{Give Thanks} DIY Banner


burlap  |  one thick piece of paper to use as a tracer  |  ruler  |  pencil  |  scissors  |  cutting mat & rotary cutter (optional)  |  paint brush  |  acrylic paint  |  ribbon  |  tacky glue  |  scrap paper or newspaper

All that talk of Thanksgiving decorating the other day made me feel a lot inspired and a little bit like maybe I just needed one more piece of Thanksgiving décor to bring it all together in our house.  Our fireplace has been looking so lonely ever since I took my Halloween Trick-or-Treat pumpkin down, so I decided to make a “Give Thanks” Banner to string across it to help celebrate the upcoming holiday.  I’m happy to report that with the help of a bit of paint and glue and ribbon and burlap, it only took a couple hours [mostly drying time] to get the fireplace back to being its festive self.

Here’s how I did it:

1.  Using a ruler, measure out a tracer for the individual flags on your banner.  I made mine in a rectangle shape that was 5 inches across by 6 inches down.

2.  Place the tracer over the burlap and cut out 10 similarly sized pieces of burlap.  (It seemed like a waste of time to actually trace the rectangle onto the burlap and then cut it out, so I just cut around the tracer.  I happen to have a cutting mat and rotary cutter that made the job super easy, but good old scissors will work just as well.)

3.  Fold each flag in half the long way.  Measure an inch from the bottom of the flag and snip a diagonal so when you open the flag up, you have a “tooth” pattern.

4.  Type out your message in a Word Document.  Play with the fonts and sizes until you find a look you like.  I used Palatino font in size 300 for my “GIVE THANKS.”

5.  Print out your message using black lettering on plain white computer paper.

6.  One at a time, position your burlap over each letter so the letter is centered on the flag.  The wide weave in the burlap will easily allow you to see through the fabric to the letter beneath.

7.  Carefully paint over each letter using a small paintbrush with a flat edge.  I used My Studio’s Bittersweet Chocolate acrylic paint.

8.  Transfer to a clean sheet of scrap paper to let dry.

DIY Give Thanks Banner

9.  When dry, line the flags up in their proper order to gauge spacing.  I allowed between ¼ to ½ of an inch between each flag, and about the width of an extra flag between the words GIVE and THANKS.

10.  Cut a piece of ribbon to cover the length of your flags, plus one additional foot on each end.

11.  Tie each end of the ribbon into a bow.  Snip for clean, even ends.

DIY Give Thanks Banner

12.  Using tacky glue, glue the ribbon over the upper edge of the flags.  Make sure to place scrap paper underneath the flags because the glue will seep through the wide weave of the burlap while it is drying.

13.  Make an extra bow out of your leftover ribbon and glue it in the space between the two words.

14.  When dry, peel the ribbon off the paper and hang. 🙂


I made this banner up as I went, so here are some things I learned along the way {my “mis-crafts” as I like to call them}:

– The original tracer I made had the tooth pattern already cut into it, but after cutting out three flags and realizing they were all uneven, I scrapped this idea and went for the simple rectangles followed by the fold-over snip.

– If your printed letters are close together on the computer paper like mine were, make sure to use a paper towel to wipe off the letter you just painted over before moving on to paint the next letter/flag combination.  Because the burlap has such a wide weave, the paint will seep through the burlap and onto the computer paper you’re painting over.  After I painted my “G” I put my “I” flag down right next to it on the computer paper and ending up getting brown paint all over the back of the “I” flag.  Whoops.

– I love the way the hand painted letters look on the burlap, but it did end up being a bit more time consuming than I had anticipated.  If you love the look, but don’t want the hassle, I suggest buying wooden letters from the craft store, spray painting them a pretty color, and just gluing them on to the burlap for a cleaner, easier look.

– I used so much tacky glue to attach the ribbon onto the burlap that it was impossible to peel the banner off the paper underneath.  Instead, I had to violently rip the banner off the paper flag by flag.  Next time I would maybe try wax paper underneath for easier removal.

You live and you learn.  Here’s hoping you can learn from my mis-crafts!

This holiday season, I’m thankful for so many things.  For my friends and family and the love that we all share.  For good health and good food.  For a roof over my head and a beautiful home filled with too many decorations.  For the time and inspiration and motivation to make those decorations and to share it all with you.  For this lovely place we live and the new people we’ve met in just a few short months.  For each and every day filled with sun and sand and sea.  And even for those that aren’t.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I actually live here and this is my life.

What are you thankful for this holiday season?



10 thoughts on “{Give Thanks} DIY Banner

  1. this looks gorgeous – you could open your very own esty shop 🙂 i also like the idea of wooden letters though- or maybe fabric stickers? either way – despite the time – you got a great banner, lovely 🙂

  2. Pingback: Be Our Guest…Again | With Love, From California

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