Whether you're excited or disappointed, 'Back to School' is just around the corner for kindergarteners and College students alike. Little ones are learning their ABCs and their 1, 2, 3s. To make the transition to school a little easier and smoother (and to continue the learning right at home), we've come up with a simple, no-sew alphabet banner for your playroom. Follow the steps below and use the templates to create your own alphabet banner.
To begin, you will need several supplies, as pictured below.
- Banner Template
- Natural or Synthetic Craft Felt
- Fabric Adhesive
- Rotary Cutter
- Sewing Scissors
- Disappearing Ink Marker or Marking Tool
- Foam Sponge Brush
1. Once you have gathered all of your supplies, you will need to decide what kind of font you would like for your banner. My preference is to use something on the thicker side as it is significantly easier to cut and is a little easier on little, learning eyes. I also prefer 'sans serif' fonts for cutting. You may choose a font from your computer's pre-installed available fonts or you can try dafont.com. This website has a large range of fonts available for download, but it is important to ensure you are only using fonts that are listed as “Free for Personal Use”. This will be indicated on the right-hand side of your screen.
Note: If you plan on selling any of your finished pieces, using fonts from dafont.com, you must purchase a commercial license for the font you have chosen. The font I chose to use for this project is called 'Discoteca Rounded'.
2. After selecting your font, it's time to cut the banner pieces upon which the letters will be adhered. I have provided a template that you can resize, print, cut, and attach to your felt for tracing and cutting, but you could also use triangular banner pieces or squares or another shape – the possibilities are endless.
3. Print your template on a piece of cardstock or printer paper. If using printer paper, it may be easiest to glue it to a thicker piece of paper afterwards to make the tracing process smoother.
4. Grab your disappearing ink pen and trace the template onto the felt colour of your choosing. Repeat this process 25 more times for a total number of 26 banner pieces (i.e. the number of letters in the alphabet).
5. Using your rotary cutter and your fabric scissors, carefully cut out each banner piece and set them aside. If you have purchased the same disappearing ink pen that I listed above, you can remove any remaining ink from your felt pieces with a little bit of water or use a blow dryer. I find the water method works best.
6. Next, you will print all of your letter templates. I have chosen to do a rainbow theme for my banner. If you would like to do the same pattern, you may wish to write out which letters will be red, orange, yellow and so on, before you begin the tracing and cutting process, to ensure you have the pattern correct. Use the same method you used for your banner pieces to print and cut the letters. Just be sure that you have sized them correctly, in a computer program of your choosing, before printing them out. You will want them to fit nicely in the center of each banner piece.
7. Once you have all of your letter pieces cut, it's time to adhere them to your banner pieces. This is where you will need your glue – I used Aleene's Fabric Fusion Adhesive – and your foam sponge brush. Doing one letter and banner piece at a time, flip your letter over and add a generous layer of glue – enough to spread over the entirety of the letter, but not so much that it saturates the letter and soaks through to the other side. Use your foam sponge brush to spread the glue out to the edges of the letters.
8. Carefully place the letter in the center its corresponding banner piece, leaving enough space at the top for the twine, macrame cord or string to pass through the holes without covering the letter. Repeat this process for all 26 letters and set them aside to dry. Most glues indicate that two to four hours is enough time for drying, but I tend to err on the side of caution. For my 'no sew' projects, I typically allow them to dry overnight, ensuring that they are fully secure.
9. After your letters are dry and securely attached to the banner pieces, it's time to string everything together. I chose to do my banner in a set of three separate garlands so that I could hang them, one above the other, but you may wish to string your banner as one continuous piece. Weave your string through the holes until all of the letters are on the string.
10. Make a loop at the end of your string to hold the banner pieces in place and allow the banner to be hung on your child's playroom wall. Hang the completed banner using thumb tacks or a strong tape. Alien tape provides strong, double-sided adhesion without damaging your walls. It can also be removed and re-used.
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