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How to Make a Thanksgiving Banner with Cricut & Custom Patterns

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Learn how to upload a custom pattern to Cricut Design Space to create a cute Thanksgiving banner using only white cardstock!

I have been spending so much time recently making stuff now that my craft room is complete! I knew that once I had a spot for my Cricut machine I’d use it a lot more and let me tell you, I have been giving it a workout lately! Today I’m going to show you my latest project – an adorable Thanksgiving banner.

It’s amazing how many different things you can do with a Cricut machine. My Thanksgiving banner is so easy to make and you only need plain old white cardstock to get started. Yep, that’s right. No more buying fancy patterned paper! 

Using custom patterns and the print and cut feature, you can create any pattern you’d like on plain white paper! 

Thanksgiving Banner Using Custom Patterns and Print/Cut

Materials Needed for This Project

  • 5-10 sheets of white cardstock (this depends on the size you make your pennants)
  • jpeg or png file containing your custom pattern (check out the bottom of this post if you’d like to use mine)
  • Cricut cutting machine
  • access to Cricut Design Space
  • a printer (I have the HP Deskjet 3755 and I love it)
  • Ribbon, twine, or some other way to hang your banner

Choose a Shape For Your Banner

First things first, you need to choose a shape for the pennant of your banner. It doesn’t matter what color it is. We’re going to use a custom pattern so it will overwrite it anyway,

There are a few different ways you can do this. You can create something using the Shapes tool in Design Space, you can create something in another graphics program like Canva, Inkscape, or Illustrator, or you can search for an image within Design Space. Keep in mind that if you do create something in another program, import the image into Design Space as a “Print Then Cut” image.

For this project, I’m going to use the free pennant image from Design Space. To find this, click Images, type “Banner” in the search box, and filter it to show free images only.

I’m choosing the pink pennant from the image above. Click it, then hit Insert Image to bring it into your canvas in Design Space. Notice the 2 little white marks at the top of the image? Those are for threading your ribbon or string through so you can hang it. When we fill our shape with a custom pattern, those will get overwritten. But no worries! We’re gonna fix that later.

Cricut Design Space Choose Shape

Creating a Custom Pattern Using Canva

Here’s the fun part! 

Find a pattern you like or create your own. Making a pattern file is really simple using Canva. I have Canva Pro which has access to a lot more images and fonts than the free version.

To create a file in Canva that can you can upload into Design Space, create a new design. I made mine 400×400 pixels using the custom dimensions option. 

Choose Elements from the left and search for “Fall Pattern”. If you’re using the free version, many of the options will require a purchase, typically $1.00 for a one-time use license. If you have Pro, then you’ll have a lot more free options available. 

Canva Elements Search

Pick a pattern that you like and resize it so it fits into the canvas. You can even create your own pattern by combining single elements, duplicating, rotating, changing the colors, etc.

Canva pattern file

Once you’re satisfied with your design, it’s time to download. Click the down arrow in the upper right and corner (next to the Publish button), and choose the file format. Design Space will accept .jpg or .png files. The option to save as a .png file with a transparent background is only available in the Pro version, so if you’re using the free version either .jpg or .png is fine.

Canva Download

I’m also providing the pattern I created for my Thanksgiving banner at the end of the post if you don’t want to mess with creating your own. You’ll upload it using the same method as below.

Upload Custom Patterns to Cricut Design Space

Head back to Cricut Design Space and choose the Upload option. Instead of uploading an image, you’re going to choose “Upload Pattern” on the right. Browse to wherever you saved your pattern file and select it.

Cricut Design Space Upload Pattern

Uploading a pattern is a little different than uploading an image because you’re asked to choose a theme (you can choose multiple themes), and a style. Choose whichever options you think are most accurate and then save it.

Cricut Design Space Pattern Options

Woo hoo! You now have a custom pattern available to use in future projects!

Fill Your Shape With Your Custom Pattern

Go back to your canvas in Design Space. It’s time to put your custom pattern to use!

Notice that your image is shown as a cut image. We need to change that so our custom pattern will get printed on our banner before it gets cut.

Design Space Cut Image

Go to the top left of Design Space, and change the Fill option from “No Fill” to “Print”. Now you should see a color in the box next to it. Click it and change the Print Type from “Color” to “Pattern”. 

Design Space Choose Pattern

Your recently uploaded pattern should be the first one on the list. Click it and notice that your pennant is no longer the original pink color but now is filled with your custom pattern!

Pretty cool, huh?

Add Text To Your Banner

Resize the pennant to your desired size. I made mine about 5 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches tall so that the text I added would be clearly visible.

Before you add your text, duplicate your pennant however many times for the number of letters you’ll be using. Mine says “Give Thanks” so I duplicated it 9 times for a total of 10 pennants.

Cricut Design Space Duplicate

Now you can add your letters to each pennant to spell out your phrase. I’m using a font called Catch Feels. Change the color of the font to whatever you want. Remember, this is going to print so choose the color you want to be displayed on your banner.

Cricut Design Space Add Text

Next, you want to select the pennant and the letter (just draw a box around it to select them both), right-click and choose Flatten. This is so the letter and the custom pattern will print together. Repeat this step for each of your letters.

Add Spaces To Thread Your Ribbon or String

Now we’re going to add the slots where you will thread your ribbon or string. It’s important to do this after you’ve added your letters and flattened your pennant. If you do it before, your slots will get printed and not cut and that doesn’t help at all!

From the Shapes menu, choose the Square. You’ll need to click the padlock to unlock it so you can resize it so that’s long and narrow.

notch for ribbon

Now duplicate it and position it on the other side.

Notches for ribbon

Select the entire thing and attach them. This is so the notches will cut where you’ve placed them and not on a separate mat.

Repeat this step for each of your pennants.

Print It!

Once you’ve added and attached all the notches to your pennants it’s time to make this thing!

Click Make It in the upper right-hand corner. You’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this. 

Print Design

Since we’ve chosen print then cut, the software assumes that you’ll be printing on standard 8.5 x 11 sheets. If you’re using another size, change the material size for each of the mats shown.

Once you’ve verified everything looks correct, choose Continue.

On the next screen, you’re asked to send your design to your printer. Make sure your cardstock is loaded into the printer and then click Send to Printer.

Send design to printer

It’s important to only print from Design Space. The software will include registration marks in your design that your Cricut machine will scan so it knows where to cut. It’s sort of amazing when you think about how advanced software and tools have become!

Cut It!

After your banner has printed, it’s time to cut.

Load your pages onto a standard grip cutting mat. Set the material dial on your Cricut machine to cardstock (or whatever material you’re using).

Make sure the correct tools are loaded. For this project, you only need the fine-point blade.

Load your mat into the machine and hit the Go button.

You’ll see the machine scan the entire sheet first. After that, it will begin to cut.

When it’s done, you should have perfectly cut pennants with your custom pattern, saying, and notches to thread your ribbon.

Finished Thanksgiving Banner

I used some jute string I had laying around for mine.

Thanksgiving Banner Hanging

The more I use my Cricut Explore Air 2, I am amazed at the range of things you can use it for.

If you have extra white cardstock laying around and aren’t sure what you can do with it, now you know! You could create so many cute things using custom patterns – cards, art to put in a frame, etc. The sky’s the limit!

Click the image below to download the cut file for this project.

Finished Thanksgiving Banner

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