DIY Craft | Festive Fabric Flag Banner Tutorial

If you know me, you know I love to decorate for holidays and parties.  And if you know my Mom, you know it’s in my blood.  The kids love to get in on the action too, with squeals of delight when we bring out each season’s holiday decor from storage.  Just yesterday, my girls helped me place pastel eggs and butterflies on our Celebration Tree.

One of my favorite go-to decorations is the festive fabric flag banner.

From Flag Banner Tutorial

I started making these to decorate my kids’ nurseries and then bedrooms.  It was an inexpensive, knick-knack-free way to tie together a room’s color or theme, while drawing the eye upward.  Instead of down – where you will find all the toys scattered across the floor!

Then I started making them for holidays and parties like this one for Jack’s 2nd Birthday Cowboy Party.

(How stinkin’ cute is little Jack with his first guitar?!  I loved his cowboy stage when he wanted to wear that cowboy hat and his cowboy boots constantly.)

The bedroom banners have been known to double as party decor, like this one for Sophia’s 6th Birthday Tea Party.

Yeah, I’m kind of obsessed with them.

Well, since a few friends have asked me how to make them, I thought I’d share a quick and easy, do-it-yourself (DIY) tutorial.  And heck, I’m from Utah, home of Crafters Anonymous (and many Martha Stewart Living staffers, I might add), so it comes naturally.  Here goes!

Festive Fabric Flag Banner Tutorial

Supplies Needed (approx. $8 for fabric and trim):

  • Fabric
  • Quilt binding
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine/thread (or a hot glue gun)
  • Glass of wine (optional)

Time Required:

  • About 1 hour (or less than one episode of American Idol)

How To:

Fabric:
You’ll need enough fabric to make 12 triangles. I usually use 4 different patterns and then alternate them 3 times. Or 3 different patterns, alternating 4 times.  You get the idea.  I generally buy 1/4 yard length of each fabric (with normal fabric width).  Take into account the way you want the pattern to hang – horizontal or vertical and plan accordingly.

Trim (to connect triangles):
You could use ribbon, but I always use a double fold quilt binding which is 3 yards long and the perfect length for 12 triangles. I get 7/8″ width quilt binding, which is available in many colors.  And I also use about 1 yard of pretty, matching ribbon on each end of the quilt binding to create an easy-to-tie bow to hang it up with.

Pattern:
I take an 8.5×11 paper and cut a perfect triangle with the 8.5 side being the short side. That is my pattern.  Stupid simple!  But the proportions seem to work well.

You could also trace this triangle onto cardstock paper or cardboard and then trace that triangle onto the fabric.  And it’s faster to double-up the fabric to cut the triangles.

Sew:
I don’t sew the triangles, I just leave raw edges.  Stupid simple, again!

I use my sewing machine to sew the triangles into the quilt binding. Just tuck the top of each triangle into the fold of the binding, pin to secure each triangle to the binding, then sew a straight line all the way down the binding.  No sewing machine?  No worries, I’m thinking you could use a hot glue gun instead.

I like to sew with a glass of wine nearby.

Next, sew the pretty ribbon to each end, folded in half for two ends to hang, tie and bow.  I like bows.

And, that’s it!  Super easy, right?

Notes for perfectionists:

  • You could use twice as many triangles to make the banner double-sided, but I’ve never bothered.
  • I suppose you could sew the edges of the triangles, but then this hour-long craft project just turned into a much bigger commitment.  Again, I’ve never bothered.
  • Experiment with different styles and shapes and trims.  For example, I added a lace trim to my Valentine’s banner.  And for Easter, I just made a scalloped version (using 8.5″ diameter half-circles so the fabric math was the same).  I’m really liking the scalloped banner and I think I’ll trim it with some wide rick-rack.
  • If it’s not perfect, relax.  It’s supposed to look homemade because it is!

Oh my heck, happy crafting you guys! (In my Utah accent.)  And if you aren’t feeling crafty, you can find tons of these flag banners for sale at etsy.com.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

28 responses to “DIY Craft | Festive Fabric Flag Banner Tutorial

  1. Yea! Thanks for this!! Raeanne was just telling me about how to do this and now the visual learner has the step-by-step….I think I will be at the fabric store today! xo

  2. Thanks for posting this Sheena…I am a huge fan of your flag banners…guess I can make some now!! Yeah!

  3. love love love and I think the Easter scallops are in order for me this year!!!

  4. Hi! Thanks for posting this! I’m making one today for my friend’s son’s birthday and was wondering how far apart you placed each flag. (I’m going to use your ribbon to flag ratio for my measurements, so it matters how far you spaced them. In the pics, it looks like an inch. Am I right?

    • Hello Kim, I didn’t space them apart, but placed the triangle tops end-to-end at the fold of the quilt binding. It looks like they’re spaced because the binding covers the top bit of the triangles. That should give you about 1.5 inches left on each end to add the tying ribbon. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

  5. Thank you for responding! And I meant to thank you for making this blog post in my initial question/comment. Here’s a pic of the banner I jsut made following your instructions. Hope this link works…

  6. Can I just tell you how awesome you are!! I was about to spend 50 dollars for someone to make this for me!!! & then I was curious if I could do it myself and holy joe!!! You rock!!!!

  7. Thankyou so much for listing this…I’ll b trying it out for a fair I’m going to with my new business! Now I also need to sew letters on to the triangles too….will definately use your glass of wine trick

  8. I simply adore your tutorial verbiage. I wish ALL DIY tutorials were just plain and simple and sounds like your friend is sitting there with you explaining it. Well done and entertaining!

  9. Girl after my own heart! The glass of wine is always on my supply list. However, I try to make sure it’s my FIRST because then the craft goes totally wrong. :o) Great Blog! I’m going to try this out with some extra fabric I have, and make a Merry Christmas banner.

    http://www.peacelovewaterbeds.wordpress.com

  10. This is so cute and your directions are very easy to understand. I have everything cut out and pinned but now I am wondering if I should glue it or hand sew it. Has anyone tried a glue gun with this project? If I had fabric glue I would use that instead. Thanks again for the great directions.

  11. Sheena, you are AMAZING! :)

  12. Can’t wait to make this for my son’s outdoors first birthday party!!! It’s going to look so colorful and festive on our fences!!!

  13. Pingback: Past projects and some insight on what’s to come. | Thrifty Indy Design

  14. Thanks for the step by step! I just wasn’t getting the details from the other photos on Pinterest! Your banners are great!

  15. thank you so much for this post Sheena! I just made one today with a hot glue gun and it was so simple and turned out wonderful! :) It did not take much fabric and I loved how you included the estimated cost!

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