How to Make a Flag

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Dress your patio for any season or special occasion with a hand-painted garden flag. Whip up a birthday banner to mark the location of a party or monogrammed flag for a personalized housewarming gift.

Things You'll Need

  • Several colors of fabric paint 
  • Paint brushes
  • Painter's tape 
  • Stamps
  • Cotton canvas or duck cloth 
  • Sewing machine 
  • Thread 
  • Scissors 
  • Ruler or straight edge 
  • Iron and ironing board 
  • Optional: Waterproofing spray 
  • Optional: Iron-on fusible tape or fabric glue

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You can customize your flag to fit any size flag pole by measuring the length of the pole and adding an inch for seam allowance. Measure, cut out and press your canvas before pinning and sewing any edges.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)
(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Fold and pin down half-inch seams along the bottom and side edges of the flag. Fold under the top edge of the flag creating a tunnel large enough for the flag pole to pass through. Pin along the bottom edge of the fold before sewing to keep seams straight and prevent fabric from slipping.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)
(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Start sewing at the bottom-right corner of the channel you created for the flag pole, keeping the presser foot aligned with the edge of the fabric fold. Continue sewing around all sides of the flag using a straight or decorative stitch.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)
(Image: Lindsey Crafter)
(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Use a pencil to lightly sketch lettering or designs on your flag before using fabric paint.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Use painters tape or pattern stamps to add borders or backgrounds to your flag. Find instructions on how to make your own stamps here.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

If you plan on hanging your flag outdoors you may want to spray it with a waterproofing spray to protect it from the elements. Allow your flag to dry flat before hanging outdoors.

(Image: Lindsey Crafter)

Create an assortment of handmade flags for different holidays or seasons and store on pants hangers in a closet or laundry room for quick and easy changes.

Have a question about sewing canvas on a machine? Have an idea you'd like to share? Leave them for us in the comments section below.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some flag web sites may sell their scrap materials pretty cheap, which you can use for your design. Ask and see.
  • Be careful with the iron temperature if using nylon. Set it as low as possible to just melt the glue.
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