When it comes to Halloween, I’m the type of person who contemplates costume ideas all year. I look forward to candy corn and wax-candy teeth, and I make huge messes carving pumpkins that look like robots. Needless to say, I love Halloween.
To get in the ghoulish spirit, I created a simple banner that can be whipped up in less than an hour. Here I used Halloween-themed phrases, but feel free to change it up for birthdays, holidays, parties, or anything else you feel like celebrating.
You will need:
9-inch-long fringe (I used 1 1/2 yards for the “Trick-or-Treat” banner and 1 yard for the “Boo” banner)
5/8-inch-wide double-sided satin ribbon (make sure it’s about 1 yard longer than the length of fringe)
Glitter foam paper
Hot glue gun
Pen or pencil
Computer with printer
Spray adhesive (optional)
Step 1: Pin the fringe to the ribbon.
Center the fringe on the ribbon with the fringe’s top edge even with the ribbon’s. You want the fringe’s finished edge to be on top of the ribbon. Add as many pins as you want to help keep the fringe secure. Position the fringe 18 inches from one ribbon end. Once you get it all pinned down, you should have 18 inches of ribbon left over at the opposite end.
Step 2: Stabilize and secure the fringe.
Keep the fringe out of the way while sewing with a bit of Scotch tape. To make it a little less sticky (that way it won’t snag or damage the fringe when you pull it off later), press it on your arm first to weaken the adhesive. Tape all along the fringe, close to the ribbon. Be careful not to tape over the ribbon area.
Step 3: Attach the fringe to the ribbon.
Using a straight stitch on the sewing machine, sew the fringe to the ribbon, backstitching at the beginning and end of the stitch to secure it in place. Sew down the center of the fringe’s finished edge. Make sure to brush the fringe out of the way as you sew. The tape should help do most of the job, but make sure to keep an eye on the fringe pieces, so they don’t accidentally get sewn to the ribbon.
Step 4: Remove the tape.
Pull the tape off the fringe, being careful not to damage it as you go. You don’t want to snag anything now that you have the fringe attached to the ribbon!
Step 5: Make the letter patterns.
Using a computer and printer, print out your phrase onto paper. I used Arial Black font at size 400. Once you get all of your letters printed, cut each one out.
Step 6: Transfer the letters to the glitter foam sheets.
Turn your glitter sheet over so that it’s face-down on your work surface. Next, place the letter patterns on the sheet’s wrong side. Make sure each letter is face-down (they’ll look backwards, but that’s okay since you’re looking at their back side). I like to place all of my letters out first before I trace them. That way I know I have enough sheets to cut them from. Tip: If you have temporary spray adhesive, you can use that to stick the letters to the sheet’s wrong side. Then you don’t have to trace them out before you cut. Just make sure you peel the paper letters off before you glue the glitter pieces to the fringe. Cut out all of the letters.
Step 7: Make the ghosts.
Print out the ghost pattern, which you can download here. Cut the ghost from the glitter sheet and glue on the eyes.
Step 8: Attach the letters to the banner.
Lay the fringe and ribbon flat, with all of the fringe pieces smoothed out. Arrange your letters the way you want them below the banner and space them out how you like (you can always use a ruler or tape measure to make sure you’re spacing things evenly). Once you get your letters spelled out correctly (double check!), hot glue each letter to the banner. Use only one thin bead of glue along the top edge of each letter so that it adheres to the fringe’s finished edge and ribbon ONLY. You don’t want the letters to adhere to the fringe pieces; keep those suckers wild and free!
All photographs by Nicole Smith.