Banner painting

Banner painting

This group workshop, led by professional artist Maddi Nicholson, demonstrates how to make large scale banners for your school hall or school play.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Key Stage:

KS2 Art National Curriculum: Primary Art.

Learning Objectives:

Pupils should be taught: to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials


The six films show the key stages of a banner painting workshop which was delivered on one day by artist Maddi Nicholson with a group of Year 6 pupils. The design was created from a collection of portraits and sketches by the group which were then collaged together. Simple bolder designs work best because the banner is likely to be seen from a distance. The materials used are a cotton fabric (synthetic will not work) and fabric printing dyes mixed with an extender base instead of paint. maddi explians why these materials are used in the films. The design was intially drawn onto the fabric in pencil and then gone over with red or black chisel ended felt pens. Maddi suggests at the painting stage start in the middle of your banner and work outwards to the edges. These banners are suitable for hanging in a school hall or on the school stage.

The design

Creating a group design from individual drawings. Drawing a simple, strong design onto the canvas with pencil works best. Any theme will do.

Felt pen outline

Outlining the finished pencil design using felt tip pen.


Materials needed; cotton fabric, silk printing dyes, flat ended brushes and an iron to fix the colour.


Painting the small areas first makes the job easier.

End product

The finished banner.

Teachers view

Curriculum links

Development Activity:

This workshop would work equally well with a Year 5 group. Maddi used a group of 18 pupils to make sure that all pupils could be fully involved around the fabric. In the Teachers Views clip the teacher suggests this activity would work well in an Art Club setting. The teacher also mentions making banners to make backdrops for a dance performance or the school play.

Research, Notes and Links:

We have produced a lesson plan to accompany this workshop.