make | 100ft of Bunting in 2 Hours


Today, I'm going to show you  how to make a hundred feet of bunting in about two hours! are you rolling you eyes? I know that sounds like a long time - but if you've ever attempted this  project before, it's actually super speedy.

and the best part is : no template, no waste, and nearly-no sew!

Let me begin by saying that Tessa and I first tried to make bunting using a template and felt - which required labor intensive tracing and pinning - and just resulted in uneven, mutli-sized triangles (yuck!). So, instead we got out our elementary math skills, and perfected the following How-To over the 750 feet (yep, you read that right, seven-hundred-and-fifty-feet) of flags we sewed for a wedding we planned last summer.

The instructions are designed with an average 36-inch bolt in mind. It will create 1 ft of bunting for every flag you cut! But, I've also included a way to modify this for a different size, using a formula. Figuring it out gave me a crazy headache ... so you can bet I wont talk about math on this blog ever again.

now, get out your ruler and click "read more" for the illustrated instructions!

diagram : How to Make Bunting

materials : cotton fabric (that doesn't fray, labeled at the store), a metered mat board, a ruler, pen, scissors, ribbon, sewing materials, and ... most importantly ... a rotary cutter. (do not skimp on this, or you will have hands like the witch from Hansel and Gretel by the time you are finished)

preface : you're going to need a big big BIG workspace for this project. I suggest the floor - so you might want to swiffer and clean up the cat hair!

(1) the average height of fabric is 36 inches, folded in half on the bolt to be 18 inches.

(2) cut a length of 108 inches
  • if your fabric isn't 36 inches wide: determine your length by multiplying 1/4 by the total height by 12
  • the formula is: L= 1/4h x 12

(3) fold the cut piece in half again (so it's in quarters), bringing us to the height of our pennants : 9 inches.
  • if your fabric isn't 36 inches wide: the height of your pennant with be 1/4 multiplied by the total height of your fabric
  • formula: p = 1/4h

(4) this is where your metered mat board comes in. Measure 4 1/2 inches, and make a mark at this point along the top edge of the fabric. Measure 9 inches, and make a mark at this point along the bottom edge of the fabric.
  • if your fabric isn't 36 inches wide: the top mark with be equal to 1/2 the height of your pennant (or 1/8 the total height) and your bottom mark will be equal to the height of your pennant.
  • formula:  top mark = 1/2p,  bottom mark = p 

(5) along the top: from the 4 1/2 inch mark, make 12 marks at 9 inch intervals
along the bottom: from the 9 inch mark, make 11 marks at 9 inch intervals (12 total, counting the first one you made)

(6) using your ruler, draw a line diagonally connecting the 0-inch-mark on the bottom edge (the bottom-left corner) to the 4 1/2- inch-mark on top. From the same point, draw a line diagonally connecting to the 9-inch-mark on the bottom. {see picture}

(7) this should quite obviously look like a triangle! now repeat - by connecting alternating top-to-bottom points along your length of fabric.

(8) using your rotary cutter, and cutting away from you, firmly press along these lines using your straight edge as a guide. Your tool must be very sharp to avoid fraying.  If necessary, press the fabric flat with your other hand, but watch your fingers (Tessa almost needed stitches one afternoon) You will be surprised at how easily it cuts through all the layers of fabric (and your skin)!

(9) after every second cut, gently free each stack of triangles. The edge should be perfectly straight and clean - the last photo above is of a stack with no other work done! Occasionally a small portion may still be connected, but you can just snip it with the scissors.

(10) at the end you will have 24 stacks of 4. You just made 96 (!!) triangles, doing a quarter of the work.

(11) fold over the top edge of the triangle, and place a quarter-inch ribbon in between. With a sewing machine make a basic line of stitches over both the ribbon and the fabric (so it doesn't slide around)  or make a few quick hand stitches.

(12) snip the corners of the hem and any loose thread

(13) let out 3 inches of ribbon, and place another flag. Using this spacing, each section you sew will be a foot long.

and repeat!

(photo) on film with pentax k1000 (event design) Samantha Shorey and Tessa Keleher
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4 comments:

  1. i have a sweet friend who makes bunting for her etsy shop--it's such a cute and decorative accessory. thank you for breaking it down into simple steps for the crafting challenged like me:) happy to find your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  2. vintch : I'm so glad! I am mathmatically challenged, but luckily I was studying for the GRE so I was able to keep up with Tessa.

    Let me know if you try out these instructions. (or if you have any questions)

    ReplyDelete
  3. this will come in handy next party-time - I love buntings.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Such a great DIY! Love - thanks for sharing:)!

    ReplyDelete

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