Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Winging Banner

Another tradition within the winging community is a winging banner. I decided to make Lane's banner and document the process. It wasn't easy to track down instructions and I have friends who will be making banners in the coming months, so I thought it was a good way to show the work that went into it and the "how to" make the banner.
What you need for the banner:
Canvas for the actual banner - the size of the banner that I made is 54in x 36 in
Felt for the letters
Felt for the border {I used yellow} - about 1/2 a yard should do
Gold pleather for the wings - 1/4 yard should be ok {they end up being about 3ft tip to tip and about 12in high}
File to enlarge for the wings. {if you need this, email me ( with "wings of gold file" as the subject and I will send you the file I have *they are the wings for the Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps. The Air Force wings are different*}
Brand new sharpie
Black paint pen
Letters traced onto the white felt. "CONGRATULATIONS" is in size 300 font, the rest of the wording is done in size 200 font. All lettering is done in the same font, which should be one without many curves - a very clean line font - because it is then easier to cut out.
To trace the letters, I taped the letters to the window and dotted them with a sharpie onto the felt.
Trace the wings onto tissue paper with a sharpie. No need to get exact thickness of the lines, just a simple trace with a single thin line.

Once the tissue paper is traced, I cut around the wings and taped the tissue paper to gold pleather in order to trace them again...yes, trace them again! This time use a NEW black sharpie so that the ink bleeds through the paper onto the pleather.
Top left set of wings is the orginal file that was used to start tracing from. The bottom right (cut off) is the tissue paper wings that I traced over again with the sharpie. The center wings is what you end up with after using the sharpie to trace the tissue paper and remove the tissue paper.
Last set of tracing! You now go over the sharpie wings with  pain pen directly on the pleather. This sharpens up the lines and makes it look better. The lines now pop and the next step is to cut out the wings with about .25 inches between the cut edge and the black line.
Cut your yellow felt in the length (54 inches) and the width (36 inches) of the banner 5 inches thick. I cut mine 6 inches with anticipation of hemming the felt, but decided against the hem, so then had to cut the extra inch off. The felt is not a fabric that will fray and I attached it to the banner with glue, so I didn't see the need to hem it. You will need 2 of each the 54in and the 36in borders.
The top set of border fabrics are the 36in and the bottom set is the 54in.
Lay out your canvas in preparation to cut it to the 54x36 size. {Make sure you have all the help you can get!}
Use the straight edges if you can to ensure that you get true 90 degree angles for the corners. {Notice I had to change locations because of all the help I was getting!}

Fold the border pieces in half, one at a time, and iron them so they're easier to place on the edges of the canvas.
Glue the border pieces onto the canvas with the fold that you ironed into the felt at the edge of the canvas. You will have half of the felt on the front and half on the back of the banner. {I used mod podge for fabric, but you can use hot glue, iron on adhesive, other fabric adhesive, or you can actually sew it all together - just follow the instructions for whatever you use!} After you glue the border on the canvas lay out all of your letters and wings before gluing them down to ensure that they're centered and level {and that you have all the letters/numbers that you need - I was missing 2 numbers! Oops}
I finally cut out the 3 and the 0 and got them hot glued onto the banner.
Lane helped me cut through all FIVE layers of fabric to put the eyelets on the top 2 corners of the  banner. I got these at a fabric store and we just followed the instructions on the back of the eyelets package to attach them.
The finished banner picture will have to wait! Lane has one flight left {scheduled for tomorrow} and he won't let me hang it until he's officially done. I know why, but now that its done, all I want to do is hang it for all to see! I do promise to post a final banner picture {lots of them probably!} soon. I'm not promising when I'm going to post it because I have a to do list a mile long for tomorrow and then family rolls in each day until the winging ceremony on Friday! {Can you believe it? Friday?!?! That's only 3 days away!!!!!!}

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