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The Halloween night haunt of Castle of Terra is hidden from the street because it's in a side garage. Vinyl banners are a great way to advertise it to the community leading up to Halloween night. This tutorial will show you how to mount your vinyl banners to keep them from blowing away...

Please watch the short video to see how to install grommets and mounting the banner:

Design Banner (picture 1): Sign-A-Rama makes my banners. Check with your local printer to determine what is the maximum width that their printer can produce. Theirs is 53" (4' 4"). The length is pretty unlimited. Force of Darkness' banner was designed to be 53" tall and 72" long (generally 4' x 6').

Start your new file in Photoshop to be 1,000 scale of what it will be actually printed at. This will keep the file size down to something that won't choke your computer while you are designing it. Have the file be 720dpi in the .eps format. At 1,000 scale my image size in PhotoShop was 5.3" x 7.2". Blown back up it will be 53" x 72" at 72dpi.

Take to Printer (picture 2): Transfer your finished file to a thumb drive and take it to the printer. As stated, the printer will blow it up to what is should be (53" x 72") at 72dpi. That is detailed enough to not look pixelated too much when you are looking at the banner close up. You can see in the picture above that it's hard to see the pixels even zoomed up close. Note: Check with your printer on what dpi setting they prefer. Some online companies (Jak Prints) won't take less than 300dpi. The drag is that it's a HUGE file.

Ask them to print it on matte vinyl fabric (if possible). Most printers though only have one type of fabric. It's shiny and reflects light a lot - but beggars can't be choosers. They usually use 13 oz. weight which is fine. Have it hemmed and grommeted. In regards to having it cut to allow wind to pass-through - there seems to be a debate. I go ahead and have that done but many say it's unnecessary and will wear out your banner quicker. Decisions, decisions...

Just so you don't pass out in the shop - brace yourself - they charge by the inch. The Force of Darkness' banner cost $180 (cough!).

Build Frame (not pictured): Lay out your banner on the floor and measure what size furring strip frame you will need. Be sure to have the top and bottom framing extend just a little bit on each end. Attach eye hooks to those overhangs. This is what is used to zip tie the frame to the tree stakes outside.

Attach Banner to Frame (not pictured): Determine if you need to make more grommets on your banner so you can securely attach the banner to the frame. If there are too big of gaps then your banner may sag in spots. Screw the banner to the frame through the grommet holes. Use washers if the hole of the grommet is too big.

Mount Banner Outside: Use tree stakes that are at least as tall as the banner. Be sure to have some grass clearance as well. You don't want the banner to sit on the grass. Pound the tree stakes into the ground securely (I use a 2# drilling hammer). Zip tie the banner to the tree stakes at the top, bottom and sides. Some tree stakes don't have a hole at the top so just use a metal drill bit in your drill and make your own.

This process can be used for all different sized banners.

Well, hope this was helpful!
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Terror Tom
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