Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quick no-sew project: Banner from stained pillow case

I found a stained pillow case this morning. Apparently, someone had a nose-bleed, didn't notice it stained the pillow case and the stain set. We washed it multiple times. The stains are permanent.

Rather than toss it, we used it to make a quick banner for Sukkot.

We have been enjoying "home camping" -- perhaps "un-camping" for the past four years, so we're always on the lookout for quick, cheap, and easy projects.

This project is suitable for a day camp, school, or large family.

Materials used:

  • stained pillowcase
  • dowel
  • two beads that fit on the ends of the dowel
  • ribbon
  • duct tape
  • fabric paint

Turn the pillow case inside-out and trim the seams to yield a large rectangle.

The hem at the opening of the pillow case, where the pillow enters, will be the bottom of the rectangle.

On the wrong side of the fabric, duct tape the sides to finish the edges. This is a no sew project because we're in the nine days, and also because my sewing machine is broken.

Duct tape should hold up to rainy weather.

In this project, I used clear duct tape for the side edges, and regular duct tape for the dowel sleeve. (There was no reason to do it this way; I was just using whatever I had on hand.)

Tape the sides to make a smooth, finished edge.

Create a sleeve to hold a dowel:

  1. Fold over the top, and tape it with duct tape.
  2. Fold it over again, and tape it also with duct tape.
  3. Insert the dowel.
  4. Add beads to the end of the dowel. This prevents the banner from slipping from the dowel.

I happened to have a dowel handy. Any stick will do. Use a branch for a natural look, or a wire from a coat hanger.

If something other than a dowel is used, rubber-bands or duct tape wrapped around the tips can substitute for the beads at the edges. It is particularly important to do this for a banner intended for a sukkah, as it will be subject to wind.

Here is the blank banner, stains and all...

Cut a length of (weather-hearty) ribbon, allowing for plenty of slack for knot-tying.

Wrap the ribbon around the end of the dowel, near the bead.

It should wrap a few times on either side of itself. This step prevents the ribbon knot from sliding toward the middle of the dowel (and scrunching up the banner) when the weight of the banner hangs from it.

You're probably wondering why my dowel bead is smiling. It was left over from a previous doll making project. It fit the dowel perfectly.

I intended to paint over the faces in order to use the beads for this project. When it was finished, I liked the whimsical look of the smiles. So I kept them smiling.

After the ribbon is wrapped around the dowel on both sides (of the ribbon, wrap it multiple times around itself and make a knot.

(A square knot is recommended, but not critical.)

Here is the blank (well, stained and unpainted) pillow case banner hanging from a nail on the side of my house.
Now the fun part: It's time to paint!

(The text is Jeremiah 14:8, which is referenced by Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria in Pirkei Avot 3:22.

Here's a nice interpretation by by Ariel Belson at the OU.)

4 comments, so far. Add yours now!

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Miriam said...

How creative! ingenious. Is that your daughter painting?

Juggling Frogs said...


Thank you! Yes, that's Hannah. She had fun with this project.

Since we're in Av's laundry purgatory, I'm finding all sorts of things at the bottom of my linen closet!

Anonymous said...

Smart idea...goes to show what I know. I would have thrown the thing out.

And what a cute model you have too! :)

Orthonomics said...

Great projects. I can't wait until we have our own sukkah to decorate.

If you liked this article, congratulations! You have great taste. Please brew yourself a cup of coffee.
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