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The other day my kids and I put up our Christmas tree. Something about it still gets me excited every year. I love looking at all our ornaments, as we remember people who gave them to us or when we made them. And a twinkling and bright tree just makes my heart happy! So I decided to make a DIY Christmas tree banner template add-on to go along with my Celebrate! Banner pattern.
This project is a GREAT way to use up scraps of fabric and bias tape, as well as random beads left over from other projects. I used scraps from the red tablecloth used for my upcycled Christmas tree skirt, bits of non-fraying fuzzy green fabric used for my Peter Pan costume and some easy reusable gift bags, and red linen bias tape left over from my rainbow Ruby Wrap skirt.
What a cute and easy way to make a home merry in preparation for the holidays!
What do you say, want to give it a go? Keep on reading to find out how to sew this festive bunting with the Cucicucicoo free DIY Christmas tree banner template!
- Fabric yardage or scraps. Like I said, I used scraps that I already had left over from other projects for this banner. How much fabric exactly you need depends on what shape/size pennants you will make.
- Double fold bias tape. Any size is fine, but I prefer 12.5mm (½”) double fold. You can use storebought bias tape or make your own! I highly suggest you use the continuous bias tape method that I explain in this sewing lesson so that you will have a lot of bias tape in the perfect color without having to piece together a bunch of separate strips. The exact amount you need depends on how long your banner will be.
- Scraps of green fabric for appliqué Christmas trees.
- Heat’n’Bond Lite* for appliqué.
- Free printable DIY Christmas tree banner template file (My free printables, templates and patterns are available to all Cucicucicoo Newsletter subscribers. The Newsletter is sent out every two weeks and you can unsubscribe whenever you want. Sign up for the Newsletter here for access to dozens of free creative downloads! If you are already subscribed, check one of your old Newsletters or your welcome e-mail for the link and password.)
- Small beads, sequins, etc. for decorating the trees
- Adjustable bias binding foot (optional, but useful and fun! Mine is from Sewing Bee Fabrics)
- Celebrate! Banner pattern (optional)
Using the DIY Christmas tree banner template:
1. First, download and print the Christmas tree template. Like I mentioned in the Materials section, all of my free downloadable materials are available to anyone who signs up for the Newsletter. If you don’t want to sign up, no biggie, just draft out your own tree shape.
2. Draft out your banner shape, too, or just use one from the Cucicucicoo Celebrate! Banner pattern. The tree template has been created in four sizes to perfectly fit the four Celebrate! Banner sizes.
3. Place the Heat’n’Bond Lite* on top of the Christmas tree template, paper side up, and trace the size you prefer. Remember to trace one for each flag. My banner has five flags, so I traced five trees.
4. Iron the traced trees onto the back of the green appliqué fabric as per the Heat’n’Bond Lite* instructions. Then cut out each tree along the lines.
Preparing the flags:
5. Cut out two flag shapes per flag in your banner. So, for five flags, cut out ten pieces.
6. Peel off the paper side of the Heat’n’Bond Lite*, position each tree sticky side down onto the center of a flag piece, and iron in place, again according to the Heat’n’Bond instructions.
7. Zig zag stitch around the edges of each Christmas tree. (Read my machine appliqué sewing lesson if you don’t have much or any experience with this technique.)
8. Hand sew on beads, sequins, mini-bells or any other fun trims or items to decorate the trees. (The middle flag above shows what the back looks like at this point.)
9. Put one appliqued piece on top of a non-appliqued piece, right sides facing, and pin all sides together except for the flat top. (1 above)
10. Sew along the pinned sides with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance, then clip and notch any corners or curves. (2 above. See my sewing lesson on turning and topstitching to find out more about clipping and notching.)
11. Turn the flag right side out, pushing curves and/or corners out completely with a chopstick or other blunt point. (3 above)
12. Iron flat, then topstitch close to the sewn edges. (4 above)
13. Sew across the top, very close to the edge, just to keep it closed.
13. Repeat for all the flags. Now we’re ready to put the bunting banner together!
Putting it together:
14. Cut the length of double fold bias tape that you’ll need. Calculate the number of flags by the top width of the flags and then add extra for hanging. I usually add about 70 cm (28″) per side, but this time I added less because I was using up the bias tape that I already had.
You can finish off the ends of the bias tape in various ways, but this is the trick that I always use, which makes for a clean and easy finish.
15. Turn each end of the bias tape wrong side out along the center fold and pin it together. Then sew across the short edge with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance. (top image)
16. Trim the fabric close to the seam, then turn the bias tape right side out again, folding the raw edges back inside and pushing the corner out with something pointed, like a chopstick or the tips of your fabric shears. (bottom image)
17. Fold both the bias tape and the center flag in half to find the centers and mark them with pins.
18. Slip the center flag inside the bias tape so that the two pins match up (shown by the arrow). Make sure that the flag edge is right against the inside of the bias tape fold, then pin in place.
19. Continue slipping the other flags in to the left of the center flag, and pinning them in place. If you are using the adjustable bias binding foot, there’s no need to pin the flags to the right in place. (The arrow on the bottom image still shows the original center position.)
20. If you are using the adjustable bias binding foot, slip the left end of the bias tape into the slots and adjust the width of the foot to match the bias tape width. (See this lesson on using the adjustable bias binding foot if you are unfamiliar with using it.)
21. Sew down the length of bias tape, close to the open edge. After the sewing the center flag, you can just slip in each of the next flags one by one as you sew them, without bothering to pin them first. Stop sewing close to the other end of the bias tape.
22. Put your regular sewing machine foot back on, and sew the ends of the bias tape closed. If you have a special tag or label, you can stick it inside the bias tape before sewing it shut.
And you’re done! Isn’t that just so adorable and cheery? Perfect for adding some fun color to any room! And if you used scrap materials, like I did, it didn’t cost you anything to make!
So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to sew holiday bunting with this DIY Christmas tree banner template, sew one up for everyone on your giving list!
Speaking of giving, if you love colorful and joyful wrapped gifts under your Christmas tree, make sure you check out the Cucicucicoo Eco Gift Wrapping Guide! You will find all sorts of ways to create fabric gift bags and wrapping, as well as other techniques with reclaimed materials!
Don’t forget to check out the other tutorials and lessons (and the rest of the Bias Series) on the Cucicucicoo’s Learn to Machine Sew beginner’s sewing course!
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