When I saw this tutorial on purlbee.com (they’re killing me with cuteness lately!) I knew I had a few projects in store using felt. Scoring a stash of fall colors on super sale at Joann’s was icing on the cake. I was able to purchase 3 inches of each color on sale for $2.99/yard. That comes to exactly $0.25/3 inches of each color. With 8 colors total that’s only $2.00 for the bulk of this project! I had an additional 15% off coupon so the felt technically cost me $1.70. I used sewing thread, cotton stuffing and purl cotton hanging thread that I already had on hand so this might have been the cheapest project on the face of the earth. 😉 Even if you have to go out and buy everything – it’s still pretty cheap and you get a lot of bang for your buck with the felt yardage even only buying 3 inches of each color.*
- 3 inches of each color of felt – I used 8 different “fall” colors. (*My Mom was NOT allowed to purchase just 3″ at her Joann’s across the state… I think that’s pretty weird considering I have bought single inches of by-the-yard fabric before without complaint. She was told there was a minimum purchase amount of maybe an 1/8th of a yard or something like that. Weird, but I guess rules are rules?)
- Matching thread: I used thread from this awesome box of gutermann rainbow thread– it contained almost PERFECT matches color wise to the felt I chose. I got the box years ago and just never really used it because I use so much regular old white thread. Happy accident! You could certainly use just one color of thread but I knew my stitches would be less than perfect and wanted them hidden as much as possible.
- Cotton stuffing – you can get this in fairly small quatities and you only need a little bit. The letters are only stuffed JUST enough to make them puff a bit.
- Chop stick, blunt end knitting needle, or blunt tipped pencil. This will help you get the stuffing into the little spaces of each letter.
- Purl cotton thread or other slightly thicker thread for hanging your banner (you could use normal thread too).
- Letter templates printed and cut out from The Purl Bee’s alphabet template.
- SHARP, pointy tipped, fabric scissors. These are essential to cutting out clean letters. They’ll be small… maybe just 4 or 5 inches tall.
1. Print out letter templates and cut out the following letters: F, A, L, I, N, G, O, R, and the heart. If you are doing a different word or want to just bang out all the letters for future projects, by all means, cut out all the letters!
Pictured above are a few more banners I’m working on in the just-cut-out stage. It’s also a good shot of those scissors- they are AWESOME for cutting felt!
2. Fold felt strips in half and lay a letter template on top. Use super sharp tiny scissors to cut around the the paper template and through two layers of felt at once. I did not think it was at all necessary to trace the letters onto the felt one by one. Just hold the template carefully, and cut both front and back of the letters at the same time. I used each color of felt once, then when finished, went backward with the colors to keep it symmetrical (does that make sense?) Eight colors ended up being the perfect amount of colors to do this, and I used the darkest brown for the hearts. (The hearts would be super cute done as leaf shapes instead!)
3. Hand stitch each letter together. For letters like O, A, and R, stitch the center hole closed first, then move on to the outsides of each letter. Stuff the letters AS YOU STITCH as it’s near impossible to stuff all the small parts once the whole thing is stitched.
I close up of my stitching. It’s by no means perfect but the felt and matching thread are really forgiving together so don’t worry about inconsistencies.
4. Use your purl cotton or other thread to string the letters together. Only put your needle through the back layer of felt/batting so the thread doesn’t show on the finished side of the banner.
That’s it! Find a pretty mantle, hang it and enjoy! I plan on sending these to my cousin who just started her freshman year of college and to my sister in law who just started her last- not going to toot my own horn 😉 (ok, I am) but I’m pretty sure these will be the cutest dorm and apartment decor on the block!
We hung our banner above my girls dollhouse which lives permanently in front of the fireplace. The dollhouse itself was handmade and painted by my brother, Nicholas, for the girls’ Christmas present. The wallpaper is real wallpaper from “Walls Need Love” that I cut to fit each room. The furniture came from a huge lot of dollhouse furniture on ebay that I washed and spray painted. It is definitely a most loved toy in our house! To find out how to build your own, click here and here.
Are you going to make a banner?! I want to see it if you do! Kind of obsessed over here…
Feltfully yours (it’s a thing),