How To Make A First Communion Banner

When determining how to make a First Communion banner, keep in mind that a handmade banner will cost less than a professionally printed one. You can also personalize the banner to reflect the experiences of your child specifically.

Design
First, figure out the size of the space where the banner will hang so you know what you're working with. Sketch out the banner design on paper, including color schemes and the position of the lettering. When a good idea is committed to paper, it becomes easy to follow through on it. Play around with contrasting colors and simple appliqué designs. Plan on finalizing the size, shape, color, lettering and any images or embellishments for the banner before you even begin.

Fabric
To make a first communion banner, you'll need a solid piece of material. A good size is about 4 feet long by 2 feet wide, but it can be longer or narrower depending on your needs. Fabric that works well for a banner is light polyester, cotton blend, muslin, calico or even linen. These materials are not heavy and drape nicely when made into a banner. Fabric with a lot of nylon in it doesn't work as well, as it is slippery and hard to work with.

Lettering
Many iron-on lettering kits are available at craft and hobby stores. The easiest method for lettering is to purchase a kit and arrange the letters before ironing them into place. For the sewing hobbyists, letters can also be appliquéd on by cutting a letter from contrasting fabric and stitching it on. Fabric paints are another popular and easy alternative for the non-sewer. Most sayings include the child's name and the date, as well as "God Bless You," "Congratulations," "Happy First Communion" or simply the children's name and date.

Embellishments
As long as the embellishment is not too heavy, almost anything will do. Ribbons, silk flowers, sequins, beading and embroidery are some of the more common things to do to a First Communion banner to tie it into the theme. Applique is another way to add detail to a banner. Choose simple shapes that symbolize the day, such as an angel, chalice, cross or Bible. Flowers, birds and other springtime symbols are also appropriate for a rite of passage.

Putting It Together
Once the design is decided, begin putting the banner elements together. Don't forget to hem the background fabric before adding any lettering or embellishments. Clean edges will make the banner look neat and complete. Iron the banner so that you have a smooth surface and the hems are laying flat. Begin with the lettering, as that is the most important feature. Add the embellishments as desired. You can use thread or fabric glue for most banner projects. How you hang the banner is up to you-choose to make a tab at the top for a long dowel, insert grommets or stitch in tiny loops of thread that can hang on tiny picture nails.

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