Tutorials

How to Sew a Pennant Banner for Parties

Learn how to sew a pennant banner for parties! They are easy to sew, reusable, and prettier than paper buntings from party stores. Pennant flags are fun home decor for any occasion, including birthdays, baby showers, and weddings!

There are lots of sewing tutorials for sewing pennant banners (or buntings, as some people call them) out there, but I haven’t seen any tutorials with an illustrated cutting guide to help you make the most of your fabric. Since I just made a new one to use for a baby shower, I thought I would take some photos and explain my simple process. I have a simple cutting method that will help you to use most of your fabric with less waste!

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

I really like to have a couple of all-purpose pennant banners around for parties. I don’t like tacky paper decorations from the dollar store and I hate to buy them only to throw them in the trash after using them. Fabric banners are reusable and don’t take much storage space. If you make a 2 or 3 with different color schemes, you should be able to use them for many occasions.

I’ve had one with girl colors for a few years that we hang up on the girls’ birthdays or for other summer parties. I’ve been planning to make one in another color scheme to use for the boys’ birthdays and other events, like the baby shower we just hosted.

We planned a “winter woodland” baby shower, so I tried to choose fabrics that would work with the baby shower theme that would also be neutral and not too “babyish”. I ended up with some great geometric fabric designs in gray, cream, black, green, and teal. When choosing fabrics, sticking to a small color palette will help the finished banner to have a cohesive style. The fabrics don’t have to match perfectly (for example, some of the grays have different undertones), but keeping to similar colors works best.

Many of the tutorials I saw recommended stitching the flags right sides together, then turning them inside out, and then pressing the seams. You can do this if you really want the seams hidden, but I think it’s unnecessary and takes too much time for a project like this.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

How to Sew a Pennant Banner:

Materials:

3 to 5 coordinating cotton fabrics – 1 yd. of each (or just use up your scraps!)
coordinating thread
bias tape maker (or pre-made binding)
rotary cutter and mat
printable template

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

Cutting Instructions:

There are two ways to cut the pennant flags. The template works best if you are using up fabric scraps, but if you are cutting from yardage it’s much faster to use the rotary cutting method. I’ve included an illustrated cutting diagram below.

First, even out your edges. I bought my fabric from a big box store and the cuts were 2-3 inches off grain.

Fold the fabric folded in half lengthwise, selvages together, cut three 9″ strips across the fabric.

Line up the folded edge with the edge of the cutting mat. Use the ruler to cut a diagonal line from the bottom folded corner to the top of the strip, 3″ in from the folded edge.

Use the ruler to make another diagonal line from the 3″ cut at the top edge to a spot 6″ in from the bottom edge.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

Keep cutting diagonal lines in opposite directions every 6″ until you run out of fabric.

If you are using directional fabric, like the mountains I used, you’ll end up with some flags with the print upside-down. I just paired the right-side-up flags with upside-down flags and made sure I paid attention to which was the back and the front of each flag.

How to Sew Pennant Flags for Parties | Cutting Pennant Flags from 1 yd. of Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Sewing Instructions:

I’ve used 2 different methods for finishing the edges of the flags. If you have a serger, you can serge the 2 long edges with a rolled hem or narrow 3-thread stitch. (I started out doing this and it was super fast until my serger seized up…)

If you don’t have a serger, just use a tight zig-zag stitch. Make sure the needle goes off the edge of the fabric just slightly on the right side of the zig-zag stitch. You might end up with a little bit of a ruffled edge. Just press each flag and trim the threads when you finish.

To make the binding, cut 2″ strips of fabric. (Five strips make the banner about 18′ long and will hold about 24 flags. Mine has 8 strips with 35 flags, and I still have some fabric left.) Since this binding doesn’t need to be sewn around curves, it does not have to be cut on the bias. Just cut straight across like you did for the 9″ flag strips. Trim the ends of the strips at a 45° angle. Sew them together in one long strip by matching the ends as shown.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

Trim the little corners off the strips and use the bias tape maker and your iron to create the binding.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

Organize your flags into a pile in the order you want them to hang on the banner.

