Ways to say I love you – DIY Pennants

Since February is traditionally the month of love (Valentine’s Day and all that), I’ve been trying to focus more on spending time with my loved ones, and especially on sending lots of love their way to make sure they know how much I care.

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There’s lots of different ways to say ‘I love you’ – you can say ‘are you warm enough?’, you can say ‘you’re the best’, you can say ‘be careful’, or ‘come back safe’ – I spend most of my time telling my sister she’s lame for answering her phone on the first ring (she does this all the time, it’s so funny and I always tease her for it) and I tell my flatmate Tom to f*ck off at least ten times a day. I tease my Mum for being a stalker if she texts me more than three times in a row (says more about my skills at replying than her texting habits, really) and all this is just my way of telling these people that I love them.

So I decided to make a declaration of love to a few of my girl friends – and you can too! Here’s how I did it.

First, choose a non-stretch, pale fabric like a thin canvas or linen. (The material that bed sheets are made out of is perfect for this project – just saying #studentlife) Sketch a template for your pennants on an A4 piece of paper – a simple rectangle with a point at the bottom. Don’t forget to include an extra centimetre on all sides for your ‘hem’, and leave lots of space at the top to create a pocket for your dowel. I decided to use a chopstick to hang my pennants. I know it sounds a bit silly but they’re the perfect length and shape, and they’re much cheaper and easier to source than lengths of dowel rod.

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Cut out your template, and trace it onto your fabric. Cut this out too, and then iron down the hem on each side before carefully sewing it down with a simple straight stitch. For the top, another straight stitch, this time leaving room to slip your dowel (or chop stick) inside so that you will be able to hang your finished pennant.

Now for the fiddly bit – draw or print a template for your chosen phrase, making sure that all the letters will fit inside your pennant, and then trace them onto black felt. I used felt with an adhesive back which saved me a ton of sewing – but if you decide to use this felt and trace your letters onto the peel-off adhesive paper on the back, don’t forget to draw them backwards so they will turn out the right way around (I found that out the hard way). Now, get to cutting out your letters. You could use an x-acto knife but I found that a sharp pair of scissors gave me much more control. Just a hint – you might want to choose a short phrase, because cutting out twenty nine tiny characters will take you about a year and a half!

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Now all that’s left is to stick or sew your felt letters onto your pennant. Even if you use adhesive felt you may like to add a few stitches for stability, but I chose to skip this step because the pennants are going to be hanging on the wall, and not experiencing any wear and tear. Add some string to get these beauties ready to hang, and then send them off to your buddy with a sweet note and lots of love!

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However you say ‘I love you’, make sure you say it. (Although, for extra credit, say it with quotes from the Beach Boys)

PV x

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