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A while back, I planned a birthday party for my friend’s adorable two-year-old daughter, Jewel. I wanted an easy, cute decoration that wouldn’t require a) a ton of money, b) a ton of time. And I didn’t want it to look like it came from Party City.
Last year, Erin over at Two More Seconds blogged about sewing paper to use as gift wrap. So I’d had it in my mind that it’s possible to sew paper like you’d sew fabric. I thought I’d make some paper pennants for the party!
Most flags are taller than they are wide, but I already had this great little stack of 4″ x 4″ textured scrapbooking paper, so I made cute wide pennants out of right triangles.
Since most crafting paper comes in squares, I thought I should make a tutorial so you can make them yourself! I’m using various red and green squares for the tutorial — perfect for the holidays.
- Cardstock cut into 4″ x 4″ squares (such as this — any heavier square paper will do — the bigger the paper, the bigger the flag. It’s math.)
- Rotary Cutter
- Coordinating thread
Slice each 4″ x 4″ square in half along the diagonal, using a ruler and rotary blade, making two right triangles:
(note: I have a rotary blade that I’ve dedicated to cutting paper — I just set it aside for whenever I want to cut paper, since paper dulls the blade faster than fabric)
(another note: that is not my be-ringed hand. It belongs to my friend Brittney. No freaking out, OK?)
If you have 12″ x 12″ scrapbooking paper or card stock, you could cut it on both diagonals to make four flags per piece of paper (or eight! or sixteen, if you want wee little flags!).
Lay out your flags in the order you’d like. The length is up to you and the number of flags you have. I didn’t put my flags in perfect alternating order, but mixed it up a bit. I didn’t want it to look too perfect, but that’s up to you. Stack them in a pile, from the first flag at the top to the last flag at the bottom.
Set your machine to a wider stitch — basically the length you might use to baste. I suggest using a 1/4″ foot (that one is for my Brother machine — make sure you buy one compatible for your machine!) while sewing these flags — the guide made it easy to get the flags to go through the machine straight. I also turned on the “needle down” feature on my machine; you’ll see why in a second. Make sure you have enough thread on your spool and in the bobbin so you don’t run out mid-banner.
Pull the ends of the thread out from your machine, so there is about a foot of loose thread at the end to use for hanging. Line up the long edge of the right triangle (the hypotenuse, for those of you who paid attention in math class) with the flag under the foot and you’ll see that the edge of the 1/4″ foot and the down needle create this perfect guide for the flag (I hope this picture accurately captures what I mean). If you don’t have a “needle down” feature on your machine or a quarter-inch foot, no problem. Just stick the paper under the needle like you would a piece of fabric.
When I reached the end of a the flag, I stopped sewing, and the needle was down, and I put in the next paper and just kept sewing!
Continue this process until you’ve sewed all the way through all of your pennants! Make sure when you reach the end to leave an extra foot of thread at the end for hanging.
Voila! A cute, easy decoration for any party! Use scrapbooking scissors to give the short edges of the triangles cute scallops or pinking, or to use letter stickers to spell out a message for a special occasion.
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