Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wave That Flag!

My wedding DIY projects so far have come to me while looking for inspiration online.  I've been digesting wedding blogs for over a year and they've been integral in helping me develop the special, little details that we'll incorporate into our big day.

One project came to me in a very unusual way.  I was on a business trip a couple months ago and built an extra day into my week to see my brother's family, who live in the city where I'd be working.  My brother and sister-in-law have three charming little boys who I adore. While my sister-in-law and I were talking about wedding planning during my visit, their middle child was playing between us. I asked him if he wanted to be a ring bearer in the wedding and without missing a beat, he said "I'll need a flag."

My sister-in-law was a little startled and tried to tell him that he didn't need a flag, but I decided that if he wanted a flag, he could have a flag. So I set about looking for a little inspiration.  The flags I saw online were definitely put together using a sewing machine.


Totally cute, right? I realized that I'd have to make my version very sturdy. It looked like the flag in my inspiration picture was falling apart a little bit. Small hands are going to play with these things. I imagine my nephews might wave their flags with...fervor. Disintegrating flags might ruin the fun.

My ability to work with fabric is limited by the fact that I don't have a sewing machine.  Most of the flags I saw online were put together using one, so those of you who sew might take a totally different path on this sort of project.  I hope that those of you whose sewing skills are like mine, limited to putting buttons back on coats and tacking up hems, find this approachable.


Supply list
  • Fabric (cotton or cotton blend is probably best)
  • Iron transfer paper
  • Fabric fuse tape 
  • Wooden dowels 
  • Fabric Glue
  • Hot Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Iron
I like to assemble as many pieces of my projects as possible before I start to put them together, so my first step was to cut pennant shapes out of my fabric, cut the dowels down to appropriate sizes for each of our ring bearers, and print the flag designs on the iron transfer paper.  I have three nephews who are about the same size and one that is considerably smaller, so you'll notice that there's one "mini" flag being constructed.

Each of my flags needed two pieces of fabric because the material I had was lightweight.  If I just used one layer of fabric, the design on one side would show through on the other.  The dowels I found at the craft store were about a yard long, which were far too big for children.  I just kind of picked a point on the dowels and hacked at them.  For the designs, I took a picture of the corn hold boards I painted, printed a mirror image on iron transfer paper, then printed out some text that would replace our monogram in the design.

Photos by Miss Mink

With a tiny pair of scissors I last used to cut out chiffon circles for my bridesmaids' shoe clips, I carefully cut the floral design and text out of the iron transfer paper.  I lined the pieces up and ironed them for about 20 seconds.  Holding my breath, I started to peel the paper off...

Photos by Miss Mink 

Whoo Hoo!  It worked!  For the back of each flag, I printed "Hooray!" with a fade to one side. I couldn't figure out how to do this on my Mac, but on my PC, I was able to add a fade to a text box in MS Word.  

I didn't like the raw edges of the fabric pieces, so I decided to add some grosgrain ribbon as trim.  First, I steamed the ribbon while folded in half.  I put fabric fuse tape on each side and used that to bind the ribbon and the two pieces of fabric together. 

 Photos by Miss Mink 

The ends of the ribbon didn't come to a point, but I'm okay with that. I actually convinced myself that once tucked and secured, the ribbon looked kind of cute. A little glue and the fabric was attached to the dowel.  I did a few furious waves to make sure the bond would hold up to the passionate energy of five and seven year old boys.

 Photos by Miss Mink 

I thought I was done, but I riffled through my ribbon cache (I have a thing for ribbon) and added a bundle of ribbon to the top of each flag.

Photos by Miss Mink

I LOVE how my ring bearers' flags turned out.  I may have paraded around the living room with one because I was so proud of myself. I can't wait to put these in the hands of the little boys in our bridal party!
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