Tutorial: how to make bunting

There is something about bunting that just makes you smile. It seems to represent sunny days, garden parties and all things quaint and pretty. No wonder it is such a popular choice for home decor, as well as festivities of any kind. Whether its a nursery or a kitchen, a wedding or a street party, bunting can offer the perfect finishing flourish. And whilst bunting can be very expensive to buy, it is actually really simple to make. Follow this tutorial to find out how.

You will need:

  • Fabric
  • Single fold bias binding
  • Cardboard or paper
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board

It can be helpful to make a further template out of card, and use this to cut out your pennant shapes using a rotary cutter. However, you can also pin the paper template to your fabric and cut out. If you are careful, you can position the template close to the previous triangle to get the most out of your fabric.

You’ll need to cut 2 triangles per pennant. For a 2m length of bias binding, I tend to make 7 pennants (so cut 14 triangles in all).

Take two triangles and pin them right sides together (don’t be fooled by this picture; the fabric I was using had a pattern on both sides!) It can help to put a small dot 2cm from the bottom point of each pennant, as a marker for when you are sewing.

Using the edge of the presser foot as a guide, sew along the sides of the triangle. Start at the top and sew down to the spot you marked previously. Leaving your needle in the fabric, pivot the pennant and begin sewing along the other side. There is no need to sew along the top of the pennant.

Give your stitches a quick press, then trim the corners at the point in two stages; cut away the bulk…

…and then trim away again.

Turn your pennant inside out, using a pencil or knitting needle to make the point as sharp as possible (the thinner your fabric, the sharper your point will be). Press again.

Small triangles of fabric will now be sticking up at each corner along the top of the pennant. Trim these away so the top is completely straight.

Pin the first pennant 20cm from the end of your bias binding. Pin all subsequent pennants 8cm apart. Make sure you pin each pennant slightly below the middle of the bias binding. Use the edge of the fold as a guide.

Tack each pennant in place. Now fold the bias binding over the top of the pennants; this side should be slightly lower than the other. Press with your iron and pin in place. Sew together, being sure to sew along the side of bias binding that is the shortest (that way you can be sure to be stitching through all layers).

Give your stitches one final press. Finish off the ends of the bias binding by folding over twice and sewing, or by making a small loop and stitching in place.

You can make your bunting as long as you need it to be; if you are aiming to make really long reams it might be helpful to position the pennants a bit further apart so you’ll have less to make over all. It can also be worth stopping to consider where you’ll be hanging your bunting; if you know you’ll only see the front, you might want to use a plain fabric for one side of the pennant to allow any printed fabric to ‘go further’.

And of course, once you get the hang of the basic shape, there are all sorts of variations you can have a go at; size, colour, shape, applique motifs and embroidery…the possibilities are endless!

If you love the idea of endless sewing possibilities, try signing up for my Creative Sewing Challenge. Its a free, monthly subscription for anyone who loves to sew. You’ll receive a new prompt each month to inspire your sewing, with some fresh ideas and free sewing patterns along the way. A fun and easy way to keep your sewing ideas flowing. Sign up below or find out more here.

And here’s a handy pin to save for a rainy day…

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