Banners on the Brain -- How to Make a Simple Fabric Pennant Banner

I was so excited to read Karin's post a couple days ago about her new St. Patrick's Day banner.  We must be sisters, because I've had banners on the brain too!

There's just something so festive about pennants.  And depending on what fabrics and embellishments you choose, they can be customized for almost any occasion--dress it up for a garden party decoration, make it bright and wacky for a children's banner, or tonal for a specific holiday (like Karin's St. Patty's Day one): the options are pretty much limitless.

This week I made a new banner that I think could work great for a baby shower or just as a spring-y decoration in general.  (Especially if you happen to have moved into a new house recently and don't have any curtains yet and need *something* quick and easy to dress up the windows...ahem...)

My new banner!

Here's how to make your own simple fabric banner:

Materials (for a banner with 24 pennants, ~ 14 ft long)

3 fat quarters* (for front of pennants)
1 yard fabric (for back of pennants -- I used some leftover muslin)
5 yards of ribbon (single piece for stringing entire length of banner)
5 yards of ribbon (can be mixed colors/pieces -- for tying bows between pennants)

*You should be able to get 8 triangles from each fat quarter.  If you want to incorporate more prints into your banner, though, you'll need to use additional fabric.  Consider using scraps from other projects or swapping fabric pieces with a friend.  (That's what a friend and I did when we made birthday banners a few years ago. :)


Print the template linked in the image below on card stock to make stencil.  It should measure 7 inches across the upper edge and 9 inches top to bottom (through the middle of the triangle).

Link to pennant template.

Trace triangle template 8 times on wrong-side of each fat quarter, nesting triangles close together and alternating up-and-down as shown below:

Lay out 8 triangles on each fat quarter.

Cut out triangle fronts following traced lines.

Trace triangle template 24 times on wrong-side of fabric for back of pennants, again nesting triangles close together and alternating up-and-down.  Cut out triangle backs following traced lines.


1.  Sew front and back of each triangle together (right sides together), leaving the top side open.

Layer triangle front and back pieces with right-sides together.
Use a 1/4" seam to sew down the long edges of each triangle.  When you're approximately 1/4" from the point at the bottom of each triangle, lift the foot on the sewing machine with the needle down and pivot before sewing back up the other long side of the triangle.  Leave the top side open.

Lift foot with needle down and pivot at bottom corner of each triangle.

Sew long sides of triangles, leaving top edge open.

2. Trim point of triangles to reduce bulk and turn inside-out so right sides are showing.  Press.

Trim bottom tip to reduce bulk before turning.

I like to use a chopstick (or dull pencil, or flute cleaning rod, or whatever I can find...) to help fully turn the corner at the bottom of the triangle.

3. Sew top edge:  turn under approximately 1/4" of fabric all the way around top edge of triangle, then top stitch in place.
Turn under top edge, then top stitch in place.
4. Connect triangle pennants using ribbon.

Find somewhere to lay out your triangles to decide what order you want to hang them in.  After you've found an arrangement that you like, stack triangles in that order.  Top stitch ribbon onto triangles near upper edge, covering previous top stitching (from sewing the top edge), connecting triangles into a long chain.  Don't forget to leave about a 1/2 foot of ribbon on each end of the banner for hanging.  I also left about a 1/2 inch of ribbon between each triangle to have room for tying on decorative bows.

Connect triangle pennants in a long chain using ribbon.

Finishing: Add decorative bows

Cut other ribbon pieces into approximately 7 inch lengths.  Tie ribbons onto banner between triangles making bows.

triangle pennants
Finished banner.

I noticed in the picture Karin drew for The Happy Scraps blog that Amy is holding a banner that says "love," and it is one of my very favorite details to date.

custom drawing with banner
Look at that cute banner she's holding!

Wouldn't it be fun to have a picture where everyone's holding a long banner together?  Maybe with the family name? or a short motto?  Or what about a banner in the background?  Hmm.

Now someone else with banners on the brain needs to place an order just so I can see what Karin would come up with!


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