If you’re going to the March for Life, local or national, you are going to end up with a sign. If you don’t bring one, helpful people will give you one, and then you’ll have to carry it. Or you could go ahead and make the best sign ever: It’s lightweight, compact, easy to carry, and will keep you warm if the weather behaves like January tends to behave.
Bonus: It isn’t any more difficult to make than a regular posterboard sign.
Fleece March for Life Banner Instructions
What you’ll need:
Approximately one yard of fleece fabric. If you have an old blanket you want to re-purpose, that works too. Err on the side of choosing a solid color unless you’re really good at visual design.
Fabric paint and stencils, or some other way to write your slogan on your banner. Go with something that will contrast with your fabric.
A length of rope a foot or two longer than the width of your fabric. A walking stick would work, too.
Needle & thread, a sewing machine, or a bunch of safety pins.
Step 1: Think up your slogan. Since your banner will roll up into a teeny tiny slot in your scarf stash, you’ll use it again in future years. So pick something simple and enduring. Yes: “Don’t Kill Innocent People.” No: “Please Pass Prop 37 on July 16th, 2012.” My then-six-year-old came up with Abortion is Bad for our local March, but half a decade later the girls chose the much more subtle Babies are People when we went to the big March in DC. I Regret My Abortion and Suicide is Never the Answer are good ones too.
Step 2: Hem or pin your fabric. Lay out your rectangle of fleece, then fold over the top edge of the future sign. Stitch or pin the folded-over edge so that you have a slot for your length of rope or stick. Tip: If you’re using rope, it’s a pain to work it through the slot after you’ve stitched. Go ahead and lay it in place before you sew.
Step 3: Add your slogan. If it’s easier (depending on how you are attaching your letters) you can do the slogan before you sew up the slot for the stick, but pre-plan so you don’t end up with your slogan cut off. You can see below we ended up precariously close to the hem.
Step 4: There is no step four. This is a very easy project.
Using Your Banner
While you are marching, sign-holding children (or adults, if you must) stand on either side of the banner and hold the ends of the rope. Note that if you have many small children to keep track of, you can make a longer rope and they can all hold on and make a train. You can tie a hand loop in either end; if your hands are full, you can use a carabiner to clip your end to your belt loop, backpack, stroller, etc. If you used polyester fleece, you’ve got an extremely lightweight sign that doesn’t blow you over like a shipwreck if the wind gusts.
If you get tired of carrying the sign, drape it over your shoulders like a cape, stash it in the baby’s stroller, or stuff it in your backpack. It’s lightweight and compact.
If you get cold, wrap up in your sign for warmth.
If you have to sit on the ground during 5,000 speeches, your sign is also a blanket.
If the baby is breastfeeding, you can use the sign to cover that dreadful gap by your waist you failed to anticipate, and which does not feel invigorating outside in the cold in January.
If the kids are bored, they can do parachute games with the sign.
If your preschooler’s head keeps bonking against the window as he falls asleep on the way home, fold it up and wedge it between his head and shoulder. (Remove the rope first, thanks.)
If your house is so small you have no place to store your sign from year to year:
- Keep it in the car as a lap blanket in the winter and to cover your steering wheel in the summer.
- Hide it between your duvet cover and your quilt.
- Fold it up and stuff it in a small pillowcase and use it as a pillow.
- Hang it up in your living room to nip in the bud obnoxious political conversations.