So here is a little tutorial for a festive bunting banner. Although I have gone with a French theme
(because it's going to decorate my bed in the newly decorated bedroom), you can of course use any words or phrase you want, but the method will be the same.
First gather your materials
Lettering to trace or printout.
You can find loads of free printable alphabets on line, or just trace some from a magazine or book. They do need to be fairly simple and not too narrow as you are going to cut them out of fabric. I found a set to print out here.
Base fabric to cut out the flags.
As a rough guide you should be able to get enough flags to spell 'Merry Christmas' out of a a piece about 12 inches by 36 inches.
A variety of scraps for the letters
Bias binding or pretty tape or ribbon to attach the flags to.
Bondaweb or similar cut from a roll.
Scissors for paper and fabric.
Paper, to make your template
First you need to make your flag pattern. Take your paper and ensure that the top and right hand edge are completely square. I used an A4 sheet of printer paper
From the right hand edge measure 3 1/2 inches along the top and make a mark. Then measure down the right hand edge 4 3/4 inches from the top.
Make two more marks 4 3/4 inches down from the top edge and draw a line through all three marks. Measure along this line from the right hand side and make a mark at the 1 3/4 inch mark. Then draw a line from the top right hand corner to the 1 3/4 inch mark, and another from the 3 1/2 inch mark at the top to the 1 3/4 inch mark. You now have your triangle pattern for your flags.
This will be the finished size of your flags and you will need to add 1/4 inch seam allowance all around. I cut myself a new pattern with the seam allowances added to make cutting easier as I was using one fabric for all my flags. If you were using scraps you could just add the seam allowance at the cutting out stage.
Using your base fabric double, place your pattern as shown in the following picture and cut out the number of flags required for your chosen phrase.You will probably want to iron your fabric first which as you can see I did not!
Next you need your lettering in reverse. I did this by saving the printable to my computer and then printing it out using the t shirt print option on my printer. If you aren't able to do this, cut out the letters, but just remember to use them in reverse.
Next you need to cut small pieces of bondaweb, big enough to fit each letter on, and with a hot iron iron these onto the reverse of your lettering fabric.
You should then be able to draw around your reversed letters on to the paper backing.
Cut out the letters. Then peel off the paper and place each letter right side up on the flags. They need to be pressed on with a damp cloth to ensure a good bond.
It's at this point that you can either sew around the letters with your machine, either just a straight stitch , small zigzag or decorative stitch or do as I did and do some on the machine and some by hand. You could of course miss this step altogether since the letters will be well stuck and your banner is not likely to be frequently laundered.
Now it's time to sew the flags. With right sides facing, join the two parts of the flags with a scant 1/4 inch seam down the 2 long sides. Trim the edges of the point to get rid of some of the bulk and then carefully turn the flags right sides out. Use a chopstick or other blunt ended object to gently ease out the point.
You should end up with something like this... (spot the mistake, I forgot to take a picture of all the flags actually sewn together, so these are after I had finished all the lettering but before I sewed and turned the flags)
Finally you need to sew the individual flags onto either tape or ribbon. I have used ribbon this time and because it was not wide enough to fold over I had to use two lengths long enough to fit all the flags with a small gap in between each flag (about 1 inch as these flags are small) and enough for an 8 inch piece either end to either tie or form a loop to hang the finished banner.
I sewed the flags onto the facing ribbon first, then just turned the whole thing over and keeping the two ribbons level stitched again at the bottom of the second piece of ribbon and then joined the two together at the top.
On reflection it was easier to use bias binding as shown in this bunting tutorial.
However I do like the finished look .......
And so there you have it, a pretty festive banner to decorate a dresser, a window ( you could go that extra mile and do the letters both front and back for this, remembering of course to make sure the words read the right way from each side!), or your bed as I have done.
Hope you can understand my instructions but I am always happy to explain if anything seems a bit vague and I would be thrilled to see some of your creations and will do a post nearer Christmas if I get enough feedback.
Off to make a bundle of catnip fishes for 'GiddyKipper' now so I could be gone some time.
Hope you have a great and creative week (and that you dont get blown away)