I don’t think I new what a bunting was called until last year or so… I just thought “string of flags” or “pennants” or something. But a bunting it is, and it’s cute as anything.
I made this bunting as a holiday decoration, and rather than sticking with red and green (not my fave, really), I went for a more festive red/orange + green/blue. I like it.
This would be a really great thing to do with childhood clothes too, as an alternative to making quilt after quilt. A bunting would be an adorable way to preserve a bit of that nostalgia.
So here’s a little (er, long… full of pictures) tutorial if you’re interested in making your own bunting, either for a holiday decoration, or year-round in a child’s room or craft room.
First, choose some fabrics that you think would go well together. I chose 3 pairs of fabrics, so I can do front/back and both sides will look nice. For instance, the blue dots and red dots will go together to make a set of triangles (blue front/red back), and so forth.
Roughly cut strips of fabric… I just made a snip at about 7 inches down and ripped the width of the fabric to make a strip. Don’t worry; we’ll clean up the edges soon.
Iron the fabric to make sure everything is smooth and ready for cutting and sewing!
Now we’re going to make our triangle template. I wanted mine to be about 6 inches long (after sewing, turning, and trimming) and around 6 inches wide. You can do a long skinny triangle if you want, or a short fat one. But for now, we’re making a rectangle to approximate the width/length of triangle you’d like.
I drew the 2 lines the length I wanted, then folded the paper so the crease would connect corners… and cut it out. I’m making this more complicated than it needs to be… basically mine was a square. Yours can be a rectangle of any size/dimensions.
Fold your square or rectangle in half and draw a diagonal line…
And cut it to make your triangle pattern.
Now we go to the cutting table… first trim the edges of your fabrics. I’m doing each pair together.
Now place the triangle with the short edge along the long edge of your fabric, and cut along the pattern. I used my rotary cutter, which is probably the fastest and most precise, but you can do it with scissors of course!
After the first cut, I just flipped the previous triangle like this…
And used it as a pattern to cut along.
And keep flipping…
Until you have a nice pile of triangles!
And repeat with the other pairs of fabrics.
Now, sew along one of the longer edges of the triangles, with the coordinating fabrics’ right sides together.
You can do a whole bunch at once, and clip them when you’re finished.
Then, sew the second long edge the same way. See how they’re all connected? Cut them apart…
And then flip them right side out. I used the tips of my scissors to poke out the point, but sometimes I use a chopstick. The eraser-end of a pencil will work well too.
Smile at all the pretty colors when they’re all flipped.
And then iron them so they’re nice and flat.
Gorgeous! We’re almost there!
If you have bias tape, you can use that for your “string,” but I decided to use twill tape this time. Cut lengths of twill tape or bias tape as long as your bunting will be. I estimated about 2 yards for each of mine (I made 3 buntings with 11-12 triangles in each one).
Then, fold the twill tape in half and iron it. If you’re using double-fold bias tape you won’t need to do this step, since yours is already folded.
(Not shown: Trim the top edges of your triangles with your rotary cutter so they’re straight and “clean.”)
Snuggle the triangles in between the fold of the twill tape or bias tape, and pin in place.
They’re almost done!
Tuck under the ends of the bias or twill tape like this, and then…
Fold them again, like this. This way when you sew them, they’ll be nice-looking and won’t fray (don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and end!)
Now, in one long line, sew along your twill or bias tape, making sure you catch the triangles and the back of the twill/bias tape.
Please be luckier than I was… my needle broke into 3 parts for some reason, and the middle part shot out and HIT ME IN THE NECK. I sat there feeling my neck for a couple minutes, sure I was bleeding and dying… of course, I wasn’t, but I never found the 3rd part of the needle, so I maintain that it is inside my neck.
And when it’s all sewn, go ahead and iron it again. Ironing is to sewing what makeup is to my face. You know, it makes it look acceptable even if there are a couple zits or something. Or, you know, wiggly stitches.
Now you’re done! Or you can keep going like I did, and sew some bells onto some of the triangles. I didn’t do all of them, but maybe I will add more bells later.
Just stitch them onto the end, and make sure to secure your thread ends well!
Enjoy your beautiful bunting! I hung mine with thumb tacks (how very college-student of me).
I’d love to see photos of buntings you’ve made or that you make in the future using this tutorial. If you ever make one, go ahead and post the link (to your flickr or blog or wherever you share it) in the comments here.
I have 2 more buntings… maybe I will add them to the shop so I can share! Anyone interested?