Place the binding on your sewing machine with the folded edge to the right. Stitch 8-10″ on the open edge and then sandwich the first flag into the binding all the way into the folded edge. Continue stitching over the first flag. Sandwich the next flag in the binding leaving a 3-4″ gap between the flags. Continue stitching until you have added all your flags or until you run out of binding.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

You can hang the finished pennant banner with a few thumbtacks.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

 

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Tutorials

How to Sew a Sling for a Broken Arm

Earlier this week, my 7-year-old daughter fell on the driveway while playing and broke her wrist. A couple of years ago, my other daughter broke her wrist falling off a swing. Thankfully, broken arms heal…so why not have some fun with the sling while it’s healing?

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

The hospital issued slings aren’t the best. After watching two little girls with broken arms using the slings, I have made a couple of improvements to the standard issue hospital sling. Both have complained about the scratchy strap cutting into their neck, so I padded the neck strap. On the current sling, the strap slide is too high and also cuts into the shoulder/neck area. I moved it down to fix that problem. Finally, the new sling is reversible—plain navy on one side and a fun pattern on the other!

I made a sling for an elementary-aged child, but you can easily adjust the size for a smaller or larger person. My kids asked if it would work for either arm, and the answer is yes!

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

How to Sew a Sling for a Broken Arm:

Materials:

2 fat quarters of quilting cotton
2 d-rings (1″)
1/4 yd. fabric for a strap (OR 1 yd. of 1″ webbing)
1/4 yd. fusible fleece (to pad the strap)
1 yd. of 1/2″ double fold bias binding (make your own with this tutorial!)

(If making a larger size, you will need more webbing and more bias binding. You might also consider making a wider strap and using stronger o-rings in place of d-rings.)

Cut the Following:

(4) 14″ x 6″ rectangles, 2 from each fat quarter
(1) 36″ x 4″ rectangle from 1/4 yd. fabric
(1) 36″ x 2″ rectangle from fusible fleece (you can piece this together from scraps)

(For a larger size, measure from the elbow to the fingertips, add 1″, and replace the 14″ measurement on the first cut. Change the depth of the sling by changing the 6″ measurement on the first cut. For example, a sling for myself would be 18″ x 8″. Remember that you might also need a longer strap and more bias binding.)

Sewing Instructions:

1. Place one matching set of the large rectangles right sides together. Use a bowl (or another rounded object) mark rounded edges on the top right & bottom left corners. Trim the corners. Repeat for the second set of large rectangles.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

2. With the rounded rectangles still right sides together, stitch along the left and bottom edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

3. Turn one piece right side out. Place the two sling pieces wrong sides together and set aside.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

4. To make the strap, fold the 36″ long fabric in half lengthwise and press. Fold each long, raw edge into the center seam, wrong sides together, and press again.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

5. Place the fusible fleece on the wrong side of the strap, centered between the fold lines. Fuse, refold, and press.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

6. Stitch along the long, folded edges of the strap with a 1/8″ seam allowance.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

7. Cut a 6″ length from the strap. On the right (open) end of the sling, baste one end of the strap, just at the edge of the curve on the front of the sling, as shown. Place the d-rings on the 6′ length of the strap. Baste the other end of the strap on the back of the sling. (Ignore the strap slide…I ended up switching hardware after finding that the strap slide was too slippery.)

8. Baste the remaining strap piece to the left side of the sling, centered over the seam.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

9. Next, open and place your bias binding right sides down on the raw edge of the sling. (It doesn’t really matter which side of the sling since it will be reversible.) Fold the end of the bias binding down about 1/2″ and begin sewing. Continue around the whole sling, stitching on the first fold line, and catching the strap ends in the stitching. Overlap the end by about 1/2″. Backstitch and trim excess binding.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

10. Clip the curves and press the binding toward the other side. Pin in place and stitch around the binding again, 1/8″ from the folded edge.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

11. Flip the straps to the right side and tack them onto the binding by stitching a couple of lines across them.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

12. Shorten the shoulder strap if needed and finish the end with a wide zig-zag stitch.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

While this is not a sewing tutorial I had planned on writing, I hope a handmade sling makes healing from a broken arm a little bit more comfortable and fun!

Also sharing this tutorial at: Sew Can She, Craftastic Monday, Made By You Monday, Modest Monday

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Sewing, Tutorials

How to Make a Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch

It’s time to start thinking about holiday gifts. It always feels too early to start before Thanksgiving, but when you plan to make several handmade gifts, it’s best not to wait until the last minute. I know some of you stay up half the night trying to finish Christmas pajamas at the last minute, right?!

