DIY Bunting with Fabric

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Whether you call it bunting, a pennant banner, or fabric triangle bunting flags, this is one sewing project where you can create festive DIY decorations for holidays, baby showers, birthdays, sports events, and other occasions.

It doesn’t take very long to make one strand of bunting and if you batch the steps in the process, you can quickly make multiple strands at one time.

Bunting flags that are two different sizes

Flag Templates for Pennant Banners

Bunting isn’t hard to make but having different size flag templates will make it easier for you.

Get 3 flag templates for FREE by completing the form below. Each one is a different size and shape giving you several choices on how the finished bunting will look.

DIY Bunting with Flag Templates

Patriotic bunting hanging on a porch.
Do you like the chair cushions? Check out the post on how you can DIY your own outdoor cushion covers.

The pennant banners in the image above are made out of red, white, and blue fabric for patriotic porch decor. The flags are double-sided so both sides are finished and look good no matter where you are standing.

Number of Flags and Length of Bias Tape

When you make bunting, you decide on how many pennant flags to sew. You’ll need 2 triangles for every flag so keep that in mind as you cut the fabric.

The double wide bias tape you purchase usually comes in 3 yard lengths and you decide how far apart to place the flags.

On each strand of store-bought bias tape in the above picture, there are 14 flags spaced one inch apart. That left plenty of room to hang the bunting on either end.

Video Tutorial on Making Your Own Pennant Banner

The video below will show you how to use the FREE paper templates that you can download from this post to make bunting out of fabric.

How to DIY Bunting with an Acrylic Template

After following the directions in this picture tutorial, you’ll know how to use an acrylic template to cut flags for bunting, sew the flags, and create the bunting.

*Commercial Template

*In the tutorial, I used a commercial template made to be used with a rotary cutter. It is part of a set that was designed to go with a Dear Jane quilt.

An acrylic template is used to cut the triangles

The completed banner uses two different fabrics, has 8 pennant flags, and is just under 6 feet long.

Sports themed bunting hangs in a doorway

Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin.

Gather the Supplies

Supplies to diy bunting with fabric
Two optional supplies (sewing clips and marking pen) are not pictured.
  • cotton or cotton-like fabric – a minimum of 1/4 yard with a width of 44-inches
    • This will make 8 pennants. There are 2 triangles for each pennant.
    • You may need more fabric if you’re going to fussy cut the triangles.
    • Note: I used Cleveland Browns themed fabric for the front and a solid color for the back of the pennants. I purchased 1/4 yard of each fabric.
  • extra-wide, double-fold bias tape, 3 yards
  • thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
  • sewing clips (optional)
  • seam gauge
  • marking pen (if you use a paper template)
  • a triangle template*

*You don’t need an acrylic template to make bunting. To provide you with options for the flag shape and size (including the same size I used in the tutorial), fill in your name and email below and I will send you 3 flag templates for FREE.

After printing the templates, just cut them out and trace them on a file folder or other thick paper. These thicker templates can then be cut out and used to trace the shapes on your fabric with a marking pen. (See the video linked above for a step-by-step tutorial.

Get Your Sewing Machine Ready

Put a 1/4″ presser foot on your sewing machine. If you don’t have one, you can use an all-purpose presser foot. Just use the edge of the foot as the guide when sewing.

Prepare the Fabric

  • Prewash the 100% cotton fabric in warm water and dry in the dryer.
  • Press to get the large wrinkles out.

Cut the Bunting Flags

Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin.

Cut the fabric to be the height of the triangle template. This will allow you to make fewer cuts as you cut out the triangles.

Length of fabric is the height of the triangle.
Using the commercial template, I cut the fabric so it’s 8 1/2-inches tall and left it 42-inches wide.

Place the triangle template on one end of the fabric strip. Line up the top and bottom of the triangle with the top and bottom of the fabric.

Use the rotary cutter to cut one side of the triangle then the other.

Cut one side of the triangle.
Cut other side of the triangle
You may need to carefully rotate the fabric and template before cutting the second side.

Tip: If you’re using a cardboard template, draw lines on the fabric then use either scissors or a rotary cutter quilting ruler to cut the fabric.

Invert the triangle template, lining up the edges. Cut another triangle.

Invert template to cut another triangle

Tip: If you are fussy cutting, the edges of the cuts may not line up with the template as you cut more triangles.

A transparent template makes fussy cutting easier.
A transparent template helps when you’re fussy cutting.

Keep going until you have all the triangles you need.

Cut triangles with template

Note: If the fabric has a pattern, pay attention to its direction as you cut triangles. Using the cutting method above, the pattern may be upside down. When constructing the bunting, these triangles could all go on one side and be the back.

