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How to Repurpose a Flannel Shirt Craft to Make an Fall Leaf Banner

While Vintage Flannel shirts are amazing to throw over a t-shirt when the weather turns chilly, sometimes they just are too worn to wear anymore. This is a great time to repurpose a flannel shirt craft and make a fall leaf banner from old plaid shirts. Upcycled flannel shirts are super hot and there is a ton you can do with them and is fun for the kids too! This fun DIY banner is made from old thrift store plaid shirts and was so easy to make and no sewing machine is needed! You can even make these with excess plaid fabric. The trick to making the leaves keep their shape is decoupage medium!

cloches and fall leaf banner made from old plaid shirts

You just need a few simple things to make this fun fall leaf banner! You just need a few old plaid shirts, Mod Podge, scissors,hot glue, and twine. If you can’t find plaid shirts, you can also use flannel fabric or any excess fabric on hand or other old clothing.

Decoupage is a versatile craft item and fun way to create a brand new decor item like these decoupage dried flower pumpkins.

How to make an oak leaf banner from plaid shirts by laying out plaid shirts on the ground when you repurpose a flannel shirt craft and make an oak leaf banner

Start by laying out your old shirts on a tarp or floor covering. I used two shirts so I had two different patterns to work with. I used the big back of the shirt part first. Pick which side you want to show and then make sure the other side is face up. I laid them out on a large piece of cardboard so my floor was protected. If you want to use the back for something larger like a pillow or other home decor project, you can use just the sleeves for this upcycle.

Using decoupaage meium on a plaid shirt to make a banner

When making a fall leaf banner from an old plaid shirt, spread your Mod Podge decoupage glue all  over the back of both pieces and let it dry. This will take a few hours, but it will make the fabric stiff so your leaves aren’t all floppy and can be cut.

Tracing leaf shapes on an old plaid shirt

After it is dry, on the wrong side of the fabric, use the template(below) to trace your Oak leaves with a marker. You can grab the templates below for tracing your own oak leaf.

Oak leaf templates for fall banner from Jenniferrizzo.com for leaf tracing

Cut your leaves out. One side should be stiff and shiny-ish, and the other side will still feel soft.

Use old plaid shirts to make an oak leaf banner for recycled clothing crafts

You want the soft side up when you repurpose a plaid shirt and make a leaf banner, this is the right side. Use hot glue to apply a drop to the back side of the stem part and fold it over the top of the twine, almost like a  tab. It will hang flat this way. Then just start glueing and layering the different sizes until you fill your entire banner as much or as little as you like.

Old flannels and vintage but damaged plaid shirts can also be used to make great gifts such as flannel coasters, reusable hand warmers, coffee tumbler cozies, a pillow cover, scrunchies with elastic and more! With a little time you can create awesome and creative Christmas gifts! So much inspiration from one shirt!

plaid fall leaf banner hanging on a cabinet when you create and  repurpose a flannel shirt craft and make an oak leaf banner

And then I just made a loop on each side with the twine to hang it up! Ribbons would also be pretty. These oak leaf shaped plaid cut outs could also be used to make a fun fall wreath like this paper cut one.

cloches and fall leaf banner made from old plaid shirts

You could make this with regular old triangular banner shapes too. Handmade fall decor is so fun to make! Have you ever tried to paint a rustic pumpkin?

How to make an oak leaf inspired banner from an old plaid shirt


    1. What a clever idea! I have an old shirt with red, green & white that I think I will use for Christmas. All I have to decide is what shape to use for my banner. Thank you for inspiring me!

  1. I like this and was looking for something to do with some 1950’s plaid dresses that haven’t sold in my shop. Perfect!

  2. I need to make something thrifty like this for a fall bonfire we are hosting in a couple weeks. This is just perfect! Thanks for sharing this idea with all of us.

  3. Great project and tutorial! I am always looking for ways to re-purpose things and this is a really good one. Thanks for sharing your idea with us!

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