Two-sticks are small, hand-held painted signs. They're a great way to support the team and are fun to make. Designs can range from simple words to intricate images. Two-sticks might reference popular culture, celebrate a player, or be a dig against the opposing side. If you see someone holding a two-stick that you admire, don’t be afraid to say hello and ask them about it. People are usually happy to talk about their design process and share tips for making a two-stick. Check out some examples in the gallery at the bottom of this page.
These instructions will make a finished two-stick that is approximately 5 feet tall by 4 feet wide, but you can adapt them for any size.
- 5’1-1/2'" high x 4’6" piece of fabric (polyester-cotton blend is best)
- Pencil or charcoal stick
- Paint brushes or small paint pads
- Drop cloth to protect your work space
- Two 7-foot lengths of 3/4” PVC pipe
Design: Create an image that can be scaled to 5’ high by 4’ wide. You can use design software to create the image then project and trace it on the fabric or your design can be drawn free-hand on the fabric. If you have a small image that you want to enlarge but don’t have access to a projector, the grid method can help you scale an image correctly.
Sew: The fabric needs to have a pocket on each vertical side to hold the PVC poles. Fold over 3 inches of the fabric on the left side and stitch the entire length to form a tunnel that is open on each end. Repeat on the right side. Now fold over 1-1/2 inches on the top edge and stitch the entire length to close the top part of the tunnel to create the pocket.
Trace: Use a pencil or charcoal stick to trace or draw your design onto the fabric. If your design is complex, you may want to add a letter to sections representing the paint color you will use; this turns the fabric into a large paint-by-numbers project.
Paint: Craft paint or latex-based house paint work well. Most paint stores will make small test pots of colors which gives you a wide palette to choose from. If you live in the Portland area, check out SCRAP (a creative re-use store) as they frequently have small containers of paint. Lay out a drop cloth on your painting surface to protect it then lay out the blank two-stick on top of the drop cloth. Paint from the inside of the image towards the outside edges to avoid smudges. Allow several hours for the paint to dry completely before folding or rolling up your two stick.
- Display: Slide the banner onto the two PVC poles and hold your two stick high above your head before kick off, at half-time, or after the final whistle. Be prepared for questions from and pictures taken by fellow supporters! Please don’t hold up your two-stick during large tifo displays or obstruct someone’s view of the match.
Tips & Tricks:
- Paint a primer coat if you are using thin or primarily cotton fabric. This prevents paint from bleeding through to the back of the fabric and looking spotty.
- Use iron-on hemming tape or a stapler to create the pockets if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.
- Paint dark outlines or sections last, as they can be used to hide any imperfections with lighter-colored sections.