How to Make Decorative Flags Out of Nylon

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Make Decorative Flags Out of Nylon
Make Decorative Flags Out of Nylon (Image: Cromer's)

Whether you are supporting your favorite sports team, drawing attention to a political issue or just displaying your own personal independence, making your own flag out of nylon is a fairly easy process and is an inexpensive way to showcase your personal style. Decorative nylon flags are very easy to customize, and they are more durable and weather-resistant than cotton...and less expensive than polyester.

Decide what you want on your flag. It can be anything from a favorite logo to an intricate personal drawing. Don't worry about proportions at this point. Keep a rectangular design in mind.

If the image is on paper, transfer it to a computer. You can do this by scanning it. Use a flat bed or fax-style scanner. Save it in an image format (.gif or .jpg are preferred.) If you do not have a scanner, many FedEx Kinko's locations will scan it for you and put it on a disk for a nominal fee. If you created your image on the computer, you can skip this step.

Use photo editing software to give the image a 1:2 height/width proportion. This can be done using the Microsoft Office Picture Manager, Photoshop or iPhoto. Simply go into the photo size menu (where this is will depend upon the program) and select the "custom size" option. Then enter a pixel value with a 1:2 ratio (like 300:600, 600:or 1200) Remember, bigger is better. Try to stretch the image as much as you can without distorting it.

Find a screen print or digital print service. FedEx Kinko's is one business that generally does nylon screen printing. Call ahead to make sure. Other screen/digital printing stores are often found in malls, but they can also be freestanding. If you have your own printer, make sure to read the owner's manual and make sure that the printer can handle the cloth before loading.

Add personal touches. Since nylon is a very craft-friendly fabric, it will hold up well if you decide to paint parts of it with acrylic or cloth paint, and it will even handle other wet media well. If you are not picky about a professional-looking flag and want an artistic one, you can choose this as your primary step. Decorate carefully. Let the flag dry for at least 24 hours in a well-ventilated, dry place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some weather fading is normal. Even professionally crafted nylon flags will fade when subjected to the elements. Do not be dismayed if your flag's design loses some brilliance after a few months.
  • If you decide to run the flag through your own printer, make sure to leave enough time for the ink to dry and the design to set. Otherwise, your design will run.

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