Southern Mom Loves: Make a Flag Bunting to Decorate Your Home!

Make a Flag Bunting to Decorate Your Home!

Friday, June 2, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #USOCarePacks #CollectiveBias

Summer is the biggest time for patriotic holidays in America, but it's not just about firing up the grill. It's a time to celebrate our country and the soldiers who have fought to help us become and remain free. We've had a few members of the military in the family so I can appreciate that Sam's Club & Coca-Cola are partnering up with the USO to provide care packages for the troops overseas.

Keep reading to find out how you can be a part of that and how to make this big, bright flag bunting to help decorate your home this July 4th!

If you love to celebrate the 4th, I have some great news for you on two fronts:

1. Easy, phenomenal decor that can be used year after year and 2. you can help support our troops through Coca-Cola and the USO by doing something you're probably already doing for the holiday: buying Coca-Cola. :)

The USO is an amazing organization that has been around since 1941. Their entire reason for being is solely to support our troops overseas by helping to keep them stay connected to their family and home throughout their service.

This summer Coca-Cola & Sam's Club will help connect Members with the USO and provide care packages from home to soldiers overseas. The care packages include lots of little things that will remind them of home and help keep them going.

My son will be joining the Army when he turns 18 and I couldn't be prouder of his decision. As a mom I worry about all of the little things, but it's good to know that there is an organization like the USO that is providing comfort and care to our military members.

A flag bunting is a classic way to decorate your home, but most of the ready-made buntings sold in stores are cheaply made of flimsy fabrics. They're not really meant to be saved and used year after year.

When you make your own buntings, you can make them to last for years by using outdoor home decor fabric (think of the thick fabrics used on outdoor chair cushions) treated so it won't fade in the sun. The only stipulations for choosing a fabric are that the stripes are symmetrical (fold it in half. Do they match?) and that they run horizontally from an upright bolt/roll (picture it standing on end. Are the stripes horizontal?)

This bunting can also be made without a sewing machine and I'll give you the "no sew" directions as well. You'll only need a hand-sewing needle at the end.

Flag Bunting

  • 1-5/8 yards of 55" width outdoor fabric (make sure it's treated so it won't fade in the sun)
  • a sewing machine (or heavy-duty fabric glue + a hand-sewing needle)
  • clips/clothespins
  • matching thread
  • 90" of coordinating ribbon or fabric strips
  • ruler
  • temporary fabric marker/chalk/pencil
  • pins

1. Fold your selvedge towards the back of the fabric and pin in place. Sew down the length of your fabric (stitch length of around 4mm) with thread that matches your end stripe at a 5/8" seam allowance. Repeat with the other selvedge.

No sew directions: Run a bead of heavy-duty fabric glue inside each fold and press down.

2. Fold the "top" of your fabric down about 1" and press. Sew at 5/8" across the top.

No sew directions: Run a bead of heavy-duty fabric glue inside the top fold and press down.

3. You'll need 3 strips of fabric or ribbon around 30" long (or long enough to tie around your railing.) Fold a strip in half to find the halfway point and mark. Measure outwards 1" on each side of that center mark and mark again. Repeat with the other two strips.

4. Line up the ties on the back of your top edge. The uppermost marks should be flush with the top edge. The center tie should be in the middle of your center stripe and the edge ties should be flush with the left and right edges.

5. Sew them on at around a 3mm stitch length. I sewed a box around the edges of the marks I made, then an X in the center of the box. 

No sew directions: Glue the ties down and clip. Hand sew at the top and bottom for extra holding power.

6. You'll now have a large square of fabric with 3 finished edges and 1 raw edge. Let's accordion-fold this bunting. I want large 3" folds and I'm leaving a 2" flap free on the top to wrap over the railing, so the first fold only should be 5" wide. Get 2 clips ready to hold the front and back gathers. You can fold that 2" flap out of the way and flip the whole thing over as you gather if it's easier for you.

7. The next and all subsequent folds should be 3" wide. You'll only need to gather the center, so leave the edges free and try to make that center gather as even as you can. (Shown below with top 2" flap folded back out of the way.) Accordion fold the entire length to the end.

8. You want the last fold of the unfinished edge to be going toward the back of the bunting. I folded the edge back at the 3" mark, then pressed a crease in the fold with a hot iron so that I could more easily match the stripes right at the sewing line. Bring the left and right sides of the unfinished edge together in the middle. You can let the last fold or two free from the clips to make sewing them together easier. 

9. Match the stripes on the left and right sides and pin them at the sewing line. Sew from top to bottom and press the seam open.

No sew directions: Run a bead of heavy-duty fabric glue down each side (inside the seam allowance only) and press together/clip.

10. Gather your folds back up and clip them back in place. You'll now have what looks like a full bunting, but the center folds need to be secured. 

11. I don't know about you, but my sewing machine won't go through that many thick layers, so we can a) glue each layer with fabric glue, or b) hand sew a line up the front and back edges to secure, or c) both. I'm doing both. 

Remember when gluing to just run a bead up the center in each layer, front and back. Clip and let dry overnight then thread a hand sewing needle and catch the edge of each layer going up, then going back down to make it extra-secure. Do that on the front and back.

No sew directions: Same!

Ta-da! You're all done and these are easy enough to whip up a batch for each railing you have on your home.

Simply tie the bunting around your railing and you're all set for summer.

Your guests will love getting into the spirit of the holiday and you'll love knowing that you've helped one of our service members receive a little piece of home.


What is your favorite way to celebrate Independence Day? Will you be decorating this year? I love to read your comments!

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