Making a Stage Banner from Scratch

As I was designing & producing merch for John Doe's June/July tour, during one of our conversations we somehow came up with the idea of me making a stage banner for him. 

I've never made a stage banner before, but I love making new stuff.

I purchased some black canvas, thread, grommets & paint.  We decided the dimensions of the final banner and I set out to sew it up.  I just made the pattern up as I went along.  This was the only sketch I made, the rest was made up in my head or on the fly.

It took a lot of measuring and ironing but it's really just a bunch of straight stitching.  Two features that I added in that I'm proud of are a channel along the top where he can add in a dowel to stabilize it (if he needs to) and four pockets along the bottom where he can add in weights/washers to weigh it down. He probably won't need to do that for indoor gigs, but it might come in handy for outdoor gigs, and if I'm going to make a banner I might as well make it deluxe.

I mitred the corners and gave each border a double stitch for durability. This banner is going to be transported back and forth in and out of dark rock clubs, in and out of the tour van, and it'll spend a lot of time rolled, folded or wadded up, so durability is key.

Then it was time to paint the thing. I knew the design I wanted to paint on it, arrows, but I needed to make them straight and large enough to fit the scale of the banner.  A projector would have helped at this point, but since I don't have one I just had to hack it out.  I laid the banner on the floor and used several different types of rulers, pins and painters tape to block out the design. This was time-consuming and I did have to walk away from it for a little bit before I finally got the right dimensions.

By the time I got the design right, laying in the metallic gold paint was almost easy. Mind you, this is all done on the floor on my hands & knees, trying not to mess anything up.  Fun!  

I'm really happy with how it turned out.  

 Featherweight Studio custom banner for John Doe

Featherweight Studio custom banner for John Doe

I can't wait to see it onstage! I hope the metallic gold shimmers in the stage lights. The design is flexible to be hung vertically or horizontally. This banner will be showing up in a lot of photos this summer, and when the tour is over I'll be using it at Featherweight events & in photo shoots.