How to Make a Word-of-the-Year Banner
Inspired by Tibetan Prayer Flags and wanting to celebrate my chosen Word-of-the-Year over the last four years I decided to create this Word-of-the-Year banner to hang in my studio (and in the garden this summer). It was a simple and fun project that took a few hours (mostly drying time).
A few favorite acrylic paint colours + white**
White acrylic paint pen and/or small paintbrush (you can also use chalk to sketch out your word)
Palette & water dish (a plate or plastic container works well)
Ribbons, twine, embroidery floss or yarn
A piece of raw canvas or heavier muslin (my piece measures approximately 14x16 inches)
**I tend to be drawn to acrylic paints that are transparent and highly staining: pthalo blue, alizarin crimson, magenta, dioxazine purple...they all mix beautifully with titanium white...and often use lime greens & turquoise
Once I have my supplies gathered, I just have fun squeezing some spots of colour onto the raw canvas and using quite a bit of water on my paintbrush I spread colour randomly around the canvas. I also thinned out alizarin crimson with water and placed it into a spray bottle (in this case a recycled old body spray bottle) and sprayed through stencils that were placed randomly around the canvas. I use both stencil I have purchased and also created myself, using both the positive and negative shapes of the stencils (the pieces I cut out as well as the stencil itself).
Mixing white with some of my colours and using my palette knife I spread it through the stencils. I flip the stencils over and wipe them onto the canvas, as well as wiping off my palette knife onto the canvas because I like the layered and worn look.
Because I like the ragged edge of prayer flags I only make a small cut and then tear the fabric into sections. I don't measure, instead fold the fabric to where I think it looks good. Approximately in half lengthwise and then in thirds to create six pieces altogether.
Once I'm ready to create my word, I search for a free font program (like Dafont or Urban Font) and type in my word, looking for a font that appeals and that somehow reflects the word for me. At this point, I use my paint pen to transfer a reasonable facsimile to my banner. I'm not concerned if it isn't perfect, just like the rest of the banner, I find beauty in imperfection. If the paint pen doesn't seem bright or opaque enough I will go over it again once it is dry with paint and a small brush.
Finally, I cut small slits into the top right and left hand corners of each flag and string them onto a ribbon to create a banner. In between each flag I tied additional ribbons and yarn. NOTE: to keep the silkier ribbons from loosening up, I used a dab of gel media but you could also use paint or glue. If there are any questions, please feel free to ask and if you create one, I would love to see it if you'd like to share!
3/10/2015 12:00:03 pm
Can you keep them outside? Are the waterproof? I LOVE them!
3/10/2015 11:45:12 pm
Hi Cori...like Totem Poles, Tibetan Prayer Flags are meant to deteriorate over time (go back to the earth from which they came) but if you wanted them to keep, you might be able to spray varnish them (front & back)... though I haven't tried it. Or just keep them inside.
3/10/2015 11:46:24 pm
You're very welcome Gabriele!
This is fabulous, I have lots of prayer flags made for me by other people when I was ill. I really like this idea. When I make mine I'll send a pic. Not sure when I will get to it. I wanted to ask about those liquitex freestyle paddle brushes. What is the advantage to them? I keep seeing them on the net. Or maybe it was in your 21 Secrets class I can't recall. Anyways I'd love to hear how you use them and why you like them.
3/20/2015 06:07:15 am
Hi Kate...I love my paddle brush, though it's small it holds quite a bit of paint and water when I want to create puddles and drips. Plus I like how they feel in my life. Hope that helps - V.
Comments are closed.