Sunday, November 25, 2012


Recently I made a banner for a Blood Angels sergeant.  I was able to take the logo of my favorite 40K podcast Life After the Cover Save and turn it into a banner for a squad of space marines.  Here's how you can make banners of your own. 


What you'll need:
  1. Digital image, the picture you want on the flag.
  2. Microsoft Word or any word processing software that will allow you to place pictures inside the page.
  3. Paper, you can use regular printing paper, but I recommend you buy a few sheets of the good stuff so the banners colors remain vivid. 
  4. Elmer's glue, the Brits call it PVA glue. 
  5. A plastic rod, or stick to turn into a banner pole.  You can use toothpicks, metal rod, polystyrene etc.
  6. X-acto knife
  7. Pencil
  8. Old paint brush
  9. Ruler
  10. Matt Varnish
  11. A Surface to cut on. 
To Begin with you need to have the pictures you want to use stored on your PC.  Create a folder where these images are easy to get to.  You can choose to edit the size of your picture now, or later when you are importing the pictures onto your document.  If you wish to do it now, click on your picture and edit it until the height of the picture is the right dimension consistent with the size of your banner pole.  I recommend 1" in height, the length will readjust automatically.  Save the picture, and make sure you are including the height of the picture in the picture title.  This will make it easier to find in your files. 

Open up a new page on Microsoft Word, click on the Insert Tab, then the Shapes Tab.  Select a rectangle shape, and make a rectangle on your page about 6"x 8".  The color you chose will become the background of your flag, or it's border depending on what your picture looks like.  An example would be if the background of your picture is black, and you create a black rectangle, the picture background and black rectangle will blend together and give you a smooth transition.  If the picture background is different, then your rectangle color you will be able to make a trim around your picture, giving the impression of a border around your picture. 

Import your picture onto the Microsoft Word Doc. Click on your picture and choose the Wrap Text option, then the In Front of Text option. This will bring your photo out to the front of the rectangle  you have created.  Click on your picture and use the Size and Position option, here's the your second chance to play around with the dimensions, remembering that your banner needs to fit your banner pole. You can now import the same picture again, or choose a new one. Keep in mind that the pictures you choose should be close in size, so both sides of your banner will be in proportion.  Aline the pictures side by side, and space them out so that you will be able to create a span of paper to wrap around the banner pole, between 1/4"-3/4" depending on the girth of  your banner pole.  Remember to place the pictures close to the center so there's plenty of room for you to cut material away during the next part of the project.  Save the page, and Print it. 

 Take the page and apply matt varnish to it.  I use Krylon matt varnish.  Wait for the varnish to dry.  Take the page and tape it down to your cutting surface.  Use your ruler and pencil to draw the lines of your banner around your pictures.  I created a 1/4" order around everything.  Draw the spacers between the pictures which will be the banner border and material which will attach your banner to its pole.  You can also choose to make pennants attached to the back of your flag by extending lines outward and bring them back to the border of your flag, forming triangles.  Once all your lines have been established, cut the banner out using an X-acto knife. 

Using a old paint brush, apply watered down glue to the inside of the flag. apply glue to both sides.  Take your banner and wrap it around your banner pole.  This is a messy process, bear with it.  Join both sides together and hold them there waiting for the glue to start bonding.  Make sure to press down around the flag material that's attaching directly to the pole, it should be a snug fit.  You need to begin making folds in your flag now as the glue is setting.  Just use your fingers to shape the folds out.  Once everything drys you will see some extra white material here and there.  You can choose to paint over this, or cut it out with your exacto knife.  Take a Sharpie marker, or a good brush and paint the edges of your banner to hide all the white paper underneath. Use the tip of the your brush, not the edge to paint in the white overlap. 

1 comment: