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Guest Project — Make a Back to School Banner!

Hi to all of you wonderful TT & J readers!
I’m Sarah from Restorative Living and I’m so grateful to Jen for allowing me to share this tutorial with you today!
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Today I’ll be sharing my Alphabet Pennant Banner, but first, I want to share with you the inspiration for this project. 
My friend, Chris, has been volunteering with a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life – both physically and spiritually – for people living in Nicaragua. Recently, he moved to Nicaragua to dedicate 9 months of his life to this cause. He’s living within the impoverished community, helping run the organization’s preschool and administering meals to starving families. When he explained the impact this organization is making, I couldn’t help but be moved.
Until a few weeks ago I hadn’t thought about Nicaragua. I knew there was pain there, poverty, malnourishment, and a lack of education, but I wasn’t doing anything about it. Our friend, Chris, however, is doing something.
The organization’s preschool, with limited resources, is changing the community. Students who attend receive a meal (likely the only meal they’ll eat that day), start their education, and learn about God. As I listened to his story, I thought about my friends here in Texas who had just prepared their classrooms. I remembered their cute bulletin boards and curriculum ideas, and the joy that a well-organized and decorated classroom brought them. I couldn’t help but think that the teachers of this Nicaraguan preschool would feel the same joy in adding functional decoration to their classroom as well.
Now, whether or not God needs me to make an alphabet pennant banner for this preschool in Nicaragua, who knows? But what I do know is that He wants us to love his children in Nicaragua. This banner is my attempt to show them God’s love. I hope you enjoy this quick and easy tutorial. Who can you share this banner with?
I started with fun, bright colors.

Using a Google search, I found a triangle pennant pattern here and traced it onto a folder to make a template. Then I traced it onto my fabric.
I used pinking shears to keep the fabric from raveling and to save time. In the end, I like the way the cut edges look. Then I laid out the cut pieces and decided my pattern.
I used Adobe Illustrator (but you could use paint.net or Word) to make the alphabet stencils. Each letter is approximately 2″x2″ to fit appropriately on the flags. Hmm…time to buy a new ink cartridge.
I cut out each letter, then used them as templates and traced them (backwards!!) onto Wonder Under. It’s cheap and you can find it by the yard at fabric stores.
Following the instructions on the Wonder Under, I adhered the traced letters to a scrap piece of brown fabric I had on hand. I highly advise ironing the letters on in blocks. If you cut each one out BEFORE you iron it on to the fabric, you’ll have a difficult time cutting the fabric around it and waste a lot of time.
After cutting out the letters, and ironing them on to the flags, it was time to sew them all together. I sewed them left to right onto 7/8″ grosgrain ribbon, leaving about a foot of extra ribbon on each end for tying. The flag placement is easy to eyeball, so I recommend not using pins. After sewing the length of each flag, it’s important to put your needle down and lift your presser foot to add the next flag.
You can see here that the flags are right-side down and lined up with the edge of the ribbon. Don’t forget to back stitch at the start and finish to lock your threads, and to use Fray Check on the ends of your ribbon so they won’t ravel away over time.
And that’s it!
You’ll notice a few extra letters since this is the Spanish alphabet. I was so relieved when my husband reminded me about that. And I minored in Spanish! How embarrassing would that have been?!

This truly was an easy project to whip out over the weekend. Solid cotton fabrics and grosgrain ribbon made it a cheap one as well. My total for the entire project was around $5.

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As I sewed, I prayed for the Nicaraguan children who would be looking at this alphabet almost every day. It’s just a few strips of fabric, a few hours of work, a measly few bucks invested. But I hope that this one small contribution will impact their lives. That it will speak to the teachers who receive it, that they will feel appreciated, loved and prayed for.

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From one child of God to another.

 Thank you for taking the time to read this post! For more sewing, recipes, DIY, furniture refinishing ideas, and my general musings, stop by my blog, subscribe to my feed or become a follower: restorativeliving.blogspot.com
I’d love to hear from you!

How wonderful!
Thank you so much for sharing it with us!
I love how simple and easy it is but so colorful! 
I am sure the children in Nicaragua will love it.
I just love Sarah — she is the sweetest person.
Restorative Living Blog
Check out her blog and you will see how creative she is!
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{Placemat Pillows}
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{Ruffled Burp Cloth and Blanket}
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{Mommy’s Non-Diaper Bag}
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nJUXOdrrwCg/TBzt3lEtSOI/AAAAAAAAAT4/dUuszvig5MI/s1600/full+below_after.jpg
{Garage Sale Table Redo}
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{Fabric Crayon Roll}
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{Clearance Tray to Magazine Rack}
Such wonderful, creative projects!!
Thanks again for stopping by, Sarah!
XOXO

Comments

  1. Katie @ http://www.smworkshop.com says:

    Great pennant project! I know just the party to use that for…my son's first bday!

  2. Kelli @ RTSM says:

    Such a cute project! I was wondering what the little n was all about…it is obvious I know nothing about Spanish:)

  3. Hammond Bride says:

    What a fantastic blessing! Thank you so much for sharing!!! There are tears in my eyes just thinking of the children you will bless with your love. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  4. Rachel@oneprettything.com says:

    That is so much fun! Thanks so much for the great idea, I'll be linking to this.

  5. Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com says:

    Thanks for such a fun tutorial Sarah! I love your blog and projects!

    xox
    Jen

  6. That tray/magazine rack is AWESOME.

  7. mrssherbert says:

    Thank you for introducing me to yet ANOTHER wonderful blog.