Thursday, May 10, 2012

How To Make Out Of Door Flags Cheap!

World Market is one of my most favorite stores to go into and browse because they have so many interesting things.  Pier 1 is another favorite.   Both stores give me lots of ideas and inspiration and of course it's almost impossible to leave without purchasing something for our home.  We made a trip the other day with the intention of buying an indoor/outdoor rug that I had seen there.  Of course, I had to peruse the store while I was there and what did I spy?  Some outdoor flags that were on bamboo poles and the flag was made from simple cotton which would fade out of doors in no time.  They cost $49.00 each which was way out of my budget because I wanted three of them.  But, they certainly caught my eye and that little light bulb in my head came on and my thought was  - I can make those.

That meant the next trip was to JoAnne's where I knew I could find nylon rip stop fabric that would hold up much better out of doors.  I purchased a quarter yard of the three colors that I wanted to use, red, yellow and orange. ( Our new rug is bright orange and yellow.)  A quarter yard would make two flags of each color.  Then, there were the poles.  I new I had seen bamboo poles at Home Depot so that was our next stop.  Unfortunately, they did not have any sturdy enough to withstand strong wind, but they did have these 8 foot tomato stakes that are steel on the inside and plastic on the outside.

 Perfect!  I knew they could be spray painted, so we purchased three of them and a can of Krylon spray paint in hammered metal finish that works on plastic - no priming needed.  This is how the poles look painted.
Now, all I had to do was make the flags which would be a simple project.  First, I drew a pattern on some brown craft paper.  After measuring the pole, I knew I would need a 3 inch pocket on the flag so it would fit snuggly over the pole.  The pole is 8 feet long and I wanted the flag to be half the length of the pole, so it had to be 4 feet long.  I drew the pattern like the flag at World Market which was triangular shaped.  It is 5 inches at the top and 12 inches at the bottom, with a length of 4 feet.
I pinned the pattern to the fabric and cut it out.  By reversing the pattern, I will be able to get another flag out of this piece of material.  I also cut a 2.5 foot strip of fabric to make a decoration for the top of the flag that can blow in the wind.  The flag at World Market had a leaf on the end of the strip, but I wanted a star.  I used a cookie cutter I had and traced it on a piece of fabric folded double so it would be thick enough to withstand wind and then cut out the stars.
Now, it was time to sew.  I use clear nylon thread for sewing so I don't have to keep changing thread which saves a lot of time.  Because I needed a 3 inch pocket to fit the flag pole, I folded the long straight edge of the flag over 1.5 inches so that I would have a total pocket of 3 inches and stitched from top to bottom.  I went back and zigzagged over the straight stitching to reinforce the seam.
Next, I stitched the top closed so the flag would not slide down the pole.  I double folded a seam 1/4 inch wide and zigzagged it closed.  The outside angled edge was then folded over twice in a 1/4 inch seam and zigzagged all the way down to the bottom edge.  Time to make the decoration for the top of the flag.  I had cut a strip about 1/2 inch wide in each fabric color.

I folded each strip in half long ways and zigzagged all the way down the edge.  Next, I zigzagged the two pieces of each star together, leaving a small opening between the edges.  I placed the strip of fabric in the opening and stitched it closed using a zigzag stitch.
To finish the flag, I folded the bottom edge of the strip over about an inch and zigzagged it to the top of the flag.  Done.  It took about an hour to make all 3 flags.  I took the flags outside and slid them over the flag poles.  Now, it was time to attach them to the deck.

Dan and I discussed how to accomplish this feat and I suggested zip ties, mainly because I had a bunch of them in my craft stash.  They are easy to use and can be removed in the fall when we want to take the flags down.  So, zip ties it was.  I held each flag pole while Dan placed a tie in two places to secure it to the deck.
Zip ties are inexpensive and easy to use without leaving holes in the wood.  I have used gazillions of them for outdoor decorating.

I was hoping for a good breeze after we got the flags in place so you could see the decorations when they float on the breeze, but we had no luck in that department today.  But, I can say I LOVE our new deck decorations.  They are bright, cheerful and colorful.  The grandsons are going to enjoy watching them fly as much as we do.  Flags rank right up there with kites in my book.

Now, here is the real kicker.  These flags cost less than $10.00 each to make so I saved a lot of money by making them and the nylon will hold up much better than the cotton fabric used in the World Market flags.  The poles were $5.97 each at Home Depot and the Fabric actually came to $2.00 for one flag.  A quarter yard was $4.00 and I have enough left to make another flag out of each color.  The can of Krylon was $4.97 and there is lots of paint left for another project.  How is that for a major savings coup?  My pocketbook likes it, that is for sure.

There are many ways you could make outdoor flags using nylon fabric.  I didn't want our flags to be so big they blocked our view of the yard.   Nylon fabric comes in lots of bright colors and holds up well in the weather.  Today's post will hopefully inspire you to liven up your out of door space.  We spend as much time outside as we can this time of year and this just makes it a little more enjoyable.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Spending time out of doors ads fun to your life.

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