Thursday, January 12, 2017

Banner Enhancement for Women's March on Washington

Way back in November my mother bought a train ticket to Washington for the Women's march the day after the Presidential inauguration. Last week she asked me if I could make a banner for her. I asked my Twitter followers for help in the wording for the banner. I got some immediate help from @Thorvaaldr who rejected my initial attempt "RESPECT MY EQUALITY: HOLDING THE LINE FOR FREEDOM" and suggested "HOLDING OUR GROUND FOR EQUALITY: WOMEN ALONG THE GEORGIA/FLORIDA LINE." My mother is counting herself as Floridian because that's where she votes and her friend lives in Georgia. (I live and vote in Georgia.)

I also suggested "THE KING IS A FINK" and "I'LL TEACH YOU A LESSON YOU WON'T FORGET IN A HURRY" but my mother didn't go for either of those or "MIND YOUR MANNERS: DON'T MAKE ME COME UP THERE."

I had some banner material I got free from Vistaprint. I thought that's what all banners are printed on, but I was wrong. I figured out how to sew a pocket in the vinyl and decided I needed 4" on each side for that. Then I asked my mother to measure her suitcase so the banner would fit inside it on the train. The finished banner needs to be 19" high so it will fit in rolled up. I asked my graphic designer friend, Steve Leacock, to design a 2'x4' banner with the plan that I would cut it off at 19" from the bottom and fold over 4" on either side. He emailed me a PDF Monday night. Tuesday I went back and forth in text messages to my mother to decide what color she wanted. Then I uploaded to design to the Staples website and ordered the sign. It cost about $25. I drove down to Tallahassee Wednesday to pick it up. That's when I found out it wasn't vinyl, it was a sort of papery plastic material. It seems like it will scratch and crease. But it was fast and cheap so I was determined to make it work. I spent all day Thursday fixing it up.

The rules for the march don't allow for sticks on signs. I was hoping I could make the ends of the banner stiff just by doubling over the material. I ended up using 1" strips of foam core in conjunction with grosgrain ribbon and the extra material I cut off the bottom of the banner. I'll detail the rest in captioned photos.

Needs to fit in this rolling suitcase. 19" long

I have about 3 1/2" between the supports on the back of the suitcase 

I trimmed the white off the top of the sign then trimmed the bottom

I am not experienced with the rotary cutter yet. I learned the hard way you should always put the ruler over the part you're keeping, not on the waste part.

These clear rulers are awesome

I accidentally let the blade wander away from the ruler. Rookie mistake. I am ashamed

This time I put the ruler over the part of the work
I'm keeping and let the waste stick out.
Cut an extra 1/4" off to correct my mistake

Because this plastic material is translucent I want to stop people signing their names over the
letters for EQUALITY because it would show through on the front and look bad.
I set up a light under my glass table and traced around the letters with a highlighter

This should indicate a keep-out zone when my mother's friends sign the banner

I used a lot of this seamstick basting tape on this project. I got it from Sailrite to make an awning

I made some ribbon loops for the ends of the banner. I cut them 48" long and doubled them 2"

After one false start I decided to add a strip of foam core.
I had a piece 2" wide so I cut it in half

I started working up a sandwich of the ribbon and the banner material and the foamcore

I wrapped the ribbon loop around the end of the foamcore and stuck it down with more seamstick

With even more seamstick I added the extra material from the bottom of the banner to the edge 
I proceeded to fold all this stuff up, exposing strips of seamstick as necessary



Seamstick exposed, ready to be folded over

When I was all done with the second side I realized
I'd put the loop on the bottom instead of the top.
I'm going to blame this migraine.
I woke up with it and have been impaired all day.
But now you know what to watch out for!

I cut another piece of ribbon and sewed it into a loop. I carefully loosened the seamstick
and got the ribbon loop into the sandwich at the top of the banner with more seamstick

OK, here it is! I signed my name in the corner to see how that's going to look. Not bad!

Now my mother still has to carry this thing around for a week to get her friends to sign it.
So I made her a bag out of a pair of jeans. I made an extra pocket for this piece of
CPVC pipe to stop the whole thing from bending.
Once the foamcore gets bent it's all over.

Here it is with the pipe in the exterior sleeve and the banner inside the bag

Test it fits in the suitcase. Brilliant.

My mother came by to get it to take it to her
book group. Lots of signatures tonight!
Tomorrow I'm going to take more of that wide orange ribbon and make a sash that says Florida and a pink one that says Georgia for her friend. I'll write that up too. But I'm going to need this migraine to go away first.