Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Friday 14 February 2014

Mini Bunting Tutorial

Valentine's Day Fabric Garland

As Alice and I walked to school yesterday, she suddenly asked if I would make her some Valentine's Day bunting as presents for her friends.  "How many sets are we talking about?", I asked, "Nine" came the reply.

So I had a day to stitch seventy-two pennants and attach them to over ten metres of bias-binding.  "No Problem", I told her and quickly raced home to get started.

Now normally when I make bunting banners I like to take my time, in particular I hand-sew the bias-binding down so there is no visible stitching on the tape when viewed from the right side.  Today there was no chance! 

Instead, here's a cheat's guide to speedy bunting making.....

Your first step is to make a template for the flags.  My technical drawing skills aren't the best, so I opened a Publisher document and clicked on 'insert basic shape' choosing an equilateral triangle of 9cm.  Having all sides the same length saves confusion over which is the 'top'.  Once you have your template, trace around it onto your top fabric only.  I use a heat erasable pen sold under the name of Frixon (sic) or Fanthom (sic).  They are designed to be used, mainly by young students, on paper but are much cheaper than those sold specifically as dressmaking or quilting pens.

Put these triangles to one side and grab the fabric you intend using on their reverse. Do not cut individual triangles from this material, instead just cut or tear strips a little wider than the height of your template.  

Now simply lay your first flag down onto the strip, right sides together, and stitch.  Repeat with the next triangle and so on until you run out of fabric.  Then tear another strip and continue until all 72 have been attached!  

I was using recycled sheeting for most of this project.  The check fabric is the reverse side of the butterfly duvet set which I used for this journal cover.  I really recommend buying bedding at thrift shops and car boot sales as you can get metres of gorgeous fabric for mere pennies.

When all the flags have been sewn together, cut them out and snip the bottom of the triangle, as seen in the picture, to reduce bulk and create a neater final point.   Do not trim the top edge of the backing fabric.  Turn right sides out and press.

Now trim the excess backing fabric away, making both top edges equal, so that it looks like the middle flag above. 

I've not come across anyone else making their bunting in this way before, but trust me it saves sooo much time.  Other tutorials involve both front and back of each pennant being accurately traced and cut, which means they then have to be carefully pinned together so that they don't slip and move as you stitch them.  My cheat's method also means that you don't get those annoying little ears left at the top of each flag!

Once you have the required number of completed triangles stitch them to lengths of bias-binding to complete your garland.  If you're a bias-binding novice there are lots of great tutorials out there to help you, such as this one.  The method is a little different if you are going to hand stitch the binding down on the reverse side.  I just didn't have the time today to hand sew all nine sets!  However, I'm actually so used to the hand finishing method I inadvertently attached the binding the wrong way around on two of the sets.  It really doesn't make that much difference but if either of the recipients (or their Mums) notice, I apologise! 

I finished the project, including printing toppers for the packaging, with minutes to go.  I wasn't even late on the school run - Phew!

 Love Heart Sweets

Yummy Cakes


You may have noticed a crafty thimble thief in this post....I might have been finished even quicker without the help of  a certain jealous kitty!

Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. Josie, this bunting looks fabulous. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I will have to give it a try. Your cat Lilly is adorable! She's the same coloring as my Lilly. I hope to drop by again soon! Take care.

  2. I have always wanted to sew my own bunting but am not really a sewing sort of person. Thanks so much for sharing this - it makes it look achievable for a novice and I'm sure my daughter will love it if I manage to make some. Was about to give the sewing machine back to my mum but maybe I'll hold on to it for a little while longer ....

  3. What a fabulous post, Josie - thanks so much for the bunting tutorial. I want to make some for my new ARTHaven one day. Like you, I love using recycled sheeting and have loads of it - nearly all white, for backing, dyeing and painting. I love your kitty too - what a pretty girlie! She looks as if she is "helping" you lol! Thanks for your lovely comment - so glad you liked the card I made for my hubby, and thanks for the hugs for Beatrice. She's on the mend now, and we are highly relieved that the lump wasn't malignant.


  4. Josie you are Supermum!!
    Brilliant tutorial, the bunting is gorgeous and I expect there were lots of happy girls!
    Have just found your lovely blog via you leaving a comment on mine, and your makes and tutorials are wonderful! I shall enjoy having a good browse back through older posts - have already enjoyed seeing your decoupaged eggs!
    I loved seeing that sneaky kitty paw, tallons out ready to swipe the thimble!
    Really enjoying your creative blog Josie!
    Gill xx

  5. Thanks so much for visiting me. I'm planning to make some bunting, in a hurry, for our garden and I will definitely use your technique - so simple and unfussy. For some strange reason iIve never made any before but I'm sure I'd have tried something much more complicated! Juliex

  6. 72 pennants - you are one awesome mother, Josie!!! Bet the girls all loved them.

  7. Thanks for the tip of doing the extra material at the top. I am going to try this idea on my next banner. My last banner I just made from a mini charm pack and drove me NUTS!