Hanging in my daughter’s nursery I have some beautiful material bunting. I originally made the bunting for my first child’s 1st birthday party and it has been sitting in the cupboard unused, until now. I made this before I started blogging so I don’t actually have step-by-step photos but I have written simple instructions as I often get asked about how I made them. Here are my 10 simple steps to homemade bunting.
Step 1. Choose whatever gorgeous material you would like, or several if you want to make a pattern.
Step 2. Measure out how long you would like your garland to be, keeping in mind if you want it to hang loose or straight. A piece of string can be handy to figure this out.
Step 3. Decide how big you would like your flags to be. You could test out sizes by cutting out a few different newspaper flags and holding them up or sticky taping them to your measuring string.
Step 4. Count out how many flags you need to fill your length. This will depend on if you want to leave a space between each flag. I didn’t leave any space so the calculations were all quite straight forward.
Step 5. I decided to make my flags 7 inches wide and 8 inches high. When considering your width also think about the width of your material you are cutting it out from. Try to divide it evenly so you don’t have any fiddly offcuts. So I measured out on my fabric, strips 8 inches high and marked it with my sewing chalk. Then across each top line I marked at 7 inch intervals all the way across (i.e. 7, 14, 21 … ) and on the bottom line I marked the same but started with a half measurement (i.e. 3.5, 10.5, 17.5, … ). It depends on how straight you can cut to whether you would like to draw your cut lines on with a ruler and chalk or just cut by eye. This may sound a bit confusing so I have made a simple diagram to show you what I mean.
Step 6. Carefully cut out your flags. Be neat as you can, as I don’t bother with hemming them, so you want a nice clean cut.
Step 7. To avoid any fraying of my material I quickly went around the outside edges of each flag with a zig-zag stitch. If you could be bothered you could hem each flag, just be sure to add a little extra to your measurements in step 5. And you won’t need to hem or stitch the top edge of the flag as this will be hidden inside the top hanging strip.
Step 8. Measure out a strip of material to attach your flags to. I made a 1 inch trim on top. I doubled this so I could fold it over and the flags can be double sided and I added room for a small hem. So I cut a 2.5 inch wide strip. Cut as much length as you need and allow some extra length either ends if you want to be able to tie it on to something.
Step 9. Sew a small hem on either side of your hanging strips so that they have a nice neat finish. I also joined each of my strips together into one long continuous strand while I did the hemming. I then folded my strips in half and ironed a crease into them so that I could sew the flags on easier in the next step.
Step 10. Next comes the fiddly sewing. Be sure to have your flags all piled up ready to go – if you have done a pattern like I did have them sorted out into your pattern so you don’t have to stop and think which one is next as you sew. You simply lay each flag inside your hanging strip and sew it closed. I didn’t bother with pinning them into place, I just hand placed each flag as I sewed. This is personal preference though.