All Nature Sings

You’ve done it, I know you have. At some point or another in your banner-making career, you’ve been asked to make a banner design to represent music. What’s the first thing that popped into your head and onto your fabric? A HUGE treble clef surrounded by dancing quarter- and half-notes. You shouldn’t feel bad about this, of course. Clichés are born out of good ideas. They become clichés when everyone acts on the same good idea.

Look No Further

Inspiration for this banner came from two parts of Psalm 92: the beginning, where the writer describes why we make music in worship: “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night” and then later, when the writer describes the righteous music-makers: they will “flourish like a palm tree,” “grow like a cedar,” “bear fruit in old age,” “stay fresh and green.” What a perfect picture of hope–for our music and for ourselves!

Green on Green

The success of this banner depends on the coordination of the various colors of green. If you’re not good with color, come clean and find someone who is. It’s really important to get this part right.

To add depth to the banner, cover the background with the large leaves and then sew/adhere the tree overtop. Once all of the pieces are down, iron the whole business so firmly that the shapes of the background layer are “embossed” through the top layer. It’s a subtle effect but worth the effort. Heavier fabric like felt works well for this.

Buck conventional wisdom and leave the words small. From a distance, these wisps might seem purely decorative but upon closer inspection–aha!–the text of Psalm 92. Let people find this out themselves and enjoy a moment of discovery in worship.

The result of your hard work is a banner worthy of a regular place in your worship–perhaps even replacing some of those dusty fake trees up front. Left up long enough, some folks might even begin to see the subtle treble clef you’ve so cleverly incorporated via the white lines of text. For more help, click here for a downloadable version (PDF) of the pattern with a grid-overlay.

Dean Heetderks is a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Cutlerville, Michigan, and art director of Reformed Worship. Show and tell him about your experiences at

Reformed Worship 60 © June 2001, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.