This is a quick and easy project—waxed canvas gift pouches. They are just the right size to wrap gift cards or jewelry. I recommend making 2 or 3 at a time. If you already have everything out, you’ll save a lot of time making them in batches. You can make them in even bigger batches for holiday craft fairs.

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

I used waxed canvas on the flap as an accent fabric, but you could also use faux leather, denim, or another layer of quilting cotton in a contrasting color. The fabric requirements are flexible on this project, so use what you have in your scrap bin.

How to Make a Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio
(Some links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

Materials:

2-3 fat quarters of quilting cotton (this will be enough for 6-10 pouches)
1/4 yd. canvas (or faux leather, denim, etc.)
Medium-weight interfacing or fusible fleece (I used Pellon 987F. You could also use 808/809, 931, SF101…this a good way to use up scraps.)
Size 16 metal snaps – 1 set per pouch (I used Snap Source snaps. You could also use KAM Snaps or small pieces of hook-and-loop tape.)
Otter Wax
Coordinating thread

Printable pattern (make sure you set it to print at 100%)

Sewing Instructions:

1. Print and cut out the pattern pieces. For each pouch, cut 2 pouch pieces, 1 flap piece, and 1 interfacing piece.

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

2. Fold the straight edge of the flap 1/4″ toward the back, with wrong sides together. Press. Align the flap piece on the exterior pouch piece so that the rounded edges match, both with right sides up. With the 1/4″ section folded under, topstitch along the straight edge of the flap piece through both layers.

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

3. Align the fusible interfacing with the stitched line on the wrong side of the exterior pouch piece. Fuse the interfacing using the manufacturers’ instructions.

4. Align the exterior and interior pouch pieces, right sides together. Stitch around the entire pouch using a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 2″ opening on one side. Trim the seam allowances and corners to 1/8″.

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

5. Turn the pouch right side out, push out the corners, and press. Make sure to tuck the raw edges in at the opening.

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

6. Take the straight edge of the pouch and fold it up toward the flap, about 1/4″ below the straight edge of the flap piece. Press. (If you plan to use hook-and-loop tape, add it now.)

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

7. Place the folded pouch, with the flap facing up on the sewing machine. Begin sewing, with a 1/8″ seam allowance, at one folded edge and continue around until you get the folded edge again. Backstitch at each end.

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

8. If you would like to apply wax to your canvas flap, do that now. The short version of the instructions—rub on some Otter Wax and then rub it in with your fingers. You can use it on denim too, but avoid using it on light colors because it will turn the fabric yellow. If you need more specific instructions, see my directions for making your own waxed canvas.

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

9. Add a snap. I like the Snap Source snap setter for metal snaps. You can use the instructions on the package, or look at Anna’s helpful tutorial if you need a visual aid. I’ve also used plastic KAM Snaps with great success.  You could even add a button hole and button. Totally up to you.

waxed-canvas-gift-pouch-23

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

That’s it. Make a lot, load them with gifts,  and give them to your friends…

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Happy sewing!

I’ve linked this post with: Sew Can She, Sew Can Do, Stocking Stuffer Ideas, Women with Intention, Raising Homemakers

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Tutorials

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder for Your Kitchen

I hope you have been enjoying your summer! We’ve been camping and visiting family, but we are back and getting organized at home again. I have several projects around the house that I’m working on, including some decorating in my bedroom and kitchen.

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

One small thing I noticed in the kitchen is that many of my towels and potholders, which were wedding gifts 13 years ago, are pretty worn out. I bought some new towels, but I’ve been planning to sew some new potholders. It’s a really quick project and great for using up scraps!

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

I know there are lots of other cute potholder tutorials out there, but I figured I would take some process photos and share my method with you anyway. I chose to sew a simple potholder with a basic square shape and a pocket. I made some more elaborate potholders a few months ago, but I haven’t used them because I didn’t want to ruin them! That’s no good, right? For something that is going to get dirty and needs to be washed regularly, you need to stick with easy construction and durable fabrics.

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my business in this way!)

Gather Your Materials:

• Scraps of cotton or linen fabric
• Lightweight cotton quilt batting
• Thermal batting (like Insul-bright)
Bias tape maker  & Wonder Clips (optional, but easier!)
• Coordinating thread

Let’s talk about fabrics. You need to use fabric that is 100% cotton or linen. Synthetic fabrics, like polyester, can’t handle the heat. Polyester will melt (which you may have learned the hard way if you have used a too hot iron on your poly fabric…). So, choose some lightweight canvas, denim, or linen and mix in a little quilting cotton for color. Most of you probably have plenty of scraps that you can use for these!

