to you. To prevent the pennants from sliding up and down the string or ribbon, you will need a “stopper” of some sort at the beginning or end (or both sides) of your string. I just wind an extra loop in the far left hole (if I’m stringing from right to left). Make sure you have your pennants properly spaced, because once you add your extra “loop”, you won’t be able to freely slide them around anymore.

*When tracing out your pennants, be sure to trace them on the backside of your paper to prevent any markings from appearing on the front. Also, try and line them up to get the most out of your paper and reduce waste.

*If you find that after gluing, your pennants start to curl, place them inside or under some heavy books for a day or two to flatten them out. This is especially a problem if you use grocery bags, but you can also try and iron them, too…which is what I did. :)

*When stringing your pennant banner together, try and place each one face up in a pile next to you, as you’re stringing, to prevent anything from tangling together. You can store them this way until you’re ready to use them.

If you prefer a video tutorial on how to make a pennant banner…

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