At the outset I had very grand plans.
“Let us go then, and make banners as required, and let them all be beautiful” said the suffragette Mary Lownes in 1909. And oh my word they were.
(Image from The Women’s Library at The London School of Economics)
I’ve found out there are protest banner lending libraries (image below taken from the Decorating Dissendence website)
And there are wonderful resources by organisations like Artichoke who detail the glorious and noble craft of protest banner making, with PDF instruction manuals that you can download and follow here
However, I didn’t have much time – or, let’s be candid, much crafting skill – so I used these resources as inspiration and this fab Youtube tutorial on how to iron letters onto fabric. Actually, rewatching it before posting I realised I am a muppet and didn’t fully grasp how brilliant her technique is, because I could have skipped a whole stage of tracing in the process I did use. So listen to Wendi! (Also, get Bondaweb Ultra so you don’t have to sew the letters afterwards to reinforce them).
My stroke of inspiration (=laziness) was to use an old pillowcase for the backdrop of the banner. I did this after pulling out every old tablecloth we have and realising that unless you have a line of at least three protestors to carry it, tablecloths are just too big. And in the current climate, you might need to leap to a 2m distance from man and beast at a moment’s notice. Additionally, since we might also need to be marching smartly around to fulfil the exercise part of our permitted reasons to leave the house (I can’t believe I just typed those words, but I did, and that’s in part why I’m making a stand), one-person banners are the way to go.
So first order your Bondaweb online,
and then assemble:
- an old pillowcase (oxford rather than housewife-style, if have one, since the border gives a sort of frame)
- scraps of patterned fabric for your message
- good fabric scissors (they make ALL the difference), and a stanley knife
- pencils, a rubber, ruler, sharpies
- a piece of A3 paper
- a piece of A3 tracing paper (only if you are a muppet like me and didn’t follow Wendi’s brilliant short cut)
- a long bamboo cane or two
- two cable ties
Seriously, watch the first 4 minutes of Wendi’s tutorial.
I did this whole palaver with tracing paper to get my letters on the fabric, as in the photos below.
I suggest you use a short, non-belligerent message that is difficult to disagree with, such as:
- Life is for living
- Enough is Enough
- Trust our common sense
- Cake and liberty
- Humans need connection
- I want to go to school
- I miss my friends
- I want to earn a living
Even this will make some people will clutch at their pearls, so please avoid anything remotely contentious and especially give a wide swerve to anything about vaccinations, vaccine passports, testing or great resets, no matter how well-researched and well-founded your views – it will only alienate people and the message of ending lockdown will be diluted. Also, please god NOTHING political, and no national flags of any denomination – tragically, these are now things that divide rather than unite, and Cake and Liberty is about uniting people for one single purpose: reclaiming our liberty.
I can’t write instructions to save my life, so the title of this post is a touch misleading. Ask a question if it isn’t clear from the photos – I’ll do my best to explain.
Over to you – get creative and have fun. I love my banners, and I think I’ll keep them forever to mark this moment in history. When I chose to do something.
Remember, in the words of another suffragette, Millicent Fawcett:
“Courage calls to courage everywhere, and its voice cannot be denied”