Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Make Personalized Drinking Straw Flags

I think the little flags that people sometimes attach to old-fashioned, paper drinking straws are adorable.  They were a project that I didn't have on my list during wedding planning that I would have loved to tackle if we had used a signature drink.

  From A Little Sparkle on the Side (formerly Sparkle and Hay) / Via Lover.ly

Luckily, I know a few other people getting married in the next year and I was able to make some for one of them!  There are tutorials for these things all over the web, but I learned a few lessons along the way and I thought I'd share the steps I took to make drink flags.

Tip #1: Make your own template
I hunted around the web for drink flag templates and found plenty.  I probably wasted an hour doing this.  I downloaded quite a few, but didn't like them and wound up making my own little template by taking a few measurements and playing around with the guidelines in Adobe Illustrator.  I printed on plain, copy paper a few dozen times to get everything lined up properly before printing on some nice card stock that had a little texture.


Tip #2: Use a small, precise paper cutter
I thought I would have to use the "guillotine" style paper trimmer at work to cut the flags out, but the simple paper slicer that I have a home worked just fine.  It took a little longer, but I felt as thought it was a little more precise that the big cutter at work.


Tip #3: Try Elmer's double sided tape
I thought I would use the Scotch brand double sided tape I see everywhere, but came across this Elmer's version at the craft store and decided I liked it better.  The Elmer's tape is lined on one side, so you can place it and peel the backing off later on. 


Tip #4: Assembly line style works best
After I put tape on each flag, I started peeling the backings off and putting the ends together.  I started out doing all the steps, start to finish, but realized that assembly line style was the faster method.



Tip #5: Don't use thick paper
I slid each flag onto a paper straw (available online in lots of colors), pinched lightly, and rolled each straw a little bit to make sure the paper was secure.  Using that pretty, thick card stock was a mistake.  The paper didn't want to stay on the straw.  I wound up using a heat gun on the flags, hoping it would melt the adhesive on the tape to the straw.  The flags seemed to stay attached after that, but the ends still needed to be pinched to stay together.


 The finishing touch is cutting the ends of the flags to give them points.  Don't they all look so cute?


When I did this project again for a different couple, the thinner paper was a big improvement.


I had so much fun that I'm considering more freelance wedding crafting!  Let me know if you need any help with upcoming projects!
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