Ultra-tifos also has a good two pole tutorial.

Another way that ECS has done goes like this, assuming a standard two-pole banner held by one person that ranges about 4 feet wide by 3-5 feet in height:

  1. Design an image or adapt something from a graphic you find that is appealing. When combining lettering and images, it is usually better to be brief with the lettering, at least as a percentage of the overall area of the banner. This is easiest accomplished on a computer… have an inkjet color printer handy for the next step.
  2. If you don’t have a digital projector (for computers) handy, purchase a pack of transparency film sheets for inkjet printers. These are sold at places like Office Depot, Staples, etc.
  3. Print your finalized image on the transparency, at the largest size that doesn’t lose detail and that fits on the transparency. You’ll need this for later steps, and to guide you in getting material in the next steps. If you are using a digital projector, skip this step, but have the image on disk so that you can plug the digital projector into your laptop for projecting the image in step 6 below.
  4. Go to a hardware store and purchase two 4-5′ dowels, at least 3/8″ in diameter. Smaller than that breaks too easily — better to invest a bit more in something sturdier!
  5. Go to a fabric store (we use Jo-Ann fabrics a lot because coupons for 40-50% off are easy to come by, making th e final purchase price signficantly cheaper than other stores. Display & Costume is another we’ve used for flags, and Seattle Fabrics in north Seattle is one other alternative), and purchase a few yards of cloth. We’ve used both 66% poly/33% cotton blends (usually $2-$2.50 a yard before coupons), or ripstop nylon ($6 or so before coupons).  Ripstop is much lighter, waterproof, but obviously more expensive. It can also be harder to paint on with respect to “bleeding” of material.  Also while you’re there, purchase fabric paint (there are special spray paints that adapt well to fabric, but they are very expensive — use these only for smaller projects… they work well for lettering or things that can be cut out and used as templates) or fabric markers (Sharpie makes poster paint markers which work well). If using markers, having both a thick version (for easier area coverage) and thin version (for sharp borders) is advisable.
  6. Find a space at home or elsewhere that has a few feet of clear wall space that you can hang up your fabric on (use push pins to hang the fabric on the wall). Make sure the room can be darkened and has an electric outlet to plug an overhead projector into (ECS has at least one that members can use), or your laptop if using a digital projector.
  7. Use the printed transparency sheet (or image file on your computer) to project the image up on the fabric on the wall. Then use a pencil to trace the outline of the image and/or lettering onto the fabric.
  8. Take down the fabric, then use your paint or markers to fill in the color to complete the image.
  9. Trim off any excess fabric, if needed so that the image is completely centered on the remaining fabric, and to straighten out any rough edges.
  10. Take the dowels and apply them at the extreme left and right edges of the banner. Make sure that the top of the dowel is aligned with the top of the image, and that there’s a foot or two of dowel left at the bottom for holding the banner up. Roll a couple revolutions toward the center, and use a staple gun to secure the fabric to the dowels.Tip: Using transparent tape to hold the dowel in place at the edge of the fabric, as you roll, helps keep the dowel in place. Also, do one dowel at a time.
  11. Drink a beer, you’re done

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