Many people have asked us how we made the Torah is Life banner and this article shares what we used and how we put it together.
We started with the idea of making a worship banner that could be used for the Feast of Shavuot or Feast of Pentecost. We researched the various themes that are central to the events observed and celebrated by this Feast of the Lord.
Next we decided to make POMEGRANATES be the central design element and Posey sketched out the basic design ideas that we came up with. Avi researched images of pomegranates in various growing stages on the internet and printed out several of them to be used as resource material.
Posey kept thinking of the Scriptures that described the High Priests blue tunic with the hem that contained a row of alternating pomegranates and bells (Exodus 28:33 & 34). Here is a link to a photo of Dr. David Hamilton’s representation of the High Priests tunic that we have in an article about pomegranates. This tunic is from his collection of Tabernacle items that you can see on his website at Mishkan Ministries (used by permission.) This gave us the foundation idea that the banner would be constructed upon – a blue piece of fabric with a bottom hem from which would hang an alternating row of pomegranates and gold bells.
The next thing was to purchase the fabric and supplies and that meant a trip to the closest Joanns Fabric store in North Raleigh, NC (about 1 1/2 hours away.) It was a fun trip shared with friends and included lunch at the Macaroni Grill, so that Posey could have her favorite soup, salad and focaccia bread. YUM!
Once home we prepared the blue background fabric by cutting it to the desired size of 36 1/2 inches wide and 80 inches long. We included an extra 1/2 of fabric along each side and one inch at the bottom. The actual length was increased by 7 inches at the top and folded over to make a rod pocket that would allow the wooden banner support to be threaded through it. Next we cut the fabric for the back side and pinned it to the blue banner background fabric. Then Posey machine sewed the two pieces together at the top and made the casing for the wooden rod. The side edges of both pieces of fabric were turned a 1/2 inch and pressed then glued together with Tacky glue, and allowed to dry. The same with the bottom hem of both pieces of fabric.
Next we cut strips of brown organdy fabric and glued them in place to make the trunk, branches and twigs. The leaves were cut from two different shades of green tissue lame fabric. Next we cut green tulle with gold glitter into the leaf shapes and glued this onto each green lame leaf. Then the leaves were glued onto the branches and twigs and edged with green fabric paint that we also used to draw the vein lines to make them look more like real leaves.
The pomegranates were each made separately from card stock patterns that we made. Then we glued red tissue lame fabric to stiff interface backing. Next we schmeared glue onto each pomegranate and placed red sequins in swirling rows until the whole surface was covered. Once dry, we used purple fabric paint and drew curving lines onto the pomegranates and covered that with tiny glass beads that were purple and iridescent in color. Each pomegranate was individually glued into place with the Tacky glue and then edged with red glitter fabric paint.
The one pomegranate that is cut open to show the seeds has a top layer of opalescent tissue lame. We glued individual red sequins and red plastic gem stones onto the opalescent fabric for the pomegranate seeds. The juice spilling out is made from various shades of red and purple Tulle and Tissue Lame fabrics to which we added the sequin and gem seeds.
The Hebrew lettering was accomplished by enlarging the font on our computer until the individual letters where the right size. The Hebrew characters are 11 inches high and the background is royal blue tissue lame with gold overlaid and glued on top. We did pad the gold accent letters with thick fiber from the fabric store, which was glued between the gold and the blue. Once the individual letter were glued in place we edged around each one with gold sequin trim that was glued in place.
The letters for Yahshua are made from the same blue lame fabric with silver overlay and are 6 1/2 inches high. Once they were glued down we edged around them with blue glitter fabric paint.
The grass is light green Tissue Lame fabric which has been overlaid with individual strands of green Lame and all were glued in place. Posey added two little lady bugs that are climbing on the grass.
The bells were easily attached using fishing swivels and gold safety pins. The hanging pomegranates were a challenge to make. We tried so many things and all but the last effort – failed. First try was Styrofoam balls that we tried to glue red, blue and purple velor yarn on to cover them – what a mess and it was hard to do and didn’t look good at all.
Second try was Femo clay using red, purple and a little blue and gold. They looked beautiful and perfect, until we baked them. Then they all fell apart or cracked and looked really ugly.
Third we tried paper mache but they were too small to really do a nice job with this technique. What a production all of this was and it wasted so much material and time. For awhile, we thought we were not going to have hanging pomegranates on the hem but praise Yah, he helped us to think of one more thing to try.
Finally, we just cut large circles of red Tissue Lame fabric. Avi wrapped one circle around a Styrofoam ball and twisted the end and held it in place while Posey wrapped around it with very fine floral wire. We used long eye pins for jewelery making and pushed one in the top of each pomegranate. The end poked out the other side and we bent it back up into the Styrofoam ball. They are attached using fishing swivels and gold safety pins.
With every banner there are always challenges and obstacles to over come. But we just pray and keep trying different approaches until we get things worked out. This banner cost quite a bit of money to make (we think it ended up being about $4oo. That was because we needed to purchase everything and we did have fabric and paint left over. We used numerous large bottles of Tacky glue.
This banner took about 4 months to make and that was with Posey working nearly every day for about 10 hours. So many of the design elements required lots of time because each one had to be made by hand and then glued on to the banner and outlined with fabric paint. Towards the end we were really pushing to get it completed by Feast day but it was finished and we are very happy with the results.
To learn more about the finished banner and the symbolism, follow this link: Torah is Life Banner .
Other related articles about pomegranates are:
Please email us if you have questions about making banners, we are happy to help you. We invite your comments.