You also need to make your own bias tape. The bias tape that is most readily available at the craft store is a poly/cotton blend. It does not work for potholders! Bias tape is easy to make. If you need more detailed directions, you can look at my step-by-step bias tape post.

Thermal batting is also an essential part of a safe potholder. It includes a layer of mylar to protect your hands from the heat. Please do not try to use quilt batting alone without the thermal layer!

Ok, I think those are all of the most important things you need to know before you start!

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Simple Potholder:

1. Cut out the following pieces from your fabric. You can decide which fabric designs to use on each part.

  • cut two 9″ squares from fabric
  • cut two 9″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles from fabric
  • cut one 9″ square from thermal batting
  • cut one 9″ square and one 9″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle from quilt batting
  • cut and make 1/2″ double-fold bias binding about 45″ long (2″ wide when unfolded)

2. Place the squares of fabric wrong sides together. Sandwich the squares of thermal batting and quilt batting between the layers. Quilt through all layers by sewing horizontal lines, spaced about 1 1/2″ apart, across the width of the potholder.

potholder-4

3. Place the smaller rectangles of fabric wrong sides together. Sandwich the rectangle of quilt batting between the layers. Quilt through all layers by sewing horizontal lines, spaced about 1 1/2″ apart, across the width of the potholder. This will be the pocket piece.

4. Trim the uneven edges of the quilted pieces using a rotary cutter. It’s more important to have straight, even edges than to have perfect 9″ squares. If you need to make them a little smaller to even up the edges, don’t worry about it.

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

5. Add bias binding to one long edge of the pocket piece. Place one raw edge of the bias binding right sides together with the pocket edge. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance, in the first fold of the bias binding. Press the binding up.

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

6. Fold the binding over and line up the folded edge on the back of the pocket so that it covers the stitching line from the front and extends about 1/8″ beyond it. Clip it or pin it in place. On the front side of the pocket, stitch in the ditch (where the seams meet), catching the back side of the binding in the stitching. This can be tricky if you don’t get the back side lined up correctly. I actually prefer to hand-stitch the back side of the binding. If you can’t get a straight line on the binding, try hand-stitching.

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

7. Place the pocket on the square potholder piece and pin it in place. Begin sewing the binding to the top left corner of the potholder, right sides together as you did on the pocket. At each corner, stop and fold the fabric 90° and tuck it under the presser foot. Slowly make a couple of stitches catching the folded corner. Leave the needle down and pivot the potholder. Move the binding so that you don’t catch any extra layers as you round the corner. (Yup. I had to pick out the stitches in a couple of the corners because I wasn’t paying attention!) Continue sewing the binding until you reach the first corner. Stop and backstitch right at the edge of the first line of binding.

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

8. Trim the corners. Press and fold the binding to the back, lining up the edge about 1/8″ past the first line of binding stitching, as you did with the pocket. I prefer using sewing clips for binding, but you can pin if that’s what you have. Trim the beginning of the binding to meet the edge of the potholder. Trim the end, leaving a 6″ tail. Tuck the beginning edge into the tail binding. Fold the end of the binding tail around and tuck it in the corner to form a loop.

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

9. As I said above, I prefer to hand-stitch the back of the binding. It takes less than 15 minutes. Usually, that saves me time. If I miss a spot while machine sewing and have to pick out stitches…that easily takes the 15 minutes. It’s up to you though. If you machine stitch, topstitch along the folded edges of the tail and tuck it back in. Machine stitch on the front of the potholder, in the ditch, all the way around. Try to stop and make nice tucks in the corners as you go. OR Hand-stitch the back of the binding using a ladder stitch. I have a few photos to help you see how it looks. You can also tack down the corners with little hand stitches too. When you get to the loop, hand-stitch all of the loose edges, including the inside of the loop.

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

That’s it! You should be able to make one in less than an hour, using scraps…so don’t feel bad about using them to handle hot food! As quick as they are, they would also make lovely wedding shower or housewarming gifts 🙂

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

Learn How to Sew a Simple Potholder | Radiant Home Studio

I’m linking up my tutorial at some of my favorite crafty link-ups!…Raising Homemakers, Tuesday Talk, DIYCrush, SewCanShe, Craftastic Monday

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