DIY Tutorial: Wedding Bunting

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I really had fun with this “Just Married” Bunting banner. It was fairly simple and could be accomplished quite quickly. I say quickly, because while it took me about 3 evenings because I had a lot of distractions, aka, small children, it really could be done in about 1 1/2 hours. You will need drying time for the paint, so you can’t really do it all in one shot, though certainly in the same day. Ok, let’s get to it.

Items Needed for this Project/Cost of Project: (I decided to add the cost here, instead of the usual at the end. Now I don’t have to type the list twice. Brilliant!)

$1.33: 2/3 of a yard of neutral colored muslin fabric (this amount was JUST enough for this particular bunting style, if you are a little nervous or not sure how long you want the tie strings to be, get more fabric) The fabric was $1.99/yard at Joann Fabrics

$4.58: 2 yards of lace from Joann Fabrics (at the time there wasn’t any 40% off coupons being offered and I really wanted to start the project, so I just got it at regular price) White Daisy Loop Lace $2.29/yard

$1.00: Black latex paint or fabric paint

Free: A smallish paint brush for art (already had)

Free: Scrap of cardboard, a cereal box will do (had on hand)

$1.00 Large Foam letters or some other pattern for your lettering. I found these at Dollar Tree in Canada.

Free: Thread (already had)

Free: Straight pins (already had)

Free: Sewing machine (not strictly necessary, but it sure makes the project fly. I already had a machine)

Total Cost: $7.91 

Not bad at all for something reusable and very pretty looking!

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Step 1: Begin with cutting yourself a piece of cardboard for you bunting pattern. I chose to go with this one style and alternated the direction of them. I made my shape 3 1/2 inches across and 5 inches long. My slant along the bottom was at 1 1/2 inches. You could make them in arrow shaped ends or triangles. All the steps and measurements are for this style, so depending on style and size you may need more or less fabric. I didn’t seem to get a picture of my template transferred to the fabric, but basically, I began by folding my fabric so that the long side was already joined because I utilized the fold in the material. I carefully fitted each piece along the folded row and used the half v to fit another half v facing the other direction underneath it. I think I fit five bunting pieces in a row. Since both sides of my fabric looked basically the same, I didn’t have to bother with making sure to trace your pattern on the inside (the side you won’t be seeing) of the fabric. Notice from the next picture that I left a bit less than half an inch around the bunting pieces for seem allowance.

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Step 2: Next, I double checked my pieces and the pattern I wanted them in. I also wrote lightly in a corner with a pencil so I would know which letter went where in the line up.

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Step 3: Sew along your pattern lines. Do not sew shut the top! Or else you won’t be able to turn it inside out. This part is really quick with a sewing machine, though it could be done by hand if you have a lot of time. I trimmed off the corners a bit to help it make a sharper looking shape when turned out.

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Here is your finished and right side outted bunting piece. You can certainly iron it a bit flatter at this point. I don’t happen to have an iron since I am the worst person at ironing shirts ever. Truly, I stink at it. I haven’t had one for fear of the Hubbs asking me to iron his shirts. But, since it sure makes this project a lot easier and quicker, you will definitely benefit from using one especially when making your tie strings.

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Step 4: Double check the lettering you want to use and the size of it. Make sure there is enough room at the top that you won’t be sewing over the tops of your letters once you get to that part. I started my letters at the highest point of the slant.

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Step 5: With a pencil, trace your letter onto the right side out of your bunting piece.

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Step 6: Stuff your cardboard pattern into your bunting before painting, so that if any paint seeps through you won’t ruin your bunting piece. The paint did come through for me, so take the extra precaution to do this step.

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Step 7: Carefully begin painting around your letter. It was fairly easy to do this part, just take care to keep your outside edge neat so the lettering is nice and crisp looking.

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This is the freshly painted letter. The lighter looking parts were the wet paint parts.

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The letter looks a little straighter here.

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Step 8: Get your tie strings going. Now you can buy bias tape for finishing edges or get a bias tape maker 🙂 Hallelujah. On my wishlist. But, since I am on a frugal budget and wanted the ties to match the bunting, I made my own. I wanted the bunting ties to be really long since I wasn’t sure the exact spot or purpose they will be used for. You can always cut off the extras, but getting a matching longer piece isn’t gonna be fun. I cut 82 inches of 2 inch wide strips of fabric for each word. So I made two sets of 82 inch long strips. My fabric was not 82 inches, so I cut 3 pieces and joined them with a simple seem.

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Step 9: Take your strips of fabric for your bunting ties and fold each towards the middle. Fold them over, using your fingernail or handy dandy iron, to make a crisp folded line. Now fold the entire strip in half with your first folds inside, so that you don’t see the raw edges.

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Step 10: Arrange your bunting letters along your lace and pin it in place. I decided to only use lace over the letters, rather than spanning the entire length of bunting tie. I thought it was a nice accent over the letters, while not being too much of an expensive. Now pin it to the middle fold of  your bunting ties, like a subway sandwich. Lift the bread flap, stuff goodies inside and bring the flap back over. If you have practice with a sewing machine go ahead and sew it all together, removing the pins as you go. This is what I did with the first word, but I had trouble keeping all my folds neat and all my layers (the bunting letter and lace) tucked in. As a result I had a few places where parts weren’t sewn straight and sticking out of the seem. Not what I was envisioning, so I went back over those trouble spots with an extra bit of sewing. No problem, looks great. However, to make life easier on myself I quickly tacked in the bunting letters in place with a few hand sewn stitches to the middle of my ‘subway sandwich’ on my next word instead of just using the pins. That way my bottom fold stayed neat and the letters stayed in place, all I had to worry about was keeping the lace tucked in and the top fold that I could easily see. Much better! Simply, remove those large hand stitches after sewing everything together.

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Step 11: Sew along your entire length of your ‘sub sandwich’. Yes, it seems there are a lot of steps, but it really does go fast. Hang in there. Almost finished now.

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Here’s a shot of when you get to the lace. See how its tucked into the middle of the sandwich?

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All the layers tucked in neatly.

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Here you can see everything joined together. The angles make it look like my spacing between the letters aren’t even, but really they were pretty good. Keeping it real with a baby and an babysitter, aka ipad in the corner.

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And one of the finished product. The variations are endless with this project. You could make a Happy Birthday or other occasion wording, a name, add fun colored fabrics and other embellishments.  I’d love to see your project spin offs.

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