Needless to say, I ended up going a different route for my banners, but I'm still pretty happy with how they turned out. Here's a scrappy little DIY lesson if you'd like to try this at home.
First, I headed over to JoAnn's Fabrics and chose this black and charcoal gray damask print for the main part of the flags. I borrowed my MIL's pinking shears to cut out the shapes, I think they ended up being about 7 inches long by 6 inches wide.
I left about an inch at the top of each flag to later be folded over the hemp rope I used to hang the flags on.
I haven't been near a sewing machine for a while, so I stuck with liquid stitches to do any adhering. I ran a bead of glue about halfway up the inch I left at the top, stuck the hemp on, added more glue to the very top, then folded it over and pressed down.
I repeated this process until I had enough flags to spell out "love is sweet"..."love is" on one string, "sweet" on another to be tied below.
Next, it was time to cut out the circles that the letters would be painted on. I cut out a larger circle from basic white fabric first, to be placed behind the fabric with painted letters. I did that since both of my main fabrics had patterns, just wanted to break it up.
Next I cut out smaller circles from my printed apple green fabric. Penny had other plans for it.
I used acrylic paint for the letters and drew them on free hand. I have pretty nice handwriting, if I do say so myself, but I would not suggest doing this because it was pretty hard to make the letters look uniform.
Next, I glued the white circles onto the flags, then the letter circles onto the white ones, and voila! Don't mind Penny.
I did a similar banner for my sister-in-law's wedding with burlap and one fabric layer for the letters using the simple white fabric again. I also used a stencil for the letters and I looooved the result.
A note about burlap: it has holes...lots of holes. Regular old stitching glue doesn't do the trick, so I had to use my trusty glue gun to create some more tackiness. This wasn't the easiest option either, considering the holes allowed the glue to leak through to my tender little fingers that were holding the fabric down. Ouch. But the rustic quality of the burlap combined with the industrial look of the stenciled letters makes my calloused finger tips totally worth it.
I will post pictures from the weddings soon!
*This probably goes without saying, but all photos were done by moi