At the recent Craft and Hobby Association show in Anaheim, I wasn’t surprised to see that bunting is still big in the craft world. I saw it decorating booths and table spaces and made from all sorts of materials from paper to burlap. Oh! and just so you know, burlap is also a big trend in the craft world. But I digress, back to bunting. Bunting is a fun way to add a seasonal decoration – think pink and red for St. Valentine’s Day crafting – and perhaps cut the bunting into heart shapes. Go green for a great St. Patrick’s Day craft project – though I would skip the clover shape unless you have a die-cut machine – that sounds more like hard work than fun. For July 4th, go red, white, and blue – you get the idea. And experiment with shapes… the pieces don’t have to be triangles. They can be rectangles, half circles – in fact, any shape you like and can cut out reasonably fast.
What you need
- Felt, fabric or paper
- Scrap paper for a template
- Baker’s twine or string
- Good scissors (you’re going to be doing a lot of cutting!)
- Sewing machine
For my bunting, I used felt pieces in multiple colors. The color palette is mixed, but there are no really bright colors. Start by making a template for your bunting shape. I made a triangle and then because it was easier to cut a few at a time, I duplicated it so I had a few template pieces. Assemble your material – paper, fabric, or felt and start pinning the template and cutting the shapes.
I laid out the first few pieces on the table and measured them to work out how many triangles I would need. I had about 10 yards of baker’s twine (I needed a lot of bunting), so with 4 triangles laid out measuring a foot that meant I needed 4 x 10 x 3 = 120 triangles. So, I put on a good movie and got to work cutting.
Once the pieces are cut, stack them on the table, grab some pins and the twine and start pinning. I pinned about half the pieces, sewed them and then finished the rest.
Once pinned, you can sew them. I found the easiest way was to zigzag stitch on the sewing machine – it was quick and it will stand up to a bit of wear and tear. To allow for easier hanging, I left the first and last foot of twine empty and sewed the rest.
When I was done, as I was taking the bunting with me to the show, I cut a piece of recycled cardboard box into a yarn winder shape and wound the bunting neatly around it for safe storage. This stops it from getting tangled up and it actually looks wonderful all wrapped up as a cute little bundle.
You can make your bunting long or short, big or small. It’s a great way to use up little bits of paper you love and have in your stash and as a bonus you get to enjoy them all over again. Make mini bunting to decorate a card and super big bunting to decorate a window or your entire house. Draw on it, paint it, or even dye it! There’s so much you can do and you know what – bunting is one of those decorations that just makes people happy – it’s hard to have a bad day when there’s bunting hanging around.
by Helen Bradley (www.craftinggoodness.com)