Sunday, March 6, 2011

Play Ball!!! A Team Banner Tutorial

In my neck of the woods 'tis the season for Spring Baseball.  Though my boys aren't playing ball this season, I was asked to make a team banner just like the one I made for Jack's T-ball team last year. 

I always get a little nostalgic when I make these felt banners. My mom used to make them for my Softball team when I was younger... one of them was the Purple Pandas...such great memories

Is Spring Ball starting in your area too?  Do you happen to need a team banner for your local little league?? I'll show you how I made mine.  It's all made out of felt and dimensional fabric paint, which means it's cheap and cute. Under $10 for supplies and just a few hours of your time.

This banner can be strung on a rod, for opening day marching purposes or tied to a fence for game day pride. The finished measurements are about 2 1/2 ft X 5 ft.

For a banner like this you'll need:
Get started on the banner: Cut your felt to measure 3 ft X 5 ft.  On the two long sides fold up the fabric 3 inches and pin in place. 
 Stitch about 1/8 in from the raw edge (I used a zig zag stitch).  This will make a casing in the top and bottom which allows you to run a rod through it on the top or bottom if needed, it also adds stability.  Iron out the wrinkles and fold lines with a medium warm iron (steam is good).
Then cut the ribbon into 20 in. lengths and sew them onto each corner and in the middle of the top edge with a zigzag stitch.

Next: Make the LOGO
Find the image you want to copy and insert it into MicroSoft Publisher (it usually comes with MS Word and Power Point) or another similar computer program that allows you to print in "poster format". (your home printer may have this as an option as well)  

In MS Publisher choose "Blank Publication" then "Poster" to set up your page. Edit 3/16: I have a much newer (2013) version of Publisher now. The Poster template that prints 9 pages at a time is "Banner 24 in. x 24 in.'' You can find this template by clicking "Size" the "Page Design" menu

Insert your image and rotate and enlarge it to fill the space as desired.  The "Poster" format will print as large as nine sheets of paper. If you need your logo larger, print the image in two sets and match them up (or select a larger Poster template).  Click "print preview" to see how your image will print on the pages... from here you can get an idea of how big it will turn out as well.  

To save ink, before printing I adjusted the color on the image to be washed out. The "washout" function is found inside the "Format Picture" menu inside "color". On the newer version of publisher change the color of the image by right clicking the picture, select "Format Picture", go to the "Recolor" area of the "Picture" tab, click the gray "Color Scheme" on the drop down menu that says "no color". 

Alternatively, some printers let you choose a grayscale option when printing. Mine won't so I had to go in and recolor the picture before printing.

After a couple of printings this is what I ended up with.

Next, tape together all your papers and cut out the logo as you want it look when finished.

Take each section and cover the back with masking tape circles.

Stick it onto your accent felt scraps and push down on a flat surface firmly.

You might be tempted to trace around the felt with a pen but don't you'll end up with an inky mess and a sub par line to cut. Instead, carefully cut around all the paper with sharp scissors and you'll get a perfectly cut logo. Carefully remove the paper and fix any imperfections that are bothering you.

I then took the logo and stuck it to another scrap of felt with tacky glue.  I usually lay the logo flat and then lift up sections to glue. That way the image doesn't get distorted you'll have less of a glue mess on your hands.  Note: Tacky Glue sticks felt to felt beautifully but if your banner will ever be sitting in the rain long enough to get soaked the glue may loosen.   Since our league never plays when it's raining, Tacky works! The banner will definitely hold up all year, ours did.

Then I cut around each edge leaving about a 3/8 inch white trim.

 I also made a Baseball to represent each player. These balls are about 5 inches in diameter, I traced a small bowl to get it.

To make the lacing, get out your dimensional paint.

I drew lines on the ball with pencil where I wanted the lacing to be and with the tip of the paint I made a series of crosshatch lines like this..

Pretty soon it looks like this, and before long you'll get the hang of it... it actually goes really fast.

Set them aside and let them dry. Lastly put the finishing touches on the rest of the Logo.  I just tried to copy what I saw in the image.  I traced the edges of the logo with black dimensional paint.

Then added the detail to the tomahawk.  The yellow is dimensional fabric paint as well, but make sure to let one color dry before adding another.  I drew the outlines first then filled in the yellow.

When everything is dry, position it all on your banner and glue away.

Next I wrote everyone's name above their ball.  But look, I smeared this one. Not to worry. felt is forgiving.  Don't try to wipe it off, just let it dry.

When it's dry you can carefully peel it up and snip it out of the felt with scissors

 That's better!

Here is the finished one from last year where I added everyone's number made out of felt as well.

And that's that!! You'll have all the other parents oohing and aahing over it.  You can do it!!

If you make a banner I would love to see it!!


  1. Super cute! Love the tutorial!

  2. Thank you so much!!!! I have looked for something like this for a week. You have saved opening day!!!

  3. Thank you soooo much for the inspiration. Our banner was a big hit at opening day! Here's the finished product.!/photo.php?fbid=2018988713395&set=a.2018988673394.2122996.1204209803&theater

  4. Here's another link if that doesn't work.

  5. Nicole thanks for the new link, I couldn't get the first one to work. Your banner turned out so great!!! Great layout too!!

  6. Thanks for the inspiration! I made my FIRST banner ever! I have a picture of the in-progress here:

  7. thanks for the inspiration here is the one I made for our T ball league

  8. Would a glue gun work as well? I tried fabric glue but it isn't sticking!

    1. A glue gun would work too. I used tacky glue which is thicker than fabric glue I think. Good luck!

  9. Thank you so much for your tutorial!

    1. That looks really nice! Well done!

    2. Hey Kristin. Sorry to have missed this Your Rangers banner turned out amazing. Way to go!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Thank you so much for the tutorial!! I am working on my first banner ever and I'm having loads of fun and anxiety at the same time! I've tried using fabric glue too which does not seem to work at all... I'm going to try get some tacky glue if it'll stick felt on felt for sure!

    1. Good luck! Tacky Glue is the way to go. Hot glue works too but you have to work fast. Post a link to your photo when you are done. I'd love to see it!

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  12. which poster template did you use?? there are several.

    1. Hi Blanca, I have a much newer version of Publisher now and it looks like the Poster Size template that prints out 9 pages at a time is the "Banner 24 X 24" Template. Hope that helps. I will try to update the tutorial. Good Luck!! I hope your banner turns out great!

  13. Several seasons later and still using your tutorial.

  14. Hi
    Looking to make a banner for fate but need something to last the weather as it will hang for several days prior. Any suggestions would be great.

    1. If the banner will hang for several days you may want to consider purchasing a custom banner. If you choose to save money and make it out of felt I would use a permanent fabric glue. I don't have one to suggest though. Perhaps Hot glue would work. Good Luck!!