Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quick & Easy Flag Garland Tutorial

My oldest daughter turned three in June, and I was determined to make handmade decorations for her party. I made four of these flag garlands. They look quite festive, and we will be able to use them again and again for many years to come. They are super quick and easy to make and can be made in any color combination you want. The flags are made from felt, which means no hemming and no fraying. This also means a heck of a lot less sewing!

Materials and tools you will need to make one 12 foot garland:
  • Several 9" x 12" sheets of felt (You can cut two triangles from each piece. You need 9 triangles.)
  • 5 yards of 5/8" wide ribbon
  • thread to match your ribbon
  • scissors or a rotary cutter
  • pins

Making the Flag Garland

Step 1:  Cut the felt into triangles using this template. You can use scissors, or you can cut through a couple of sheets of felt at once using a rotary cutter. You will need a total of 9 triangles in the colors of your choice.

Step2:  Cut a piece of ribbon 12 feet long. Cut two more pieces of ribbon, each approximately 11 inches long. These shorter pieces will be your ties.

Step 3:  Lay your 12 foot piece of ribbon out flat on a table. Take one of the 11 inch tie pieces of ribbon and fold one end under about ½ inch. Fold it under another ½ inch. Pin the folded area about 10 inches from one end of the 12 foot ribbon. Do the same with the other 11 inch tie piece of ribbon, but pin it to the opposite end of the 12 foot ribbon. Zigzag stitch back and forth several times along the width of the ribbon over each fold.

You now have a tie at each end for hanging your flags.

Step 4:  With your ribbon still lying flat on the table, lay out your triangles, trying to space them evenly along the length of the ribbon. If you're a geek like me you can do the math to get them perfectly spaced. When you get them spaced out how you want them, use a couple of pins to attach them to the ribbon to keep them in place.

Step 5:  Using a zigzag stitch, sew along the length of the ribbon across each triangle, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each triangle. Want to move even faster? Don't cut your thread after sewing on each flag... just pick up the needle at the end of each flag, move to the next flag and continue sewing. When you are all done, go back and clip all of the in between threads at once. Just don't forget to backstitch at the beginning and end of each triangle.

Congratulations! You're done! You are now the proud owner of a spectacular handmade party decoration.

Go ahead and make a few more to really jazz up the place.

Really short on time? Forget sewing altogether! Get out the glue gun and glue on the ribbon ties and all of the triangles! I ran out of time for my daughter's party and ended up gluing the fourth flag garland together. No one knew the difference.

I'm linking up this tutorial at the link parties listed below. Go on over and check out all of the great projects featured there.

Show and Tell GreenA Crafty Soiree


Julie said...

So simple, yet so cute!

malia said...

hi gwen... darling as usual and i love the way you wrapped it around the tree! hope you link up to A Crafty Soiree tomorrow (-:

Jen said...

I never thought to use felt. Awesome idea. I love all the bright cheerful colors.

Andi said...

Love it! May have to whip one or more up for Saturday!! Great pics as always!

Katie said...

Great short cut idea for making a flag garland, I love the bright colors and I've had some luck fusing things on top of felt, if you don't mind a slightly felted look, so it would be easy for me to make one with my daughter's name too! Thank you for joining us at A Crafty Soiree!

Katie Lewis said...

This is charming!

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