Inspired by a settler design from the late 1800’s that I adored when I first saw it so picturesque on a farm in Illinois, we stitched together a red, white and blue banner to enbellish our towering Sycamore tree on Ashland for the 4th of July holiday. Here are our DIY directions if you are daring enough to make one of your own. The funky banner reminds me of the colorful knitted cozies that popped up recently around Fort Worth on tree branches and lamp posts.
- Measure the circumference of the tree first. Our tree is about 100 inches around its girth so we calculated we would need about four yards of fabric per stripe (3) or a total of 12 yards of unbleached muslin fabric. This will give you enough fabric to go around the tree and give you some slack for a bow or to tie it off. And leave some for error in calculating. Nobody does this but me, right? My daughter, the math major, was home during the planning for this project and she checked my numbers.
- I was able to purchase the fabric for about $1.39/yard on sale. You can probably get it cheaper with a coupon.
- I bought fabric dye in both red and blue. You will also need a sewing machine and matching thread.
- I cut the fabric into 4 yard sections of three equal lengths of fabric. I dyed one red and one blue using an old mop bucket to soak the fabric in. Follow the directions on the fabric dye package. The version I used required adding salt to the mixture. I let the fabric soak in the dye for at least 24 hours, then laundered and dried it to make sure the tint set. We had some tie-dyed looking spots so maybe stir it more rigorously in the dye to eliminate this issue next time.
- Next. I cut each of the three lengths in half, length-wise to provide more narrow strips since the fabric was much wider than I needed. This also enabled me to create two tree wraps. One for me and one for C1. It seems fitting to have one of our creations in west Fort Worth and then the other in east Dallas. Perfect metroplex feng shui.
- I then pinned the red strip to the white strip and sewed it together length-wise. I repeated by pinning the blue strip to the white and sewed the two pieces together to complete the three-stripe-effect. Just make sure you have the sides matched up correctly.
- I made a hem on each end of the banner and sewed it for a nice even look to eliminate fraying.
- Next step is to hang your banner by draping it around the trunk and securing the top and the bottom in a simple knot.
What a cool way to celebrate Independence Day, by creating guerrilla banner street art, and tagging your neighborhood this 4th of July season. Happy 4th to you and yours!