scrap fabric garland

scrap fabric garland buntingIf you saw my previous posts about my youngest’s impending birthday celebration-ness, then you likely already know the theme and colours.  This scrap fabric bunting (slash) garland (slash) banner… whatever you want to call it…. this bunting should give a clearer overall picture of the theme.  And it’s just so darn cute I couldn’t help but do a post about it!

The fab part about this bunting?  It doesn’t take nearly as much time as you might think and even better than that, it was a stash busting project!  Which means no money spent!  Most of us crafty folk have a pile of scrap ribbon, trims and fabrics buried in the deep, dark depths of a cupboard or box somewhere that we just cannot bare to part with, because we know a project like this will come up and give them a happy new purpose where they can frolic together in the light of day.  Hooray!

My completed bunting banner consists of various types of fabric from old sheets and pillowcases to ends from sewing projects, old shirts and… well… I don’t know where some of the fabric came from, but it all smelled ok so I call that a WIN!

I’m going to give you a tip, and it’s going to seem so obvious you’ll likely roll your eyes at me, but I’m going to say it anyway…. just in case you plan on using some amazing printed fabric you have and your so excited you start cutting it up before you think ahead….think about this…
Thicker weight fabrics will not hang as nicely as say cotton from a bed sheet.  Burlap, cotton duck fabric and say heavier weight denim can still be used, but I would suggest using them sparingly with other lighter weight fabrics.  Using them that way can give a nice varying texture.  An entire thing out of thicker fabric just won’t have the same effect.

scrap fabric for bunting garlandIt all begins with strips of fabric.  A lot of strips.  I cut up my fabric into pieces that were 1 inch wide by about 18 inches long, give or take. I wasn’t concerned about all my fabrics being cut to exactly the same size, but I did want to make sure all my strips from the same fabric were the same size.  For example; all my brown strips had to be the same length of 16 inches, all my striped fabric was cut the same length at 18 inches etc.  I like the look of varying lengths.  It gives it even more texture and dimension in conjunction with the use of various fabrics.  Ends can always be trimmed once the project is finished.

fabric scrap bunting materialsWith strips cut (and as you can see, they don’t have to be perfect), figure out your pattern (unless you are doing random) and find some sturdy string, twine or ribbon that will not easily rip or stretch.  This will be used to hang the fabric strips and the entire thing once it’s done.  I chose some basic polyester ribbon I had.  

Leave yourself extra length.  If you want your banner to be 2 meters long, give yourself closer to 3 meters of string or ribbon to work with.
fabric scrap banner 02To assemble, fold one of your strips of fabric in half with the ribbon laying over the strip.  Take the two tail ends of the fabric strip and bring them over the ribbon, towards the looped part of the fabric strip, then feed them through the loop.  Pull the tail ends until the looped part tightens up as a knot around the ribbon.

fabric scrap banner 03Make the knots nice and snug.  Then just keep going… and going… and going!  Silly simple, right?  I used 119 strips.  

scrap fabric bunting in progressAnother tip; I found it extremely helpful to hang my ribbon up like a laundry line, adding the fabric strips that way.  If you assemble it flat on a work surface, it’s like trying to tie something around a limp spaghetti noodle.

Once all your strips are on, look it over and fix any gaps, trim extra bits if needed, then make a knot in the ribbon at each end right against the end strips so they wont slide off the ribbon.  

scrap fabric bunting garlandIf it gets a bit wrinkled, you can steam it with a garment steamer, or hang it in the bathroom next time someone has a nice hot shower.  Spot clean only.  I’m sure you can imagine what would happen if you threw it into the washing machine.  Delicate cycle or not, the result would be a giant, frayed knotted ball.

If you do plan on using your bunting banner often, keep it really secure and hand sew a running stitch with clear thread through all the fabric knots along the ribbon.

These can be used for more than just a kids birthday, think about holidays, grown up versions of this for parties, anniversaries, if you do party setups for a business, participate in craft, hobby or garden shows this would be pretty around a display table, photo backdrops, to decorate your kids bedroom… you can even use this same technique with tool (the fabric) and make a tutu for a little one in your life.


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