Tutorial: How to sew an easy pennant banner (and a no-sew option)

Written by contributor Tiffany Larson.

Pennant banners add color and fun to a space and are a great way to dress up a party. I most recently made several for our annual Halloween dinner and they could not be any easier.

If you followed along with Simple Homemade’s Sewing School, you have the basic sewing skills needed to make a pennant banner in 5 easy steps. Here are a few items to round up beforehand to make two 3-foot long banners and an almost 2-foot long banner:

Step 1: Cut the fabric

1.  Each 1/4 yard of fabric will measure approximately 9″ x 44″ and will yield 5 total pennants (a total pennant = 2 pieces back to back)
2.  Fold the fabric in half and using your tape measure or ruler (it should now be approximately 9″x 22″), cut the fabric piece to be exactly 9″ x 21″.

NOTE: Don’t worry if your fabric was cut incorrectly and it is not 9″ wide, we can hide that later.

3.  Using your tape measure or ruler, mark one length of the fabric every 7 inches.

4.  Using your tape measure or ruler,  mark the other length of the fabric as such:

  • first mark at 3.5″
  • second mark at 10.5″
  • third mark at 17.5″

5. Using scissors or rotary cutter, cut the fabric from pin to pin, diagonally, making 5 sets of pennants, each measuring 7″ wide by 9″ long.

6. Follow steps 1-5 for each piece of fabric. When you are done, you should have 30 total pennants cut out.

Step 2: Sew pennants together

1. Make sure each pennant (made up of 2 pieces back to back) are lined up with each other. Pin together, if necessary. Mine stuck together well enough that I did not need to.

2. Sew the pennant pieces together by starting at one top corner, sewing with a straight stitch (or choose a fun stitch, like zig-zag) down one side, pivoting at the bottom point, and sewing back up the other side. You can back stitch at the beginning and end if you would like but it’s not necessary as we will be sewing this end into the bias tape.

Step 3: Pin pennants to bias tape

Bias tape typically comes in a package of 3 continuous yards. I highly recommend the extra-wide, double-fold bias tape for this project, you should be able to find it in your local craft store near the thread.

1.  Lay one length of bias tape on on the floor (you may want to iron it first) and stretch it out.  Starting at 11.5 inches in from one side of the biast tape, take 12 of your pennants and lay them, top corner to top corner, along the length of the bias tape.  Rearrange until you find a pattern you like.

2.  Once you have an arrangement you like, open the bias tape and put each pennant into it, up to the fold.

3. Choose a pinning method (I personally use method B) and pin the pennants into the bias tape.  When you are done, you should have about 11.5 to 12 inches of bias tape on each end to use for hanging.

NOTE: If you have any pennant pieces that aren’t quite 9 inches long, you can “hide” that here by not pinning the piece all the way to the fold of the bias tape.  However, you need to make sure you ‘catch’ those pieces when you sew down the bias tape in Step 4 below. Honestly, these fun and quirky pennants don’t have to be perfect and different lengths add to the character!

4.  Follow steps 1-2 for the two 3-foot pennant banners.  You will have 6 remaining pennants that you can make into a shorter, almost 2-foot banner. You will want to pin it into the bias tape using steps 1-2 but you will need to cut off the extra bias tape from one side.

Step 4: Sew pennants to bias tape

Using a straight or zig-zag stitch, sew along the bias tape starting at one end and going all the way to the other side. You can pull pins out along the way, if necessary. I use the edge of my presser foot to keep a straight line and this provided an appropriate seam allowance.

Step 5: Hanging pennants

Using the extra bias tape on each end, hang the pennants from ceilings, tables or around windows and mantels. I have used several methods to hang them:

  • sewing pins (carefully) hammered through the bias tape ends into the wall or fence
  • wrapping the bias tape ends around the edge of a table and using making tape under the table to stay
  • 3M removable mounting tape  or Command Mini Hooks for mantels

No-sew option

If you don’t have a sewing machine, don’t worry – you can do still this project using the same steps but with a few different materials.

1. Follow all the directions in Step 1 above.

2. Instead of sewing the pennants together in Step 2 above, use fusible webbing. You will put it between the two pennant pieces and them iron them together.

3. Instead of using bias tape, you could punch 2 holes through the top of each pennant and thread them onto a ribbon or twine or you could use fabric glue to adhere them to a ribbon.

4. If you want to use the bias tape, follow all the directions in Step 3 above.  Then put Stitch Witchery inside the bias tape, iron and you have a fused bias tape.

Who’s made a pennant banner? Show it off by posting a link in the comments.  For those of you that haven’t made one, do you think you can using this tutorial?   What will you make one for?

About Tiffany

Tiffany can’t remember a day of her childhood spent inside. She was riding bikes, rollerblading, building forts or playing in the snow. Her mother raised her on healthy food before it became popular and only when she had her first child, did the importance of a healthy lifestyle become a priority again. She is passionate about passing on her love for the outdoors and a healthy lifestyle to her two young children and her family spends their free time on the snow, water, dirt or road! She also loves interior design, reading, playing tennis, photography and has a small obsession with coupons. Tiffany can be found on Facebook at Mommy Goes Green and as a contributor at The Creative Mama


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