How-Tuesday 7: how to make 5m of bunting in an afternoon

I had a fabulous Sunday afternoon cutting up pieces of cloth from my stash and making them into bunting (see above, mm mmmmm).  Bunting is easy to make and so joyous to see draped about the place; it really embodies the Joy of Sew.  So, let me tell you how we did it, Junior and I:

Cut out a triangle template from thick card. Size is up to you, but consider how it is going to be used: bigger is better for street party bunting, but smaller might be more appropriate as a nursery decoration.  One thing that seems to be true is that the template looks better being taller than it is wide.  Isoceles rather than equilateral is the way to go. Not sure why but it is so.

Choose your fabrics.  It's a great way to use up scraps and leftovers or clothes/sheets/etc that you know in your heart of hearts won't be making it out of the mending pile alive.  Clockwise above, we have leftover cotton twill, some worn-through-in-the-arse PJs, an eroded pillow case, a scrap of Amy Butler material left over from a baby blanket project and a truly ancient sheet (seriously, like from my childhood).  Lace looks amazing too.  Use of old baby clothes or other significant items to you can really add an emotional dimension.  Consider your theme: toning or contrasting colours, similar or differing patterns, up to you.

Draw round your template lots of times.  You can lay these up right next to each other to be really conservative with your fabric and save time cutting.  Consider rotating the template when placing on striped fabrics to vary the direction in stripe. Cut them all out neatly and stack up.

We decided not to made double-sided, neatly hemmed flags, but you can.  We were being lazy time-aware.  So we just zig-zagged the edges of each flag with a toning pale blue thread, which had the unexpectedly lovely effect of sort of fluting the edges as well, so they look all fluttery.

Decide what order you want your flags to appear in.  Hotch-potch or repeating pattern, up to you.  It's fun to do this by laying them out in a looooong line on the floor.  Then stack them up again so that they are to hand in the right order.

We used twill tape but you can use bias binding, ribbon or whatever.  There is special bunting tape available very cheaply on eBay.  I like to fold the tape in half around the top of my flags as I think this is stronger and neater.  Consider where the bunting is to be hung and leave a long enough tail of unsewn tape for fixing (we added velcro to ours to enable it to be looped round a fixing point rather than tied).  Then start placing the flags and sewing them in. Pin or not pin, as you please (we didn't pin - surprised?!).  Consider how far apart you want your flags to be for max effect. The upper tips of our flags nearly touch inside the tape, which means that they are spaced by about 1cm when they emerge.  Then sew like the wind!  Remember to leave the same length at the other end for fixing as well!

5m of bunting took about 3 hours in all, from pressing the scraps of material to looping the finished product around Junior JoS's bunk bed.  She is delighted with our afternoon's labours and so am I.

Recycling, beautifying your space, quick results = win, win, win.

Bunt away, my friends, bunt away!

S x


  1. Lovely combination of fabrics. Photo of the finished article please!

    1. will do! I took a few on Sunday but they were awful so I'll take a few more in the daylight on Saturday and will post.

      S x


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