There is something so fun and collegiate about a felt pennant displayed on your wall. The sense of connection, of belonging to something and showing you’re love for your tribe, is a powerful pull. Plus, pennants are a great decorating accent.
While I’ve never had the urge to display any from my actual alma maters, I came across one that aligned well with my love of all things Maine. I picked up this Maine themed pennant from one of my favorite local Portland shops Pinecone and Chickadee. They have a fun, eclectic mix of home goods and personal accessories.
I hung the pennant in the mudroom above our deer antler coat racks. The coat racks were a previous home craft project and a shout out to my Dad. They’re also incredibly functional.
But, that pennant has been looking a little lonely lately. I feel like my love for Maine can’t be contained to just one pennant. I needed to go big. While I searched online and at brick and mortar stores for a while, I just never found another pennant that matched the look I envisioned in my head. I needed something a little more personal. It was time to get out the sewing scissors and give applique a shot.
Here’s how I made some fun new companion pennants for my entry way.
Since I knew the space I wanted to fill, I started by measuring the rectangular spot above the deer antlers and then marking off a space that size in my work area so I could play around with the size and location of the pennants. I used blue painters tape to mark the borders. It was larger than the surface I was using so I had to improvise and tack some cardboard onto the end.
I started with my existing pennant. I knew I wanted one of equal size to balance the space so I made a template in the same size by tracing the pennant onto some paper and cutting out the pattern. I played around with the scale to create some additional smaller templates.
Now it was time for some fun. I had bought various colors of felt and I started trying out different color combinations for my pennants until I found the ones that I liked.
After my colors were finalized, I started creating my designs. I didn’t know what I was going to do ahead of time and this project really drove itself which was fun and is not always how the creative process works for me. Initially, I was planning to use different messaging as you can see by my lake pennant in some of the images, but in the end I decided staying closer to the central theme of Maine pulled the different pieces together better and made it a more cohesive display.
I created my designs in a few different ways.
- For most of the lettering, I printed out the text and font that I liked on my computer and then pinned it to the back of the fabric to hand cut it out of the felt.
- I used a similar technique for my state of Maine applique. I printed out a simple image of the state selecting one without too many details. I needed something simple enough to cut in felt.
- For the pine tree, I actually already had a felt tree applique that I had picked up years ago at a yard sale. I liked the general shape but the color was wrong so I used it as a pattern to cut it out of my green felt.
- I had some letter stickers that worked well as a template for my “ME” letters.
- I free handed all of my hearts and decided to use that design in multiple locations to help tie the pennants together.
- I finished by adding a few final decorative striped elements.
It took me a few days to finalize the designs and layout that I liked which is typical of my creative process. I like to leave some time between steps so I can come back and look at the design again with fresh eyes. It’s a theme you’ll see throughout this A to Z Challenge.
Once I was satisfied with my pennants, I used fabric glue to adhere all of the elements. I debated sewing around the edges but decided to see how the glue holds up first.
I transferred the pennants to the mudroom placing the two largest anchor pieces first and then filling in the smaller ones. It made it easier to keep the design I had worked out in place during the transfer to the wall. I hung them up using painters tape on the back. This also gave me some leeway to tweak the final locations of the pennants which I did end up doing on a few of them.
I am happy with the final look. It’s much more of a cohesive statement now. I love it when a project comes together the way I envisioned it in my head. That is not always the case but this one was a definite win.
Now there is no doubt to anyone entering my house about my love for all things Maine.
Have you ever decorated with pennants?
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2021. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Craft Projects for my Home. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.