Prepare the Flags

With right sides facing each other, pin two triangles together. Make sure the edges are lined up.

Pin two triangles with right sides of the fabric together

Optional step: Before sewing, use the measuring gauge to mark the place where you will pivot the needle at the point. It will be centered at the triangle point 1/4-inch from the edge of the fabric.

Mark pivot points before sewing

Sew the Flags

Start sewing at the top of the triangle. You’ll use a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew down one long side, pivot at the point, and sew up the other long side. Leave the top of the triangle open.

Start sewing with wide part of pennant flag at the top
Stop sewing at the marked point and pivot.
Stop sewing 1/4-inch from the triangle point, leave the needle in the fabric, and pivot.
Sew the other long side of the flag.
Two sides of the flag are sewn. The top is left open.

Trim off material at the point. Be careful not to cut the stitches.

Trim excess fabric around the point of the flag.

Turn the triangle right side out. Carefully push out the point with the closed end of a pair of scissors or a specialty tool if you have one. Use a pin to carefully pick at the point from the outside to make it sharp.

Carefully use a sharp pointed tool to push out the point of the flag.

Press the pennant so it lays flat and the edges are crisp.

Press each bunting flag so it lays flat
The pennant on the right has been pressed.

Attach Bunting Flags to Bias Tape

Open the package of extra-wide, double-fold bias tape and press out the creases.

Leave a tail of bias tape at least 12-inches long. Open the bias tape and place the top of one pennant right against the fold. Pin or clip it in place.

Lay top of flag against inside fold of the bias tape
The top of the pennant should be against the inside fold of the bias tape.
Secure the bias tape at the top of the bunting flag with clips or pins.
Secure the bias tape at the top of the pennant.

Space the pennants out evenly. I left 1-inch between mine.

Space bunting flags evenly along the bias tape.

Measure another 12-inch tail after all pennants have been attached. Cut off excess bias tape.

One side of the bias tape is slightly longer than the other side. Sew with the shorter side on top. Sew the bias tape close to the edge.

Sew bias tape with the short side on top
This shows sewing the first 12 inches of the bias tape. You can see the short side of the tape is on top.
Sew close to the edge of the bias tape to secure the bunting
Sew close to the edge of the bias tape.

That’s it. You’re done!

Bunting as Gifts

Pennant banners make great gifts. They are simple to make and easy to customize through fabric selection.

Who in your life would be thrilled to hang a pennant banner either as a room accessory or an as-needed decoration to celebrate sports games or party event?

Bunting can be hung in doorways.
My principal was super excited about the pennant banner and even more so when he found out it had not been bought at a store but made by me.
Dallas Cowboy bunting hanging on a wall in a man cave.
I also made a pennant flag banner for Mr. Jackson, the head custodian at my school. He is a Dallas Cowboy fan and he hung up the bunting in his man cave.

Bunting makes great gifts for baby showers, too.

Baby shower gift. Bunting in a box with child's name.
I made this baby gift in the colors selected for the nursery. After the baby shower, it was hung on door to the baby’s room.

Personalize the bunting with the baby’s name. Check out the applique letter templates I created just for this purpose – Sew Many Letters.

Not sure how to applique? Take a look at Introduction to Hand Applique: the Freezer Paper Method and discover another way to indulge in the joy of sewing!

Cleaning Tips

If the fabric was preshrunk, you can clean it by washing it on delicate and then hanging it up to dry.

Consider using a lingerie bag when washing and drying in a machine. The lingerie bag should be large enough that there is room for the pennant banner to move around.

Press out any wrinkles.

Let’s Connect

My main goals are to support, empower, and inspire you to discover the joy of sewing.

Need help or have questions on this project, pattern, or tutorial? Send me an email at nicki@theruffledpurse.com and we can work together to get it figured out!

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Bunting flags close up

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6 Comments

    1. Sylvia, if you start feeling burned out making facemasks, consider taking a break…it doesn’t take very long to sew bunting! 😊

    1. Bunting is such a quick project. Once you make one strand of bunting, it’s easy to get hooked and make many more.

  1. In the bunting picture of supplies for the team bunting you have the bobbin paired with the thread spool with maybe a hair tie? What is it really, LOL? I am challenged to keep my bobbins with the thread they came from between projects, this looks like a great solution.

    1. That is a bobbin buddy. If you do a search online, lots of options come up in colors, number of bobbin buddies, and prices. This is a perfect solution for keeping thread and bobbins together as long as you don’t store your thread on a rack. The bobbin buddy takes up the space in the middle of the thread spool.

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