Ok…I’m months behind the fever of bunting making that occurred in the UK due to the Royal Wedding, but I have to admit how much I love these little triangles of joy.
Perfect for any kind of party, indoors or outdoors, having your own handmade bunting to string up for all your occasions is something I think every person should have. I also think all celebrations should be how Enid Blyton writes about parties in all her children’s books…but hey…that’s just me.
Image found here.
Please, please, please for the love of a deity, don’t BUY bunting. With a little scrounging and putting by, you can make bunting for under £3. FACT.
Things You’ll Need
Fabric & Hemming Tape/Ribbon
First things first – you need fabric. Got an odd pillowcase that doesn’t match anything else? An old t-shirt with a stain on one side? That shirt of his that you really can’t stand?
All my fabric is reused, rehashed, recycled and/or scraps donated by understanding and yet highly confused friends and family. The only thing that I have paid for when making my bunting is the hemming tape which cost me under £2 for 3 metres. You don’t have to use hemming tape, you can use ribbon or fabric cut to size. I simply used the first thing I grabbed from my haberdashery that looked like it would do the job.
I have a running stack of fabric cut into bunting triangles, thanks to my pinking shears. Pinking Shears are honestly a crafty girls best friend (after sticky dots of course) because they save you having to hem all the edges of each little triangle…which is very boring and very time-consuming, and I’d rather be drinking tea from tiny cups and talking to my bear….sorry…seems to have stepped into another Blyton day dream.
I got my lovely shears from eBay.
Decide how big you want each triangle to be, and cut yourself one out of paper.
I find the best method is to fold a sheet of paper in half, and then cut your ‘half’angle and then unfold it into a triangle. This means both sides will be symmetrical. You can get all bogged down with rulers and angles if you wish – it’s just not my cup of tea.
Things are just more manageable when they are flat….
A Sewing Machine or Time & Patience
If you don’t have a sewing machine, never fear, you can do this by hand. It just might take you some time. If you know someone who does have a sewing machine – it’ll take about 5 minutes to whizz it through, so ask very nicely.
Now you are ready to get going!
Firstly, pin your template to your fabric.
Then, cut around your template.
The other spotty fabric you can see in the background of this picture was taken from some old pajama shorts that had long required binning.
Once you’ve cut enough triangles for your ribbon/tape begin pinning them in place. Fold your tape or ribbon over both sides of the fabric before pinning right through, encasing your fabric inside.
REMEMBER – Leave yourself enough ribbon on both ends to hang it up!
I ALWAYS measure using human measurements (like three fingers width) to measure between the triangles. I find it’s quicker, as I don’t have to keep reaching for the measuring tape. (That is also my excuse for doing three fingers of gin and then topping it up with tonic.)
How far apart you measure your triangles is up to you. It also depends on how much ribbon/tape you have and how big your triangles are. Lay them out first on the floor or large table before you pin, to save yourself un-pinning and re-pinning several times – like I did.
Once everything is pinned up together, it is time to start your engines. Also known as the iron. This is about the only action our iron ever sees.
Iron a crease into your tape/ribbon as this will mke it easier to deal with on the machine/in your hand. Mind the pins as you go.
This is also a good chance for you to iron your fabric too.
And then plug in your machine…
In a small straight stitch, in a suitable thread colour (I used white as my hemming tape was white), sew down your tape/ribbon from tip to tip, ensuring you keep your machining neat, removing all pins as you work and catching all the fabric triangles inside the tape/ribbon. (So your triangles don’t fall out when you lift it up!)
If sewing by hand, with the patience of a saint, keep your stitches small and neat as they will be on show.
I don’t hem the ends of my tape/ribbon, I use the pinking shears just to snip the ends of to ensure they don’t fray.
As you canny readers will notice, this bunting is not the same as the one I have been cutting out and pinning previously. I finished this blue bunting (made from old jeans, fabric from an old satin lining and cotton scraps) 20 minutes before I realised I could do a How-To, and promptly began another string that will be given as a gift to a certain little lady at Christmas.
So here ends my first How To…. how did I do? x