how to make fabric flags

fabric flags

Do you like little flags and banners? Of course you do. Everybody does. And don’t you think they’d be perfect on top of, say, a birthday cake? Sure you do. You could probably even find other uses for them. And I bet you’re thinking: movita, I can’t make my own fabric flags! No way! No how! But I’m here to tell you that yes, yes you can. Because a monkey could make these freakin’ things.

You will need:

  • fabric
  • drop cloth
  • fabric stiffener
  • scissors
  • card stock or other heavy paper
  • fabric pen or pencil for tracing template onto fabric
  • wooden skewers
  • fabric glue (or any glue, really)
  • the intelligence and dexterity of a monkey

First, you’ve got to find yourself some fabric. Find something pretty. I found some new fabric that I thought looked a little vintagy. (Yah. It’s a word.) Lightweight cotton seems to do the trick. The quilting aisle at the fabric store always has neat stuff, and often has little remnants that they are practically giving away. This project is also great for using up any fabric scraps you’ve got laying about. Alternatively, you could cut up some of your kids’ favourite clothes.

Then get yourself some fabric stiffener. Follow the instructions on the bottle. I cut out squares of fabric (about 6 x 6 inches) and then spread them out on a drop sheet (because the fabric stiffener mists a bit). I gave my fabric squares a good coating of fabric stiffener.

You can use multiple coats of stiffener if you find that your fabric isn’t holding itself stiffly enough after the first coat. I wanted my fabric to be able to hold its shape – i.e. look like a wee flag blowing in the wind – so I did 2 or 3 coats on each piece of fabric, and I sprayed both the front and back of each fabric square. (I let the coat on one side dry before misting the second side.) Just read the bottle, people. It will tell you what to do.

fabric stiffener and fabric glue

Once your fabric is stiffened and dry, cut it into wee fabric flags or banners. Use nice sharp scissors. I made a little template for my flags that I crafted out of card stock, because I’m smart like that. (And because I wanted all of my flags to be the same size.) See? See the flags in that picture under there? The template looked exactly like those flags, but it was made out of paper, doofus.

To make the template, I cut a small rectangle (about 2.5 x 0.5 inches) out of card stock and then notched one end. Then I traced the template onto the back of my stiffened fabric with a fabric pen, and cut my flags out. I used one of those magic fabric pens with the disappearing ink. Magic!

cut the banners/flags

Then attach your flag to the top of a skewer. I used fabric glue because it’s the strongest stuff on earth. (Don’t glue yourself to the skewer though.) You could also use a low temp glue gun or some other sticky substance. Put a dab of glue on the end of the flag, and then wrap it around the skewer. Also, don’t worry if the flag pole seems disproportionately large when compared to the wee flag. You can cut the skewers to different lengths, silly. Oh, and because the fabric has been stiffened, you can shape your flags a little – give a ripple here and there. Make ’em look all I’m-blowin’-in-the-wind and stuff.

glue to skewer

Then poke your flags into a cake. Or a potted plant. Or whatever. I bet you could even write messages on them with a permanent fabric marker. Messages like: happy birthday! Or, if you don’t like the flags I made for you, you can jam it!

fabric flags

Told ya it was easy.

fabric flags

Now quit googling stuff for a while. Go forth and craft.


  1. Lynne on September 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I love the flags – but honestly, it looks like more work than the roses you made. Maybe I’m too lazy. Well, I’m definitely too lazy, especially if it’s not directly food related.

    Love your posts, though – I look forward to reading them, even if I don’t comment that often. Read the little article you linked to before – and I think we readers should form a group & arrive on your doorstep. 😉 Just to see your reaction…

    • movita on September 23, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      No. Trust me – the roses are harder. You have to make icing to make roses! Way messier…

      Thanks for your kind words. And for ensuring I’ll never open my door when the doorbell rings unexpectedly…

  2. Lynne on September 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Crap, our rainy weather is fogging my brain – was referring to the article that was written about you, the interview…

    I need more coffee…

  3. movita beaucoup on September 13, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Comments are now closed on this post as it was published in September 2011. Thanks for stopping by!