Now you can download Vote! stencils start a group in your neighborhood and spread the word.
DIY Instructions and Tips
Vote! bands work best on wood utility poles because:
- They tend to have a larger diameter than metal ones
- They often have lots of staples and stuff that the bands can stick to
BUT vertical bands can be placed on the metal poles if you secure the back in multiple places.
You will need to go into your neighborhood and take measurements of the circumference of your utility poles to determine an average size for your poles and also determine the best placement for maximum viewing—you may want to have both horizontal and vertical bands on hand.
1. Acrylic knitted material for the band to wrap around the pole. It is important that this be acrylic so that it can withstand bad weather.
Got a UFO you lost interest in (an unfinished project)? An old scarf? If you don’t have anything on hand, time to hit the thrift shop—acrylic scarves are perfect! If what you have is longer than you need for the band, you can cut it down at the edge. Or, you can knit or crochet a band yourself to your specifications. A horizontal band needs to be at least 9” wide and long enough to fit around the pole. If you are doing vertical bands the minimum length is 31”; the minimum width is 7”.
2. Letters can be knitted (think old sweater) or felt.
Be sure to use colorful contrasting material. Have fun with color and pattern to make sure the letters will be visible on your pole—bright colors are a plus! Pick as many or as few as you like.
3. Bright safety color polyester fabric for the www.pole2polls.com tag.
You can find neon yellow or safety orange fabric for the tag at Jo-Ann. Pick up ½ yard. The tag is not critical; add it only if you want your state and local election info posted on the Pole2Polls website.
4. Wonder-Under or any iron-on fusible webbing you like to use.
It may seem like an unnecessary step and/or cost but fusible webbing keeps the letters in place when you appliqué. It will make them lay flat on the band and withstand the rain once the band is installed. An alternative is fabric glue which works well with felt, with knitted material not-so-much.
5. Foam core, or cardboard, or plastic for the stencils. Each letter is about 5 by 6” so you’ll need enough stencil material to cut out VOTE plus the !
6. Scissors, thread, iron, sewing machine. You can use a sewing machine to appliqué the letters, or you can also do this by hand. IMPORTANT—the edges of the letters need to be securely stitched to the band so they can withstand bad weather.
8. Printer for the stencils and for the tag if you are using one.
The tag gets printed directly on the fabric, so be sure your ink is DURABrite and waterproof. If you haven’t printed on fabric before lots o’ tips can be found on the internet but most Epson printers use DURABrite ink.
9. Acrylic yarn for ties. You’ll need 2 pieces for a horizontal band, 4 for a vertical one. Each piece should be about 12” long.
10. Cable ties for installing the band. You’ll need about 4 small cable ties (approximately 4” long) for a horizontal band; for a vertical band about 4 large ones (at least 20” long, preferably longer—they can always be cut down).
Once you have determined the band dimensions:
1. Measure your knitted strip and, if necessary, cut it to the length you need. To prevent it from unraveling, be sure to either serge or do a tight zigzag stitch on the raw edge if you cut down a scarf or any knitted material.
2. Download the VOTE! template. Click here. You can print the template directly from the website. Or, to download the PDF file right click on the link and select it as “save as.”
3. Trace the letters onto your stencil material and cut them out.
4. Prepare the material for the letters by ironing the fusible webbing (Wonder-Under) to the wrong side, following the directions on the package.
5. Print www.pole2polls.com on your tag fabric, if you are including one.
6. Prepare the fabric for the tag by ironing the fusible webbing to the wrong side.
7. Trace your letters on the paper backing on the prepared material. Remember to invert the V and E.
8. Cut out your letters and tag. The tag will be about 7½” long and ¾” wide; just allow enough fabric around each edge to make room for the stitching.
9. Remove the paper backing from the fusible webbing and iron the letters onto the band. Start by placing the T in the center of the band. Work your way out on both sides, positioning the letters as close together as possible. Appliqué the letters in place.
10. Remove the paper backing from the tag. Iron the tag anywhere on the band and appliqué it in place
11. Add the yarn ties, securing each with a strong knot. For a horizontal band, fasten ties to the top right and left corners. For a vertical band, add yarn ties to all four (top and bottom) corners.
That’s it! Now you are ready to go to the poles and cast your Vote! Click on the how to install page for tips on installing your band.
If you start a project outside of Pennsylvania send us the link to your state voter registration and any important voting information and we will provide it on our website. Just download the www.pole2polls.com tag and stitch it onto your Vote! band.