When a friend of mine recently had a lovely baby boy I couldn’t wait to make a ‘congrats’ present. My sewing skills are definitely limited so I knew baby clothes were not option! Instead I decided to make a baby banner decoration.
This wall hanging can be personalised in so many ways. You could add a name, change the type of animals or even just alter the colour palette to fit the baby’s room. It’s super easy to make and if you really aren’t familiar with a sewing machine you could probably find a plain canvas banner to skip the template section. For the banner material I actually used a large plain tote bag from Hobbycraft and cut it down to size. You need a thick material in order for the banner to hang well. Similar materials can be found in any local fabric shop.
- Canvas fabric (or tote bag)
- Coloured felt
- Fabric glue
- Sewing machine (or hand stitch)
- Wooden dowel (I choose a stick to go with my woodland theme)
Start by figuring out what size you would like the banner to be on a large piece of paper. You can then place the paper template onto your fabric and draw directly onto the fabric using a fabric pen/pencil. Before you cut out the fabric, draw another outline slightly bigger on the fabric (about 1cm or larger if you prefer). Once the fabric is cut you will fold the edges over and sew along the edge to create a clean finish. When folding the top edge of the fabric over make sure to leave enough room/a pocket for you wooden dowel to slide through.
Now for the fun part. If, like me, you are not the best at drawing(!) then you can easily find simple animal illustrations on the internet. I just searched for children’s colouring in book illustrations which gave me easy outlines to print out. The more complex the shape the harder it will be to cut out of felt so bare this in mind when choosing your animals! Once I had all the outlines I needed I used Photoshop to play around with the size & layout options. I then filled them in with colour fill so that I knew what colours of felt I needed to buy. You can pick felt up in places such as Fabric land & Hobbycraft.
Use paper print-out versions of your animals to cut your felt to shape. Once all your felt pieces are cut, lay them out on the banner and start to glue them down. You won’t need too much glue but you may need to hold the felt down and apply pressure for a few seconds to make sure the felt is stuck.
Next pop in your wooden dowel/stick at the top and attached a string hook to the top. I decided to make a couple of pompoms to add to the side of the banner. You could also add other embellishments such as pompom or lace trim to the bottom of the banner.
Go the extra mile
- Instead of a woodland scene, you could make a jungle or underwater scene.
- Play around with the colour palette. Instead of sticking to traditional colours for the animals you could try a different shades of one particular colour to match the baby’s room.