tutorial: bunting flags

by contributor on 18/12/2007

in Home+Decor, Whip Up Tutorials

I’ve been interested in the beautiful bunting flags that I’ve seen popping up in shops, blogs, and in etsy stores and waned to make my own. I wasn’t completely happy with any of the tutorials that I found so I ended up coming up with my own pattern. This tutorial is for double-sided bunting, so that you can appliqué letters or a design to one side and still have a blank side to use for other occasions. Bunting can be a quick and easy way to brighten up a child’s bedroom, would make a great gift or New Year decoration, and a lovely way to make a personal (and re-useable) Happy Birthday or other celebratory sign. It would be great made out of recycled or vintage fabrics that would have meaning to friends and family – and make the bunting a family heirloom.

First draw out your pattern piece for the bunting flag according to the diagram.

Use your pattern to cut out two pieces of fabric for each flag. I used the same fabric for both sides, but you could also used different fabric to give more variety. In this photo I also have plain fabric swatches laid out on top in the colours that I’m going to use for appliqué.

TIP: If you are planning on hanging your bunting over a window you might like to cut a piece of light weight interfacing and iron it to one of your pattern pieces to make the flag a little thicker so the light won’t shine through it as much.

Draw or trace the designs for your appliqué onto paper-backed fusible (iron on) webbing. This is the stuff that is used for appliqué in quilting, if you’re not sure what it is don’t worry – your sewing/crafting store will know what you need! Note that letters should be traced in reverse so that they are the right way round when they are sewn on. My letters are in ‘marker felt’ font at 350 pt size – but any slightly rounded childlike font would be perfect. I printed them out and then traced around them on the back of the paper to reverse the letter, and then traced them onto the fusible webbing. Iron this onto the wrong side of your fabric and then cut around the design. Peel off the backing paper and position the design onto the flags.

For the letters I placed them in the centre of the flag and with the bottom of each letter 16 cm (6 ¼ inches) from the top edge of the flag. Iron your design in place. I have hand stitched around the edges using a simple blanket stitch – however you could sew this using your sewing machine as well. Pin the two halves of a flag together across the top edge with wrong sides together. Sew across. Then press the seam open and top-stitch across the top of both sides of the flag about ¼ inch from the seam. This will help to keep the seam out of the way when you thread your bunting on a string.

Pin and sew the two long edges of the flags, leaving about a 1 inch gap at the top of both sides. This is where you will thread the flags onto a string. Clip the corners, turn right side out, and press well so that all the seams are as you want them and it all looks nice and neat. Top-stitch along the long edges about ¼ inch in from the seam. Make sure you don’t stitch over the 1 inch gaps at the top or you won’t be able to thread your flags on a string later on!! I used a longer stitch for all of the top-stitching than I did for the seams, just because I prefer the way it looks. Do the same for all of the flags you need.

Here are mine all finished and ready to be strung up.

Lastly you need to make your string for hanging the bunting. There are probably lots of ways you could do this. I bought a couple of metres (a little more than a yard) of 1 inch (approx 2 1/2cm) wide bias binding, pressed it in half lengthwise, and then stitched along close to the edge. String your flags onto the bias binding in the right order, tie them up along a wall or across a window, and slide them into position along the bias binding. Now sit back, have a cup of tea, and admire your beautiful bunting!!

About the maker: Kate was taught to knit and sew by her crafty mother when she was very young. After years of thinking that it was totally uncool to admit to anyone that she knew how to knit, she has begun making up for lost time and crafts like crazy whenever her toddler will let her. When not crafting she is thinking about crafting, and constructing and deconstructing patterns in her head. She’s thinking about blogging but doesn’t feel that she has the time at the moment, so please have a look at her flickr site to see what she’s been up to.

Kate took part in the Cake and Pie Holiday Ornament Swap this year and as she has had a few requests for the pattern for this little guy she has/will put up a pattern in the comments of this photo if you were one of the interested people – go and check it out.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bon December 18, 2007 at 10:08 pm

What a beautiful bunting! It looks so pretty hanging against the window… I think this would make a great way to recycle your little one’s favorite clothes once they are outgrown.

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2 Moxie December 18, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Must learn applique!
Great tutorial.

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3 CAM December 19, 2007 at 4:40 am

Great tutorial! Looking forward to getting a little bit creative. Thx

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4 Laura December 19, 2007 at 4:52 am

This is so cute, but I REALLY REALLY love the cloud and rain softy in the background.

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5 Laura December 19, 2007 at 4:53 am

ps Anouk is my daughter’s middle name. Great tute.

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6 Gillian Mullally December 19, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Wow, you are a talented lady. I have only 3 months left to my my little arrival. You have given me great inspiration to start becoming creative and i like that you’ve considered our environment.

Well done Kate, you deserve many wonderful positive comments,

All my love,
Gill

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7 Alison Johnson December 19, 2007 at 3:21 pm

Well done Kate. You are so very talented. Loved your Flikr site and seeing the wonderful things you have made. Loved your children’s clothes. I love to see kids in vivid bright colours.
All things bright and beautiful………
Much love, Ali

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8 Angie December 19, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Great bunting! We have a special paper one in the family. My husband made it for the celebration of the 5th anniversery of our marriage. And every time before we hang it we ‘decorate’ one of the flags. We mention the occasion and we make some drawings. And now, five years later, we see all those wonderful occasions to be thankful for. And it looks amazing too!

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9 Kirsten December 20, 2007 at 4:45 am

Nice work Kate! I must get more crafty… I may even follow your tutorial and make one for Ava. Merry Xmas!
Lots love, Kirsten x

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10 Belinda December 20, 2007 at 5:55 am

Hey Kate, they look fantastic. You are one very clever chick!

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11 Allison Cameron May 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm

hi,
have been looking for bunting pattern & this is fantastic. thankyou
Allison
Brisbane, Australia

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12 Lenie Mets August 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I would like to follow your tutorial but your bunting seems huge – is 10.5 and 13.75 inch the right measurements? When I translate that to cm it comes to 26 and 34.9cm respectively…I’ve never made bunting before so it could be right…please let me know, I would appreciate it!

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13 maria August 27, 2010 at 5:45 pm

yes I have the same question about the size it seems really really big???

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14 kath_red August 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm

these are big bunting flags – however I am sure you can alter the size if you need to

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15 torrent download September 26, 2010 at 10:07 am

I have been looking for bunting pattern, luckily I manage to find this fantastic one.

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16 Autumn July 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Thank you for the tutorial! I used it as a jumping off point for my own bunting =) I linked back to you in my blogpost.
http://zeveryday.blogspot.com/2011/07/bunting-tutorial-with-buttonholes.html

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17 Leila August 27, 2011 at 3:38 am

Thank you for the tutorial, i have been wanting to make some for my princess and as a baby shower gift for a friend who is due for her first little bub in about 2 months!

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18 Pam October 8, 2011 at 6:12 am

A very useful tutorial for a beginner sewer – thank you :)
I linked you up here: http://mamassewingroom.blogspot.com/2011/10/back-with-bunting.html

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19 Kate August 4, 2012 at 7:36 am

My name is also Kate and I was just online researching ideas for my daughter’s birthday- whose name is Anouk too!! Spooky. Thanks for this simple tute. I will go to our local sewing shop tomorrow and get the things I need to make my Anouk a birthday bunting :)

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20 Suzanne Cooper April 4, 2013 at 7:36 am

Thank you so much for this lovely tutorial. I was thinking of making the bunting for my wedding next year, and reading this has inspired me, and helped give me confidence to have a go. Most appreciated

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