How to Make a DIY Rag Banner + Fall Mantel

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Want to update your fall decor without spending a lot of money? This DIY Rag Banner is perfect for any season and is so easy it’s the perfect fall craft!

DIY fabric banner and fall mantel

I always like to remind you guys that I’m not a designer. I’m simply a woman who loves creating beauty in her home through trial and error and a little bit of DIY magic. If I can do it so can you!

I’ve been dreaming about fall for what feels like months now. My body longs for cooler weather and I’m all about that sweater life!


(I’m thrilled to be joining an amazing group of bloggers sharing all things fall, including outdoor spaces, mantels, crafts, etc! Keep scrolling to see all the links at the end of this post!)

Usually I just drag out all my fall decor, decide on the pieces I want to use and figure out how to bring it all together.

This year I wanted to add in some black and white buffalo check without spending much money.

Fall mantel with thrift store accessories and fabric banner

Let me first encourage you with a word about contentment. I believe we should embrace our homes where they are, however they look today.

We’ve been in our home for 29 years and it was only four years ago that we began to make big changes to the place. (You can see our total kitchen remodel here and our small farmhouse bathroom here.)

Before then it was yard sale and thrift store goodies with some crafty DIY thrown in (still is for the most part!)

Our home was filled with kids and homeschooling and I had to prioritize where our limited income was used.

That was not a PROBLEM but an opportunity. I never feel like I lacked for anything and believed I could help our one income family by saving money wherever possible.

Blue couch with buffalo check accessories for fall

One of the best ways to redecorate your home is to declutter! I have an entire series here that will get you started!

Last year I cleaned out my fall decor and will do so again after this season. As our styles and family changes it’s good to let go of things we don’t need.

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to add fall color is by making a DIY rag banner. (You can see the one that hangs over our bed here.)

All you need are a few materials you probably already have on hand!

Quick steps to making a DIY Rag Banner:

  1. Gather your materials.
  2. Rip apart sweater (or other fabric) and cut or tear into large sections.
  3. Cut all the materials 1″ wide by 12″ long.
  4. Measure length of jute to fit place you want to hang banner.
  5. Attach each strip to the jute by tying a knot.
  6. Hang under a mantel or anywhere you want a pop of fall.

How to Make a DIY Rag Banner


(I’ve included some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)

Fabric scraps
Burlap ribbon
Buffalo check ribbon
Jute twine

Step 1. Gather your materials.

I love to look in my closet for old clothes or pick up pieces at yard sales or thrift stores. You can use fabric but that’s a bit more expensive.

For this DIY Rag Banner I used an old sweater, fabric scraps from our bedroom makeover and two types of burlap ribbon.

Rag banner hanging from bedroom headboard

Step 2. Rip apart sweater (or other fabric) and cut or tear into large sections.

Ripping orange sweater

The sweater I used was one I dug out of my husband’s closet from when he was a much larger size!

Step 3. Cut all the materials 1″ wide by 12″ long.

Mark orange sweater using a ruler

For wider ribbon mark and cut at 1″ intervals.

mark burlap ribbon with ruler
Buffalo check ribbon being cut with scissors

For burlap ribbon, you can make a cut at the end and then pull a thread loose at that point. After the thread is completely removed you’ll have a line to guide your cutting.

Pull thread through burlap ribbon
cut brown burlap ribbon

Step 4. Measure length of jute to fit place you want to hang your banner.

I would cut a longer length than necessary just in case!

Step 5. Attach each strip to the jute by tying a knot.

I alternated colors in an orderly fashion but you can do it however you want!

tie strips of fabric onto piece of rope

Step 6. Hang under mantel or anywhere you want a pop of fall!

fabric banner hanging under barn wood mantel
A bunch of items that are sitting in a room

Our DIY Barn Wood Floating Mantel makes the perfect backdrop for all things fall! You can see where I’ve added some fall pillow covers and a buffalo check tray I made.

(You can watch the Facebook video where I transformed some dollar store goodies here.)

I threw together a paper banner and added some mini chalk boards for lettering.

Mantel with fall banner and buffalo check tray

Everything else are oldies but goodies or from the dollar store or yard sales!

fall mantel with buffalo check tray and dollar store accessories

This sherpa throw, these fall pillow covers and buffalo check pillow covers add great texture to this area of my living room.

Buffalo check throw and pillows for fall

I have to say this is one of my most favorite mantels ever! Do you have a favorite part?

Wood mantel with fall decorations and rag banner

Home Decor Sources:

Fall pillow covers
Buffalo check pillow covers (similar to mine)
Black and white sherpa throw
Black and white fabric
Mini chalk boards
Rustic lantern (this is similar to mine)

Check out all these amazing ideas from my fellow home bloggers!


Fall Mantel Decor Ideas

Engineering drawing

Fall Tablescape Decor Ideas

Many different types of food on a table

Fall Porch and Deck Decor Ideas

Tray and Porch

Fall Tiered Tray Decor Ideas

Many different types of food, with Tray and Pumpkin

Fall DIY Crafts

House and Color

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  1. My body is longing for cooler temps too, I am right there with ya! This is such a pretty craft idea and great way to declutter your things, whether its clothes or a zillion scraps of fabric like my Mom has. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I love this idea, Marty and it looks so pretty above your couch! I really like that you can customize it for any season by simply changing up the fabrics.

  3. Love your mantel, that rag garland just makes it so festive! I love how simple they are to make and the huge charm they add to any vignette! I gotta get on making one of these!

  4. What a great way to add seasonal color to a space! Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. I’ve always loved those rag banners and yours is so pretty! Great colors and so festive for fall!

    1. Thanks, Sara! I write a lot about grief and how that can keep us stuck with our things. You’re not alone in decluttering. It’s a constant process!

  6. Your rag banner is great looking Marty. Especially with all the other fall pieces to tie all into your room. I really liked the different colors and textures of the fabric choice making this easy craft so approachable and looking so great in the home.

  7. I can attest to the fact that a tied banner is easy to do. I’m not much at sewing so when I updated a cedar porch I made a tied valance over the windows. Even more thrifty using scraps from things you already have!

  8. I love how you styled your mantel for fall and the rag banner that you made adds the perfect pop of color and texture to your display. After seeing your project, I think that I need to make a similar banner for my home.