Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DIY Bunting

Now that I live in England I have a whole new appreciation for bunting. It's not that I didn't love it before, but I assumed it was only for circuses or kids parties. Here though, bunting is serious business. It's on street lamps and shop windows. People hang it outside their house and even wear it on their clothes.

Bunting in the streets

Bunting on clothes [source]

I've been told there's more bunting than usual because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, but I think it's a tradition that should be maintained. That's why when I started planning Dan's birthday party, I knew I wanted to try my hand at making bunting. I even made the invitation with a bunting theme.

I went to my local fabric store to pick out some fat quarters and cotton tape for my bunting. I wanted fabrics that were neutral and not girly. I found a great grey polka dot; a nice yellow gingham and a cool denim. The best part is that each quarter only cost me £1.50.

I found a template online that helped me determine the size each triangle should be. You can go a lot of different ways, but I just cut out the size that seemed best suited to my space.

Making practice triangles

Karen was making bunting for the baby shower she was hosting so we both had big plans. We folded scrap fabric in half and cut out triangles using our template; then we used my sewing machine to sew the two triangles together. We made three practice triangles.

The next step was to use straight pins to attach the triangles to the cotton tape and then sew straight across.

Pinning triangles to cotton tape

Once we determined that the practice triangles were the cutest thing ever, we moved on to making our real bunting. I ironed my fabric and cut out my triangles. The cutting actually took the longest. It would be much easier if I had a rotary cutter, but I was just using scissors.


I was able to get eleven triangles from each fat quarter. Using my three quarters and some leftover fabric, I had thirty-seven triangles to work with. I knew I wanted bunting over the fireplace in the dining room and below the kitchen table where I planned to put food or drinks for the party so I measured those spaces and laid out my triangles in a random pattern.

This was just trial and error; there's really no right or wrong here. Once I found a pattern I liked, I pinned the triangles in place. It makes it so much easier if you iron a crease the cotton tape first.

With everything pinned in place I hung up the bunting as a trial run to make sure I still liked the pattern. I actually made a couple of changes before sewing everything into place.

Making bunting wasn't hard, but it definitely took some time. In the end, it was totally worth it. I think it really added sophisticated whimsy--if such a thing exists--to the party.


  1. I love the bunting! You are so talented. Question, did you hem each triangle or are the edges unfinished? I want to make one for Katelyn's nursery but not sure I have the time to hem each triangle!

    1. Aww...thanks Megan! The hems are all unfinished. It's fine for the polka dot and denim-like one since they're pretty heavy. The gingham one is fraying a little bit on the edges, but it looks kind of cute. I think you'd be fine leaving them unfinished.

  2. It came out so well!!! Great job!

  3. Yay bunting! My Aunt Laura just called to tell me that she is saving my great-grandmother's old tablecloths for me to make more bunting with. Thanks for the inspiration to go with fabric!

    1. How awesome! That is something so meaningful that will get a whole new life and new memories.