I know posting an American Flag project on the Fourth of July is not the greatest timing for holiday decorating, but in my opinion, showing your love of country doesn’t have to be reserved for just one day out of the year. There’s something really cozy and wonderful about having some Americana sprinkled throughout our living space. This project was pretty simple and required very basic sewing skills. It was definitely worth every minute. I am really pleased with how it turned out! I think you’ll feel the same about yours.
Let’s get started!
My supply list:
- Stick or dowel rod (whatever length and thickness you prefer. My stick is 27″ and measures about 3/4″ thick)
- Assortment of fabrics
- Lace and trim
- Fake flowers (optional)
- Floral wire (only if you add the flowers)
- twine or ribbon for hanging
I started with my blue stars piece first. I planned on making 2 flags from the start. One for me and one to surprise a friend. Let’s hope she loves it as much as I do!
I found the perfect fabric at Joann’s. I bought a half yard and after I cut it evenly I got 4 full front/back sections measuring 9.5″x 12″. That left me with enough for 4 flags from only of a half yard of fabric. I plan to make more so it worked out great! I hand washed and dried a few of my fabrics to get rid of the stiffness before I started. I wanted everything to flow nicely so consider washing them first if your fabric is a bit stiff too. It helped a lot.
I sewed my lace trim to the top first. I wanted to add a lot of lace to this flag because I love it, but these additions are totally optional. You add or take away whatever you like. Because it’s meant to look shabby and raggy, the sky’s the limit on what you come up with.
After the lace was on I pinned the fabric around the stick to form the sleeve it would go in and then sewed that together along with the sides, leaving the bottom of the square open. You are going to sew in some strips later so the bottom needs to stay open. I used a criss cross stitch in white thread and I really liked how it looks! It was a good choice. I also frayed the edges a little afterwards so my fabric wasn’t so clean cut looking.
Now it’s time for the fabric strips. I chose 5 different fabrics. With this part you want to stay with red and whites but it doesn’t have to be perfect. I threw in a pink and red shabby rose fabric to hang with the red lace to add a little contrast.
This was the fun part for me. I like to take my time and shop around for just the right ones. I picked out fabrics at both Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. You may already have scraps at home that would look great together. I looked through my stash but didn’t like what I had.
Because I was planning to make two flags, I bought a yard of each fabric. The amount of fabric will vary though. I’ve got 27″ sticks so I’m making some pretty big flags. You won’t need a full yard of each if you plan to make a single, smaller one. Keep that in mind as you decide size and fullness.
I couldn’t find red floral lace so I bought 2 yards of the ivory and cut it half and dyed it red. It turned out perfect and vibrant. I used Racing Red by Rit.
Cut all your fabric up long ways into strips. This is the most time consuming part. Remember, the strips do not have to be perfect. It’s a rag flag. Let them be a little raggedy. I tried to kind of rip my fabric a bit with my scissors just to rough up the edges a bit.
Time to tie!
I started with a few of my main long strips first to see exactly how long the strips would fall. Once I got a few on I started to fold a few to match the main length from the bottom of the stars square and pin them into the bottom of the square. Once I got going, I decided to add some strips of the remaining lace trim to the ensemble, so they got pinned in as well.
Once you get as many strips and variations in as you want hanging from the entire bottom of the square, you are going to stitch the opening closed across with the same stitch you did with the sides and that part is done!
Now I started adding some flowers to the stick before I tied everything on. I started placing some stems and red roses and wiring them on as I went, tying fabric strips here and there and in between the stems where I could. I add flowers to almost everything I do but you may not want to. This part takes a bit of time but I’m used to it. I deal with a lot of flowers and a lot of wire.
Once everything is tied on, the last step is to attach your twine or ribbon to the ends of your stick to the hanging length you want. I used twine and tied it several times and then secured my ties with a little wire.
Now you can hang it and if you need to maybe trim any of the bottom strips that may be too long. I had a few that were.
At this point you should be completely IN LOVE with what you just created. I don’t think this is a project anyone could mess up. The imperfections will only add character.
This is a lovely project for yourself, a gift for another or even to make and sell. I’ve already came up with variances of this I plan to try as soon as I get past the holiday. Thanks for reading!
Happy Independence Day!