Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chalk Cloth Banner!

A week ago I bought a few magazines that I haven't subscribed to in years. I stopped getting the magazines long ago cuz they made me feel bad. I hardly had time to read them let alone put the content to good use. But, all that has changed!! Now that I only have my little specialty fabric shop to work on I have time to be crafty again.
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Living Banner-Style Menu
So I took my magazines, a cup of hot chocolate, and got to reading. I started with Martha Stewart Living's November Issue and BAM!! I was struck with an inspiration. The butcher paper banner menu needed to be made out of chalk cloth!! Right?

The next day I got stitching. I decided to use my Simple Bunting tutorial -- which is really easy version of my Country Living Oilcloth Fair Flags --as a jumping off point. 

Photo Credit: Be Crafty and Recipe for Crazy
As I got about half way through with my banner I realized how silly I am. The inspiration for this project really comes from the super cute Leslie Zellers. She and Amanda (also very cute!) had just done this project at the Be Crafty Workshop in Nebraska the week before. DUH!!
Photo Credit: Be Crafty and Recipe for Crazy
Leslie's version is much simpler and requires no sewing. I suggest doing what you have time for.

For my version you need the following stuff:
  • 1/2 yard of Chalkcloth (TM)
  • 24" dowel round that is 1/4" in Diameter
  • Thread
  • Wide ruler, cutting mat and cutter
  • Chalk or chalk pen
  • Assorted string, ribbons, lace and pom pom trim to bling it out.
1. Fold your Chalkcloth (TM) in half lengthwise and lay it out on your table so the folded side is nearest you. Then use pattern weights to keep the chalk cloth from curling up on you.

2. Hand press a crease a fold into the Chalkcloth (TM) by running your hands up and down the fold a few times. You can use a few clothes pens to keep it secure if need be.

June Suggests: Straight pins can leave holes in chalk cloth so I suggest using these pinning methods instead.
3. True up the right hand corners and the edge of your Chalkcloth (TM) using a large/wide ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter. I like to use the grid markings on my mat to create a true line to start from. Line up your fold along the 1” line on your mat. Then place the ruler perpendicular to the 1” line. Make sure that your folded fabric doesn’t shift. Holding the ruler firmly in place cut a straight line cutting off about a quarter of an inch, or whatever it takes to get it even and true. Use a few binder clips to "pin" your side securely.

4. Now, flip your fabric upside down and repeat the last step on the other side of the fold. Cutting off just enough to true up the edge making the corners square and the edges even.
5. Find the center of your trued up chalk cloth and measure up 5", then use a pencil to make a small dot at this point. Fold up the Chalkcloth (TM) in half width wise, making sure not to hand press or make a deep crease. You will not want a fold line down the center of your banner. Place it on the cutting mat and with your ruler and cutter create an angled cut. Lay your ruler so it's going from the bottom banner (at the side) to the pencil dot in the center. This will create your notched banner.
6. At your sewing machine, sew a 1" casing along the top folded edge of your banner. This is where you will slid in your dowel rod. Then sew the sides and the bottom of your banner using a 1/4" seam allowance, making sure not to close up your casing at the top.

7. Now comes the fun part! I added a bit of glue and gold glitter to my dowel rod. You might notice that my dowel is not really a dowel rod but really a bamboo garden stake. I'm a big fan of using what I have, so when I didn't have a dowel long enough I grabbed the stake our of our shed instead. Sometimes you just have to make do, just to get things done. Now add a string and whatever bits of ribbon and trim you have in your scrap box to make is pretty! I used some of the pom pom trim that we sell in the shop. 

8. Chalk Art! For this project snagged a free Santa image of the old internet and dropped it into Illustrator and typed in my favorite Christmas saying. Not into Santa? That's cool, you could totally use some fun Hanukkah clip art instead. After I got the image looking just right I printed it out, it filled up an entire 8 1/2" x 11" page but it still wasn't big enough, so I enlarged it 200%. I took Emily Jeffords advise that she shared on the Indie Craft Parade blog. Basically, I ran a bunch of regular chalk on the back of the paper and transferred it on to the Chalkcloth banner. Then I used a chalk pen marker to enhance the image.

For my Thanksgiving banner I used chalk and drew out my bird free-hand. Then I used a chalk marker to fill out my sketch.

Chalk markers can be found at your local art and craft shop. Check back soon I hope to have more in stock soon.

See my blog post To cure, or not to cure, that is the question so you can see how to care for your Chalkcloth (TM)!

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season!

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