Those Who Dream Banner Designs for Advent & Christmas

Those Who Dream Banner Designs for Advent & Christmas


[This resource is one of many included in our Those Who Dream Advent Bundle for Year B]


This Advent, project & trace these designs to create painted or paper lace banners for your sanctuary. We hope these designs (and our instructional materials) can simply be a starting point for you to create art and beauty that is uniquely your own. Read this blog post for a number of creative ways to bring these designs to life (that are COVID-safe).

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artist statement:

Mary gazes off beyond the frame, dreaming of the future while simultaneously anchoring herself in this priceless moment. As she holds Jesus, Joseph holds Mary—delighting in the birth of their holy son, imagining the joyful personality that has just changed their lives and the world, forever. Iconographic halos surround each of their heads with architectural motifs, the Quatrefoil and the Trefoil, representing Christ and the Trinity, respectively. Stars on Joseph’s shirt connect with many of the texts from this Advent and Christmas season. From the first Sunday of Advent with the command to “keep awake,” to the heavenly host on Christmas, to the Magi on Epiphany, stars weave through all of our dreams. Doves dance through the fabric of Mary’s dress, representing the unexpected, exciting, and empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.

Ibram Kendi’s work, Stamped from the Beginning, discusses the intentional use of White Jesus to promote White supremacy, purity, and power: “In the 1820s… Protestants saw all the aspirations of the new American identity in the White Jesus—a racist idea that proved to be in their cultural self-interest. As pictures of this White Jesus started to appear, Blacks and Whites started to make connections, consciously and unconsciously, between the White God the Father, his White son Jesus, and the power and perfection of White people. ‘I really believed my old master was almighty God,’ runaway Henry Brown admitted, ‘and that his son, my young master, was Jesus Christ.’” In contrast, this banner represents the Holy family as Black. This is an intentional celebration and honoring of Blackness. It is imperative moving forward (and should have always been this way) that Black and Brown people see themselves represented in all aspects of imagery, particularly illuminations of divinity. It is also imperative that White people see images of the divine with darker skin as an affirmation and reminder that the imago dei is reflected within us all. Thinking about generational impact, it's important that Black and Brown children see themselves represented, but also that White children don't see themselves constantly as the default. Both shifts are important.
—Hannah Garrity, banner design artist and Founding Creative Partner of SA

 Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, (New York: Nation Books, 2016), 153.


  • Horizontal files to project and trace the designs into either two 96" x 30" banners or one 53”x70” banner. If you are creating them as paper lace cut out banners, we provide flipped projection files so that you can trace and cut on the back of the banners (dislaying the clean side as the front).

  • Written instructions with 2 options (summarized below) for bringing these designs to life in your congregation!

  • A large, color file for printing the designs as one 6’x8’ vinyl banner through a company such as Got Print: This is a COVID-friendly option, allowing you to install and display the banner art on the exterior of your church building throughout the Advent and Christmas season.

  • A PDF for printing the designs as an 11x17 coloring page.


Option A.) Painted Banners
Suitable for: Youth and adults of all ages
Level of time, planning, commitment: (3 of 5 stars)
Process: Follow written instructions & tutorial video to project and trace designs onto kraft paper or canvas to create two banners. Invite members to paint the designs using tempera or acrylic paint. 

Option B.) Paper Lace Cut-Out Banners
Suitable for: older youth (with supervision) and adults
Level of time, planning, commitment: (5 of 5 stars)
Process: Following the tutorial video below and written instructions included in download, project, trace, and cut out designs on photography studio backdrop paper to create beautiful paper lace banners.

Learn how to make beautiful paper lace banners for your church, using these hand-drawn designs by artist Hannah Garrity. In this video tutorial, Hannah offer...
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