Learning how to make bunting gives you a great way of using up scrap fabric while brightening up any room. I have made three different types of bunting here – a plain triangle, one with a heart applique and one with a reverse applique heart.
Cutting the bunting flags
In general, making bunting is a great way to use up scrap fabric, although when I am making a large quantity, I usually cut 7.1/4″ strips of fabric across the width and then cut triangles right across the strip. The triangle template that I am using here has a 45 degree angle at the top and there are red lines across it which you can line up with the lower edge of the fabric.
How to make bunting flags
You can make bunting with just one layer of fabric if it doesn’t need to last too long and if it’s going to hang against a wall. I have used two triangles sewn together here so that the raw edges are hidden and the bunting looks as good from either side – this also means that it can be strung across a room and doesn’t have to be hung against a wall.
In order to make plain bunting, place two triangles with right sides together – the light blue triangles on the left in the photo. For the reverse applique heart bunting you will need to place two different fabrics together, both with right sides up – the blue and pink in the photo.
Using a 1/4″ seam, sew down one side of the triangles. When you are about 1/2″ from the tip of the triangle, turn the flag and make one stitch across the tip of the triangle, then continue to sew down the second side of the flag.
The one stitch across the top seems to give a neater point to the flag when the fabrics are turned right side out.
As it is quite a narrow point, I also find that it helps to trim the fabric across the top and for about an inch down each side before you turn the fabrics right side out.
Press the fabrics then turn right side out. I use a pen to push the tip out gently as far as possible. Press again when you’ve done this.
Trim the tops of the flags where the triangle tips stick out on each side. For the heart bunting flags, I have used two different methods to attach the heart. I have cut a heart shape in both paper and in pink fabric. In the middle flag in the photo I have placed the paper heart on the flag and drawn round it – this is the flag made from both pink and blue fabrics both right sides up. The fabric heart has been placed on the right hand flag.
In the right hand flag, zigzag around the heart making sure that your stitches cover both the heart and the background fabric. This is straightforward applique.
In the central flag, cut around the drawn heart shape taking care to cut only the pink top layer of fabric. Use the smallest scissors that you have – I used my embroidery scissors. As you cut away the pink fabric you will reveal the blue fabric underneath, with just a heart shape showing. This is known as reverse applique.
Zig zag around the heart shape, taking care to catch both the pink and blue fabrics in the stitching. You’ll notice that the stitching shows through on the back of both of these applique bunting flags. This just means that these flags need to be hung against a wall so that the back doesn’t show.
How to make bunting lengths
It’s possible to use ribbon to string the bunting flags together, but I prefer bias binding. I use the shop bought stuff – much quicker. All you have to do is fold it round the top of each flag and sew across the top of the flag. All the raw edges are taken care of in one step. Leave a trailing end at the beginning and end so that you can tie the bunting to something – I haven’t really left a long enough tail to be used for tying. I prefer to butt each flag up to the one before it when I am sewing the bunting flags together, but you could leave a space between them if you prefer.
I hope that this has given you some ideas on how to make bunting. You might also be interested in the Christmas bunting tutorial.
Here’s the video: