Monday, June 23, 2008

Scrap Flags

This is a banner flag from Victorian Trading Co.





Gardeners just love the little garden flags that fly about on wrought iron flagpoles. I have had some for several years that were so faded and shredded, and sought to replace them. However, there were none available locally, and I could not find the special kind of fabric to make them with. The above flag was a frugal way of replacing the old banner, by using a scrap of fabric. It is a butterfly print that was glittery, made by tracing around the old flag and adding hem allowance and the fold over pocket for inserting on the hanger. Even if you don't sew, you could use something like fabri-tack, a fabric glue, to make one of these.

I dug into my fabric scraps and found enough to make my own flags. Click on for a larger view. The nylon flag material looks the same from both sides, and the cotton calico fabrics will only have one side that is worth viewing, but against the side of the house, it looks okay. Click on for a larger view.

Since the store-bought banners eventually fade out and wear out, it doesn't really matter that these cotton ones will probably only last a couple of seasons. The butterfly fabric is actually quite high quality and stiff. I put a bit of starch on the patchwork print fabric. I can imagine what an enjoyable time the crafters and quilters and scrap-artists could have in making these little flags. They could add ribbons and buttons and laces and all kinds of things.

14 comments:

Tara said...

Wonderful idea!! Now if I can just find a way to do a homemade flag pole :)

Thanks for sharing!!

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

A pole isn't really needed. YOu can put in cup hooks on the eaves or wherever you want to put it, and sew loops on the little flag or put a rope or string through the casing. Put a stick or dowel into the ground and do the same with the little hooks, which can be found sometimes at the dollar store.

Elizabeth said...

That's a lovely flag. Did you put a finish on it? I know that when I used to have a flagpole, I sprayed some of my flags with a finish, and they stayed looking new for quite a while. The ones I didn't spray faded quickly.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

That is a very good idea. What kind of finish do your recommend?

Rachel said...

how smart!
ahh now if in only had a stash of fabric!

All things bright & beautiful... said...

Do you know - if I were you I'd be pleased I couldn't find them locally - because you have made a better job! Lovely.

Amy G said...

These are sweet!

A waterproofing spray will stiffen a fabric nicely as well as providing some protection--so if you find a lovely print you'd rather have stay than go, it's worth it. 3M makes one, and it can be found at fabric stores.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

You don't actually need fabric scraps. If you are not a home sewer, just look around and you will see fabric everywhere: pillowcases, table runners, old clothing. You can also make your own printed fabric using tee shirt paint which costs only 50c to a dollar a bottle, and has a fine tip to draw with. Quilters use the printer to make their own pictures, with a special piece that goes through the printer and irons on to the fabric. At the dollar store there are not flour sack dish towels, in white, which could be used with iron-on appliques (also now available at the dollar store). No one HAS to do things like this, but it is just a creative example of making do.

Judi said...

Hi. Thanks for this idea. Your flags are so pretty. This is the sort of project that can make a person feel really good -- a quick, inexpensive endeavor that results in something charming.

An author of one home decorating book I checked out at the library turned up his nose at things like flags in the garden. He didn't think they showed class. I thought about running out to pull mine up out of the flowerbed, and then thought, nah. That decorator fellow can have what he likes, and I will have what I like. And I like my flag holder and little flags to match the seasons!

Anonymous said...

Your flags remind me that in the early 1970's I learned about how women were making special wall hangings to represent their family.....usually out of felt with a dowel.....an example would be if mother's name was rose, you would see a rose, and if dad was a mechanic there would be a wrench, and maybe a son loved basketball so you would see a ball, and a little girl would have a doll to represent her. Their last name was usually spelled out on it. It was a mother's way of creating something unique and very personal for her family and establishing a home and solidarity for them. Those butterflies would be interesting in something like that.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Yes, felt is a very easy medium to work with. It needs no hemming or stitching except decoratively, and most motifs can be glued on with lasting results. The felt squares in different colors are available for as low as 25 cents here and some of them have glitter in them.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Sometimes I see home shows that talk about the garden or the house and it is rarely something you can make, unless you buy a lot of things first and set them on a tray or you buy this or buy that. I am looking for ways to use things more than once before I get rid of them. A teapot with a missing lid can become a flower container in the garden and a tea cup with a crack in it can sit beside it in the flower bed with a pansy in it. Eventually it will all deteriorate but better adding a colorful spot in the garden than thrown out to end up in a pile.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Yes, some decorators have a snob attitude. They are the ones that made fun of the flamingos in the gardens in the 1950's. I dont' care for them for my self and my own decor, but apparently the plastic flamingos had a history to them and there was a reason for them. I remember as a child being so enchanted with them when I saw them in someone's yard. I find the flags much better than the flamingos and they can be tailored to a person's tastes, whereas the flamingos didn't always suit everyone. The flags add color when a garden isn't blooming, and they add movement to keep away some of the critters that would eat up the garden and then come in the house.

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