DIY Denim: Give Your Recycled Bunting Some Personality

Author's photograph of appliqueing her denim buntingOkay, so remember when I said that there’s nothing more festive than a bunting? Well, I lied. There is one thing on Earth that is more festive than a bunting: a PERSONALIZED bunting! Follow along with me as I totally become the birthday party hero by making personalized buntings for two of my daughter’s little friends (You know what they say about November birthdays, right? Happy Valentine’s Day!).

You will need: your recycled denim bunting, freezer or sticker paper, pre-washed wool or acrylic felt (wool felt will shrink a lot!), matching thread,  a glue stick, a free-motion presser foot if you’ll be doing machine-applique

Author's photograph of the freezer paper template1. Make a template for your applique. Letters or simple, stencil-like images are all good choices–you’ll need a simple and large design because, although you’ll only be putting one letter or image on each individual pennant flag, they’ll still need to be discernable from a distance. Names and holidays are fun to do–you can use a variety of free fonts available online (these are usually only for your personal use, not for creating an object for selling), or a font editor program to create your own awesomeness. Measure your pennant flag and expand your font size accordingly.

2. Print your design as a mirror image onto either sticker paper or freezer paper.

3. Iron your freezer paper to your felt or stick on your sticker paper.

Author's photograph of the felt appliques4. Using the paper as your template, cut around the images, then peel away the paper from the felt to reveal your appliques.

5. Use a glue stick to temporarily adhere each felt image to its pennant flag (be careful not to warp the felt by pushing at it with your glue stick).

Author's photograph of applique glued to flag6. If you’re hand-sewing, use your favorite stitch (may I suggest the blanket stitch?) to sew each felt applique to its pennant flag. If you’re machine-sewing, lower the feed dogs and use a free-motion presser foot (sometimes known as a darning foot or a quilting foot) to carefully top-stitch around each applique–being felt, they won’t ravel.

7. Your bunting is super-awesome now. Admire it.

For extra jazz, feel free to stitch on beads, sequins, commercial appliques, rick-rack, etc. A bunting just can’t be too tacky festive!

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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  1. The first round of little-kid birthday gifts is finished! If you were wanting to look at some photos of finished appliqued buntings, they’re on my blog, Craft Knife, now.

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