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Friday, July 29, 2011

We Can Do Hard Things Muslin Banner

Well, after another unsuccessful attempt at painting the wooden plaque I finally gave up and moved on to a different medium. I imagine I'll go back to it later, because I still think it has great potential. I've just got to figure out the right method for painting. Live and learn right? :-)

Truthfully, every time I make something I feel like I go from seriously inexperienced crafter to at least a novice crafter. Generally, when I finish a project I'm ecstatic to have 1) finished it. and 2) stoked it actually turned out good enough to actually give to someone. They're never perfect, but I've not once yet had a recipient turn their nose up at my work. At least not to my face anyway.... Haha!

The project I'm sharing with you today is my fourth rendition of a muslin banner and I think my best yet. I'm getting more and more comfortable with my sewing machine, which I've only been using for a few months. And, I'm still pretty obsessed with the ease of fabric rosettes, so of course those are included too. And, for this project I got to play around with my Silhouette some more. It's getting a lot easier to use. And, I've learned there are two different levels of sticky on the mats. I was using the very stickiest with the lightest paper. Whoops.

Some very good friends of ours are packing up and moving eleven hours south. They've no doubt got some trials ahead of them, so I thought by making this banner I could encourage them in knowing they "can do hard things". I presented it with a letter about all the things I admire about them and it was the perfect going away gift and something they can use in their new home.

I started out with a large piece of muslin (14" x 40").

Then, I designed a stencil on my computer and used cardstock to cut out the stencil. So that the stencil would stay on the fabric as I painted, I sprayed a little stencil adhesive on the back. You can find these little aerosol cans in the stencil section of major craft stores. It worked perfectly. There was zero moving around and zero leakage around the letters. I folded the piece of fabric in half before I placed the stencils and then stuck a sheet of freezer paper between to keep the paint from bleeding though to the back piece of muslin. Because I started painting at midnight, I just allowed the paint to dry over night. I used a cheap acrylic paint, so if it had been the middle of the day, I'd have given it an hour and then went to work sewing.

The next morning I folded the fabric the opposite direction (so that the paint is on the inside) and then sewed up the three open sides being sure to leave a two inch gap so I could turn it right sides out. After turning it out I folded the top over approximately two inches and sewed a fun zig zag stitch across the top to make the loop to hold the dowel rod. Be sure and back stitch a teeny, tiny bit on each end so it won't unravel over time.

Done and...


Or, not....

It just looked unfinished to me.
So, I added a grouping of fabric rosettes.

Ahhhh....much better.

So, what do you think? Have you used this "we can do hard things" phrase with any of your projects? Be sure and leave a link if you have. I love seeing how others incorporate it into projects.

I'll be linking up to these great parties this week. Check 'em out!

Hope you all have a GREAT weekend!


  1. I really like this. It's so encouraging! Thank you for linking to Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

  2. Turned out great! Great idea! Thanks for linking up with Lemon Tree Creations today!

  3. very cute! Love the rosette's!

  4. Hi, friend! You've got so much creativity and I'm admiring them all. Can you please share your creative posts at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :).