Welcome to week two of The Peace Museum Creative Challenge! This week’s challenge is inspired by the museum’s collection of over 200 banners – and we’re going to be making our own out of things you may have at home.

Artist Nancy Haslam-Chance is going to be taking you through this week’s challenge below.

1. Have a look at an inspirational banner from the museum’s collection 

Whether you lived 150 years ago, or today, you’ll still see banners as part of most protest movements. Historians can ‘read’ banners for evidence in much the same way as documents or paintings.

Many of the banners in the museum’s collection were made by noted banner artist, Thalia Campbell. As a founder of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, I like Thalia’s powerful collection of banners because as well as being beautifully crafted, they show women’s impact on the peace movement.

Greenham Common Womens Peace Camp, Banner by Thalia Campbell.

2. What do you want to say? Designing your banner

Banners are used to communicate a message to other people. We want you to make a banner to hang in your window for the outside world to see. Decide on an issue you want to tell people about. What do you want to say? 

You can use text, images or both? Keep text succinct and images simple. Sketch out some designs and decide on your favourite.

Due to everything going on in the world right now and the protests in cities across the world, I’ve decided to make a Black Lives Matter banner.

3. Get your materials together

Collect fabrics from around your house- old bedsheets, old tea towels, clothes that don’t fit you anymore, your dad’s old pants? Decide on a size, an old pillowcase works well as a good sized background. You want your design to pop so make sure you have some contrasting colours. Give your fabrics an iron if they are crumpled. You’ll need scissors, a needle and some thread. (If you don’t have these materials you can use paper or card and glue). 

4. Laying it out

Cut out your pieces and lay the design in place. You can use sewing pins or safety pins to attach the pieces before you start sewing. Do a readability check by standing away from your banner. Can you still read it? 

5. Sewing it together 

Use a simple straight stitch, moving your needle in and out of the fabric. If you want to use a more complicated stitch there are lots of tutorials on Youtube. You can also use a sewing machine if you have one or glue if you’re in a rush. Sewing your banner might take some time but enjoy the calming effects. Sewing encourages mindfulness and can reduce stress and anxiety.

5. Edges and loops

To finish off you might want to hem the edges of your banner to make it stronger and add loops to the corners so it’s easy to hang. Just like on the banner we showed at the start. 

6. Spread the word

Hang it in your window to spread your message! Take a photo from outside and send it to us with the hashtag #PMCreativeChallenge 

As well as spreading visibility for your cause through banners and posts on social media, keep on signing petitions, writing to MPs, donating to charities, reading, learning and talking to your family and friends, to make sure you’re doing as much as you can for your cause.