A while back, I made my first garden banner featuring a harness horse. So far, it has held up well through a very hot, sunny summer and a few torrential rains. I wanted to make another banner for “back to school” and chose a favorite design by Helan Barrick from my decorative painting days. I call this a banner rather than a flag because it is quite stiff and becomes even more so when exposed to the weather.
I used canvas duck fabric (not outdoor canvas which is treated) which was sewn to make a double thickness 12×18 inch banner with sleeve and primed it with two coats of Gesso front and back. Then I drew the design on the front and painted it with acrylics.
For the back, which I can see clearly from my front window, I painted a design of an Amish-style quilt block.
Both sides were finished with two coats of Minwax Clear Satin Polycrylic to make it weather-proof.
I like seeing the banner in my front yard – my dog Rusty is looking out the door, probably admiring the quilt block on the back!
I have a small garden flag stand beside my front walk and have a lot of nice seasonal flags for it, but I was never able to find a flag with a harness horse on it. This past week, I bought some canvas duck fabric at JoAnn’s to make a floor cloth and thought I would try making a small banner out of this material, using the same general procedure I have used for floor cloths.
The duck canvas gets several coats of Gesso to provide a good surface for painting. The design is painted with acrylic paint and inked with a Sharpie fine or ultra-fine pen on the canvas and then several coats of clear satin acrylic varnish are applied.
I cut a piece of fabric for the back from an old county fair panel I’ve had for years. This was also coated with the varnish.
This piece is something of an experiment for me since I know the process works well for indoor floor mats and the acrylic works well for outdoor wood items, but I’ve never combined the two processes before.
I like the banner very much. The barn is from a photograph of the horse barn my father had for his harness horses for many years.
It was a gathering place for the family in the 1950s and 60s, especially during county fair time when everyone congregated.
I’ll see how this banner works out in all kinds of weather and I may be making a few more throughout the year.
In the 1990s, my oldest daughter and I had a booth in a large craft mall in Cincinnati. My contributions were mainly decorative art painted on vintage wood pieces and enamelware. We had the booth for over 4 years and I made and sold countless pieces with designs sometimes from pattern books but mostly from my own sketches. I’m not painterly at all and just did my thing with pen and ink accentuated with acrylic painting.
Although I haven’t painted anything since 1998, I kept all of my sketches and designs and thought I might be able to incorporate some of them into pieces for wall hangings or my mini-quilt racks. First, I scanned the sketch which was bigger than I wanted for this project ….
…and then, using a light box, I went over the basic elements of the sketch with pencil. I then scanned this sketch, made it the size I wanted and printed it onto June Tailor Colorfast Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers.
I left the paper backing on the printed panel and painted the design with acrylic paint thinned with water. When the piece was dry, I went over it and added details with an ultra-fine point Sharpie pen. Then, the piece was pressed to set the colors and the paper backing was removed.
These panels were combined with strips of fabric to make them the correct size for my Tri-Stand table topper. I added batting, binding, a sleeve and a label to complete the panels. I also added a patriotic button to each that I found half-price at Joann’s.
I was pleased with how the panels turned out and since I don’t intend to wash them, the colors should stay vibrant for a long time. It made me happy to be able to use an old familiar sketch again and to be able to do a little painting.
This particular design was used for 5 different projects which were sold from our booth.