Sew Cute: DIY Pennants
Welcome to Sew Cute! I’m a crafting fiend, and in this column I’ll teach you how to make accessories, home decor, and little projects that are bright, creative, and above all easy to put together!
If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for more ways to add some color to your living space (especially if you, like me, have a landlord who is weirdly resistant to you painting your walls an awesome shade of vintage Parisian blue, like this totally perfect manicure). I wanted something to put up around my windows, without the hassle and commitment and being-up-on-a-ladder thing of hanging curtains. Then, it came to me: pennants! You know, those nifty little tapered flags you see hung outside sports bars or on balconies during parades.
Here’s a quick, no-frills way to make a string of these fun little pennants for yourself. The best part? Since they’re made out of scrap fabric, you can make them in any color combination, texture, or style you want. I went for a woodland creature theme with mine by using these fox and bird scraps (I’m a sucker for novelty animal prints), but use whatever you have around.
- Piece of paper
- Ballpoint pen
- Straight pins
- Safety pin
- Plenty of scrap fabric
- Thread in a corresponding color to the fabric
- Basic sewing needle
- Make a triangular template with the paper. Draw it out whatever size you want each finished pennant to be, then add an extra inch or so at the top. You can draw the lines freehand, or if you have trouble drawing straight lines (guilty over here), grab a ruler. Cut out the template.
- Trace triangle shapes onto the scrap fabric using the template and a pen. If you have a patterned fabric like mine, draw on the back of it so your lines are easier to see. Draw however many pennants you want, then cut them out.
- Fold that extra inch you added to each triangle and pin it in place. Trim off the little extra pieces that hang out over the edges.
- Cut a couple feet of thread and fold it in half, then thread the needle and tie a knot. Pro tip: longer thread equals more tangles, so using less could prevent some headaches.
- Stitch the folded side of each triangle down close to the edge of the fabric, using a simple in-and-out motion. You can make the stitches as long or as short as you want – smaller stitches are harder to see, while bigger ones give your pennants a cheery handmade look. To finish the row of stitches on each pennant, pass the needle back under the thread of your final stitch. This will knot your awesome needlework in place (for a great demonstration, see this video!).
- Cut the yarn to whatever length you want the finished string of pennants to be. And hey, if it ends up too short, it’s super easy to tie another piece of yarn to the end. Tie a knot in one end of the yarn, then stick the safety pin through it.
- Using the safety pin as a guide, thread the yarn through the stitched folds on each pennant. After you’ve placed all the pennants, remove the safety pin from the yarn.
- Ta da! A completed string of pennants, ready to be hung wherever your life needs a pop of color.