Handmade Fabric Autumn Banner

I love fall, but I don’t have a ton of autumn- or Halloween-themed home decor. To keep my holiday decorating contained and manageable, I usually create a little “altar” of decorations. For autumn it’s candles and pumpkins. For Christmas it’s our little tree with lights.

This year I decided to create a small fabric banner that I could hang at my altar and reuse in the future. This mini tapestry now hangs where a Christmas tree would, and nicely fills the vertical space.

I used only scrap fabric I already had.

  • tie-dye: from a maxi skirt that I altered into a mini skirt
  • chevron print: from new pillowcases I sewed earlier this year
  • black & white print: from a sample fabric swatch of a print I made for Soul Flower
  • plain black fabric: an old t-shirt of Rob's that I cut into rags

The fringes I made by cutting thin strips of the knit fabric and stretching them a bit. Knit fabric tends to curl when you pull on it, creating the perfect fringes!

The twine pieces are from a roll of jute(?) string I’ve had for years. Surprisingly, it comes in handy for a lot of things. I’ll have to buy more when it runs out.

The letters I cut out of black t-shirt fabric and stitched on. Knit fabric is a pain to work with like this! It curls up like crazy. I struggled with “Happy” but learned for “Autumn”: I coated the backside of it with Elmer’s glue and let it dry before cutting out the letters. Glue acts as a sizing to the fabric, adding stiffness and preventing it from curling. Worked like a charm!

I sewed everything with my old sewing machine, except the blanket stitching around the edges (which I did by hand).

I painted the pumpkin with acrylic paints, starting with a white base and a second coat of orange. The white behind helped the orange paint pop, instead of getting lost into the black background. Drew the pumpkin lines on with orange Sharpie.

It’s the perfect addition to my little autumn altar!

Handmade Fabric Autumn Banner ⇒ Creatively Operating, leiahmjansen.com, @oleiah

I’m an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer based in Washington, DC. Currently working as an in-house designer creating artwork for apparel, gifts, and paper products.

I love vegan pizza, autumn, high-up views of a city, sunsets that look like gradients, watching movies I’ve already seen, hand-drawn signage, and all-black outfits.


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