Heralding the holidays, these colorful banners greet visitors at the street, by the front door, or in the house. These contemporary versions of medieval gonfalons have a banner-shaped backing of weatherproof fiber-glass screening ordinarily used in doors and windows. Our banners show a waving Santa, a Nutcracker rat, and a persimmon branch, but you can copy and enlarge any favorite image or printed message. Because the screening is almost transparent, the image seems to float in air.
To make these banners, simply paint, cut out, and sew canvas shapes to screening. The screening is sold by the foot in 2-, 3-, and 6-foot-wide rolls (30, 40, and 90 cents per foot) at most hardware and building supply stores.
Start by drawing a full-size paper pattern, then transfer it onto off-white artist’s canvas (available in craft and art supply stores) with fabric markers. Paint in the colors with acrylic or fabric paint. Iron the canvas flat (some fabric paints require heat to set them in any case). Follow the steps below to cut out and sew the fabric to the screen.
Finally, at the top and bottom of the screening, make a hem generous enough for a ‘/2-inch-diameter dowel. The top dowel should be wider than the banner and hang from fishing line or thread. The bottom dowel, cut to the banner’s width, unobtrusively keeps it hanging straight.