During the first month of our engagement, my husband-to-be and I were browsing through the nearby unnamed dollar store, on the prowl for anything usable for our wedding. Most of the “wedding” section in these stores are full of sad fleur de lis patterned napkins, small plastic bubble bottles, and shoddy two piece champagne flutes. However, somehow on that particular evening, I spotted a jewel among all of the plastic trinkets–these bunting banners, in our main color family.
I ended up purchasing the entire stock this store carried and ended up with twelve six-feet-long banners. Still unsure of how I’d use them, I packed them away in a tote at my mother’s house along with the rest of my wedding stash. After reading through this post by Bianca, I came upon the perfect purpose for the banners. My maid of honor generously gave me about half a yard of contrasting patterned fabric, and I got to work.
Here’s how I made them…
- (1) Bunting banner
- Letter stencils
- Thread/Embroidery floss (separate out the embroidery floss into one thread pieces)
- Basting needle (usually used for quilting, I used this kind of needle due to the thickness of the banner material)
- First, make a list of things you might need signage for that will fit on the banner. My banners had nine individual triangles, so I made my signs with five letter words to ensure the words would be centered (FOOD!, CAKE!, DRINK, DANCE, GIFTS, WE❤DO)
- Turn your piece of fabric over, so you are tracing on the back side. Lightly stencil your letters backward onto the fabric lightly with a permanent marker. Carefully cut out each letter.
- Line up the letter to the corresponding triangle, and hand stitch around the perimeter. If you’ve never sewn before, here’s a tutorial to get you started. Don’t worry too much about getting a perfect stitch. It’s supposed to look handmade! (I’m sure this can be done on a sewing machine as well, but I don’t have access to one for the time being.)
- Repeat the last step and sew the remaining letters to the banner. Hang wherever you please!
My biggest pieces of advice going into this project are these: First, make sure you do the sewing well before your wedding day. My fingers are currently full of needle stab wounds, and I’m thankful I’ve got about seven weeks for my hands to look presentable again. Second, take your time, especially if you’re a beginner. Nothing is more frustrating than nearly completing a letter only to mess up a stitch.
Total cost for this project came to about $2.00 per banner, including supplies which can be reused such as the needles and stencils. I’ve seen these banners sold on Etsy for around $20 a piece. By purchasing the plain banners at the dollar store, I managed to make six adorable signs for our wedding for 50% of the cost of a single banner sold on Etsy.
How has the community saved money through repurposing dollar store purchases? Do you think I should try to sell these after the wedding for a profit, say about five to ten dollars a piece? I’d love to hear back from you!