How to Make a Save the Date Fabric Banner

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I recently had my engagement photos taken. I figured using them for our Save the Dates would be a great way to show off the professional photos taken of us while also keeping our Save the Dates relatively quick and easy. I’m planning on using Vistaprint to have a photo made into postcards to send to our guests. I’ve been known to go a little nuts with my craft project ideas, so I wanted to remove the DIY aspect from our Save the Dates as much as possible…

…but of course I had to turn it into a craft project even though I wasn’t actually hand crafting the Save the Dates. Enter the fabric banner! I thought it would be cute to have our date actually in the photograph (because typing it in later would have been too easy). Here’s how I did it:

Here’s what you need:

  • Fabric for the numbers and the background
  • Felt
  • Some sort of string/rope/ribbon to hang it all from
  • Printed numbers
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (or you can sew by hand)

Here’s what I did:

Step 1: First select a font you like, either one from Microsoft Word or a free font website. I can’t remember which one I chose, sorry! Type out the numbers you need in the font you like, scale them so they’re the right size, and print them out. Tip: Print it as a “draft” or with a lower quality to save ink, because you’ll be discarding the printed numbers later–they only serve as a template.

Step 2: Cut out your number templates, lay them flat against your chosen fabric, and cut them out of the fabric. Note: Make sure you lay the numbers face down on the wrong side of the fabric so that they face the correct way when you’re done.

Step 3: Now cut a rectangle to go with each number. I just measured based on the size of my numbers. You can change the size (or shape) of yours. Have fun with it!

Step 4: Once you have all of your rectangles cut, it’s time to attach the numbers. I decided to use Stitch Witchery so I didn’t have to worry about sewing around all those curves. You can learn how to use fusible fabric tape in this post about making a no-sew hem. I cut the tape to fit in my numbers, laid the tape on the wrong side of each number, set the yellow rectangle on top, and ironed it on.

Step 5: I cut rectangles out of felt that would be attached to the yellow rectangles, just to give the banner some sturdiness. I knew it would be billowing in the breeze, and I wanted it to lie flat in our pics (it ended up billowing much more than I thought it would. If you’re taking your engagement pics by a lake, don’t assume things will billow in the breeze; assume they’ll flail maniacally in the wind gusts). The felt rectangles should be longer than the fabric ones, because you’ll fold the top over to make a loop, which is where you’ll string the ribbon/rope through. Then sew the fabric to the felt.

Step 6: Make the loop I just mentioned (it’s more of a tube, really) and sew it down. Then make your spacers. I chose to cut hearts from my fabric and attach them to felt. I cut two little holes on the top of the hearts for the string to go through. Once you’re done stringing your rope/ribbon through all of the number loops and spacer holes, you might have to tie knots and/or employ your trusty glue gun and/or give up your first born in order to get the spacers to not bunch up under the weight of the numbers.

And here they are in action! Note: Heads have been decapitated to protect the innocent.

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

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