A big part of 350 actions is creating iconic images to send to our political leaders and to the global media — and a banner is often the best way to get your message into your picture.

A few tips:

  • Identify a goal or a call to action — like ‘No New Coal Plants” or something specific to your country, like “100% Renewable!”
  • Call out a political leader — like your President, Prime Minister, MP, etc.
  • Make it yourself — home-made banners make your action more unique and give it grassroots personality. Never made a banner before? Read on…

How to Make a Banner

Making a banner is as easy as it is fun. So there is NO need to worry about this part of your action.

Its so easy, a 7 year old could do it. In fact, you might want to find some 7 year-olds to help you with your banner. They love painting and always have creative ideas. So leave your worries behind and have fun.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll have no problem.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

You will need:

  • Fabric – anything works: a bed sheet, a drop cloth, canvas. It can even be dirty, because you’ll paint over it. You can sew small pieces together to make a large banner, too (think big!)Thicker fabric is generally nicer to work with.
  • Paint – Old latex house paint works great! (but oil-based paints make clean-up difficult, smell bad, and dry slowly). You can also use acrylic paint (the kind artists use, and available in most art shops), or you can use watered down ink (or ink mixed with house paint!). You can do alot with a few colors, and remember: you can always mix colors!
  • Brushes – Any paint brushes work. Small for details and big ones to cover lots of space.  Paint dries quickly, so if brushes have paint on them – keep them in water or wash them.

Step 2: Bring friends

Painting projects are much more fun when done with others, and is a great way to build community.

Schedule an “art build” a week or two before your action to make props for the big day. Post it on the 350 page for your event, and call friends to help. See if they can bring additional materials, friends, and snacks! This is always fun, and a great way to get kids involved in the action.

Step 3: Map It Out

Lay out your fabric on the ground, or pin (or staple, nail, tape) it up to a wall. Put something under the fabric, as paint can bleed through thin fabric- or work on a surface you don’t mind getting paint on. Chalk is best for sketching on fabric, because you can erase it easily. Pencil is good too, and markers can be used to outline once you have sketched out exactly what you want. And have fun, be creative…

Step 4: Paint It!

Now comes the best bit! Its time to paint your banner. If you want it to look extra neat, you can put tape along the lines of what you are painting. Then just remove it when you are done painting. And experiment with mixing colors, you’ll be suprised at how many variations you can get from a few colors. The more colorful the better! We want to grab the attention of the world—lets show them how vibrant our movement is.

Don’t forget to send us a GREAT photo!