Design Your Own Flag
As the holidays are approaching, many of us are taking time off to enjoy the company of our friends and family. If you are looking for a fun and personal gift idea or maybe just something to keep the little ones busy, designing your very own flag might just be the thing. Most of what you would need can be found at a fabric or craft store.
Whether you are looking to frame your flag, make it a family keepsake, use it to add character to your home, spice up the decorations for a special event or gift the end result, make sure to have fun along the way - this is something the whole family can partake in.
Step 1 – Choose the design elements
Depending on how you plan to use the flag (e.g. indoor, outdoor, for framing, etc.), you might want to consider different base material options. Solid nylon flags are a great choice because they can be used both for framing and for outside. On top of that, they come in a variety of colors and shapes.
You should also decide whether to paint or sew the design onto the flag, or maybe even combine the two options. Painting (either by tracing a pattern or a freehanded application) is easier and doesn’t require special equipment such as a sewing machine. Using different pieces of material to sew the design together, on the other hand, can give your flag more visual interest and better withstand the weather. Depending on how you plan to use the end product and how long you expect it to last, there’s also the option to add some glue and glitter.
Step 2 – Trace the design onto the fabric
Once you have chosen your base material and the design method, it is time to prepare for the application of the design. If you are very artistic, feel free to draw the design onto the fabric freehanded. Otherwise use chalk or tracing paper to transfer the pattern onto the flag. Both options are forgiving and allow for corrections along the way.
If you are sewing your design, make sure to trace the different pieces that make up your pattern onto the back of the relevant fabric so that the final product won’t show any trace marks. When cutting the material, leave a little extra fabric around the edges to fold under as you sew. Make sure to pin the pieces in place, evaluate the placement of the pattern and finish any last-minute changes if necessary.
Step 3 –Sew or paint the pattern
When you are happy with the design, it is time to sew or paint it on. If you choose to sew your pattern from various pieces of fabric, make sure to separate the smaller hand sewn elements from the machine-stitched ones. Don’t forget to fold the extra bit of fabric under! You can embellish your design by using different color and thickness threads.
When painting, it is good practice to pin the fabric onto a cardboard or other flat surface to stop it from moving or running while being applied. It also helps to avoid the paint from staining whatever is on the other side of the fabric. You can use a paintbrush, sponge, finger or the tube / bottle the fabric paint comes in to apply it. Mixing Delta Ceramcoat Textile Medium with any acrylic paint allows to transform it into a fabric paint and opens the door for unlimited color options. There is also the possibility to use permanent fabric markers which should last a couple of washes.
If you choose to use the fabric paint, dip the brush in it lightly and make sure to paint only in one direction. It is important not to use too much paint as it can stiffen the fabric. A toothbrush is a good tool for lightly brushing off any excess. A sponge is great for use on the edges of the fabric. Once you have applied the design, wait a few hours for the paint to air-dry.
Step 4 - Finishing touches
When you have completed the design, it is time to add some finishing touches. If you are looking to frame the flag, it is a good idea to pin it onto a thin cardboard or other stronger material to stop it from moving around inside the frame. You can customize your frame by drawing or gluing some of the design elements from the flag onto the frame itself. It is a great way to add another personal touch to the end result.
If you plan to use the flag outside, spray it with a couple of coats of Scotchgard for weatherproofing purposes - that will extend the life of your flag. Don’t forget to purchase the necessary hardware for garden, house or mailbox use. Once you have done so, you are all set to enjoy the final product.
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- Tags: Tutorial
- Maria Wyatt