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:


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









Crafts, Home Decor

Shibori Indigo Dyed Napkins

Last week, I shared a zipper pouch that I made using the shibori indigo fabric I dyed. We also dyed a bunch of other things, including some cloth napkins and fabric yardage. Once the dye is mixed, you can use it for several yards of fabric, so we tried to get as much use out of it as possible.

(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

Since we made the indigo dyeing a family project, I wanted to let the kids experiment with folding small pieces of fabric into different patterns. I found some packages of white cotton dinner napkins, perfect for dyeing. I ordered 2 packages, so we had 24 napkins to dye. They absorbed the dye well and were perfect for experimenting!

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

You can see we had a variety of patterns. I like how the napkins are all unique, but work together as a set. We gave some as gifts but kept most of them to replace the worn out cloth napkins I made several years ago.

Overall, the cloth napkins were perfect for indigo dyeing as a family. They are inexpensive, practical, and perfect for experimenting with shibori folding techniques.

We used and recommend this Indigo dye kit! I have a few more details about it in the Shibori Indigo Zipper Pouch post.




Tessellation Quilt Finish

At the end of 2015, I had just one lingering project that I wanted to finish. Remember my Tessellation quilt? I finally finished quilting it, right before Christmas…and it only took me 16 months!

Tessellation Quilt Finish | Radiant Home Studio

Last year Sara at Sew Sweetness hosted a Tessellation Quilt sew-along. It’s been quite a while since then. I finished my quilt top in about 5 weeks and I was so excited! Since the entry for the sew-along only had to be a finished top, I set aside the quilt for a few weeks to work on some other projects. Sometime late last Fall (still over a year ago), I pin basted the quilt layers together and started quilting.

Tessellation Quilt Finish | Radiant Home Studio

My original plan was to quilt along the diagonals in both directions, following the edges of the triangles. I stitched a few rows and decided that I really preferred tighter quilting. Once I started, I had to finish that way. Thus the year of sewing tiny lines in between the other projects I was making. The quilting lines are between 1/4″ and 1/2″ apart. I didn’t even try to space them precisely. In fact, I purposely stitched at different intervals to make casual looking lines.

Tessellation Quilt Finish | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve made a couple of baby quilts and pieced duvet covers, but this is the first legitimate quilt I have pieced, layered, quilted, and bound myself. I love the result, but I learned a few things about myself and quilts while I was working on this.

1. This quilt pattern recommended fabrics that read as solids. I knew I had some prints that were busier than what was recommended, but I thought there were more “solid” fabrics than there actually were. I couldn’t see this until I finished the top, but now I understand what the pattern meant. I also see that color is more important than anything else in quilting, particularly with a design like this.

2. Quilting is still not my favorite. Small projects are fun. Paper piecing was better than cutting individual pieces. This year I experimented with more improvisational quilting on smaller projects. I also watched an inspiring CreativeLive class where Cheryl Arkison explained several different improv quilting techniques. With my tendency to improvise on patterns, I think that’s going to be my true quilting love if I have one.

3. I’d love to make a quilt for my bed, but I’m planning to outsource the actual quilting. I’m sure some people enjoy the quilting. I was bored. Probably another reason why the quilting took me over a year.

4. Though it took forever, finishing the quilt is one of the most satisfying projects of my year. I am glad that I challenged myself to do something new and I appreciate the lessons learned from it.

Tessellation Quilt Finish | Radiant Home Studio

Currently, the quilt is residing on the back of my couch, adding a handmade touch and a much-needed pop of color to my white living room!

Did you finish any big, satisfying projects in 2015?

p.s. If you are curious about the fabrics and pattern, you can find more information in this post.



Patterns, Sewing

Mini Highland House Pattern

I made you a gift! Last week I released the Highland Avenue House pillow pattern. While I was sewing my big houses, I thought it would be fun to make some small ones too. I have several small house projects pinned on my crafty Pinterest boards, but I haven’t seen any with quite like this. The scallop detail, roofline, and heart appliqué make it unique. Plus, you can customize it easily with different embroidery techniques and fun trims. I think the mini houses would make really cute Christmas decorations too!

Mini Highland House Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Sign up for my monthly newsletter and I’ll send you access to my FREE resource page, which includes the Mini Highland House Pattern and more! I share more personal updates and sneak peeks of upcoming projects and patterns with my subscriber friends. I also include a recap of my posts for the month and a list of the most inspiring sewing, craft, and mothering articles that I have collected to share with you! It’s the kind of letter that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea while you browse through the inspiring projects and encouraging articles.

I’d love to share it with more friends! Sign up here.

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Mini Highland House | Free Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

See more details about the pattern and materials required…

If you make any Mini Highland Houses, I’d love to see them! Tag me on instagram and label it #minihighlandhouse.


Patterns, Shop

New Pattern: The Highland Avenue House

It’s so exciting to release new patterns! I just love seeing how you all take my patterns and create your own beautiful projects.

This is the Highland Avenue House pillow. I had a lot of fun designing this pattern and I hope you enjoy sewing it!

Highland Avenue House Pillow Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Let me tell you a little bit about my inspiration for this pattern. I designed this house with the historic homes on Highland Avenue in Rochester, NY in mind. In 6th grade, our art teacher took us on an architectural tour through the city. Rochester is filled with amazing old homes that are bursting with character—everything from turn of the century farmhouses to mid-century Frank Lloyd Wright homes. My parents also love historic homes and often stopped to look at open houses around the city “just for fun”. Though I no longer live there, I never lost my appreciation for the beautiful homes and architecture in the city.

I think the Highland Avenue House pillow is sophisticated enough for your living room and fun enough for your kids’ rooms. The scalloped roof tiles add depth and texture, while also providing a place for you allow to experiment with different fabric combinations. Solid fabrics allow the beautiful lines of the pattern to shine, but it also looks great with coordinating fabric prints. It’s perfect for using up smaller pieces of fabric from your stash.

Highland Avenue House Pillow Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

The pillow is fairly easy, so I have labeled it as “advanced beginner”. Sometimes these skill labels are confusing, so I have also given a list of a few basic skills that you should be ready to try. You’ll need to be comfortable sewing curves, willing to try installing a zipper, and ready to learn basic appliqué. If you have sewn a few items from patterns before, I think you’ll be ready to sew the Highland Avenue House.

For size reference, here’s my 2 yr. old with the pillow!

Highland Avenue House Pillow Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Here are a few of the tester versions for inspiration:

Highland Avenue House Pattern Tester Versions | Radiant Home Studio

1. Courtney mixed hand-dyed fabric with some modern fabric for fun look. 2. Ula’s pillow will look beautiful in a girl’s room. 3. Heather made a solid colored version. 4. Susi added some sweet extra embroidery. 5. Becki made this sweet cottage style version.

Are you ready to buy the pattern or want more information?

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