This DIY hanging ribbon flag gives the perfect touch of patriotism to your 4th of July or Memorial Day decor.
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As I was looking through my 4th of July decor, I realized that for all I had, a flag was not among my collection. I decided to remedy this and make a hanging ribbon flag and I have to admit, I think it turned out perfect! The use of ribbons for the stripes adds a bit of a rustic look. Additionally, I was able to customize the size of the flag so it would fit within my space. One more thing that I love is that storing this flag is as easy as rolling it up!
Materials needed to make a hanging ribbon flag
- 36″ Wooden Dowel (I used 3/16″, but a 1/4″ or 1/2″ would also work)
- Red ribbon, 2 styles – 4.5 to 5 yards total (exact amount for each style shown below)
- White/ivory/cream ribbon, 2 styles – 5 to 5.5 yards total (exact amount for each style shown below)
- Blue fabric with stars that coordinate with the neutral color ribbon being used – 1/3″ yard (30″x11″ or 15″x11″ after folding)
- Sewing machine
- Matching thread (red, white, blue)
- Straight pins
- Rotary cutter or scissors
- Self healing cutting mat
- Quilting ruler
- Soft tape measure
How to make a hanging ribbon flag
First, you’ll want to determine the size of your flag. I will include the measurements for the flag I made so you can duplicate it if you’d like. Or you can customize the size based on my instructions.
The total size of my finished flag is 21″x34″.
For the stars, I used a piece of fabric that was 30″x11″ which is just less than 1/3 yard. (This will end up getting folded in half so you are left with a piece that is 15″x11″.) At the store (I went to Joanns), I picked out a piece of fabric that was blue with cream/ivory colored stars on it. Before having it cut at the store, make sure you check out the ribbon section so you can match the cream/ivory color as closely as possible. (If you want to go with white stars and white ribbon instead, that works too!) Use the rotary cutter and cutting mat or some scissors to cut it to size.
For the stripes, I used two types of cream/ivory ribbon and two types of red ribbon. (Again this is totally a personal preference and you can stick with one type of ribbon for the alternating stripes.) Below you’ll find the measurements that I used for my flag:
- 1 1/2″ red ribbon (1 style) – 110″
- 1″ red ribbon (1 style) – 75″
- 1 1/2″ cream/ivory ribbon (2 styles) – 165″ total
- Style 1 – 110″
- Style 2 – 55″
Assembling the flag
To assemble the flag, I found the easiest way to do this was to prep all the pieces ahead of time.
First, I cut the blue/star fabric down to the correct size (30″x11″). Then I folded it in half over the top of my dowel and used a couple of straight pins to hold it in place, as well as mark where I would need to sew a pocket so I could thread it through the dowel.
Next, I cut my ribbons to the correct size using my scissors. I found it easiest to use the soft tape ruler since it was longer than my quilting ruler. Below is the order you’ll need to cut the ribbons according to color and row:
- Row 1 – 1 1/2″ red, cut to 20″
- Row 2 – 1 1/2″ cream/ivory (style 1), cut to 20″
- Row 3 – 1″ red, cut to 20″
- Row 4 – 1 1/2″ cream/ivory (style 2), cut to 20″
- Row 5 – 1 1/2″ red, cut to 20″
- Row 6 – 1 1/2″ cream/ivory (style 1), cut to 20″
- Row 7 – 1″ red, cut to 20″
- Row 8 – 1 1/2″ cream/ivory (style 2), cut to 35″
- Row 9 – 1 1/2″ red, cut to 35″
- Row 10 – 1 1/2″ cream/ivory (style 1), cut to 35″
- Row 11 – 1″ red, cut to 35″
- Row 12 – 1 1/2″ cream/ivory (style 2), cut to 35″
- Row 13 – 1 1/2″ red, cut to 35″
Lay each ribbon down in the order listed above next to the blue/star fabric or dowel.
When you have all the ribbons cut, use straight pins to hold them in place. For each of the 20″ ribbons (row 1-7), pin the ribbon 1/2″ up so it is in between the blue/star fabric.
For each of the 35″ ribbons (row 8-13), wrap the ribbon 1″ around the dowel and pin to create a pocket.
The next part is where you’ll need to get your sewing machine ready. Get some coordinating thread (red, white and blue) and thread your machine with the first color you want to start with. I started with the blue so I could make a pocket at the top for the dowel and then get each of the 20″ ribbons sewn in. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end.
After this, choose either the red or white thread and get your machine threaded. Then sew each of the 35″ ribbons to create a pocket, doing all the red and all the cream/ivory ribbons in groups.
Now comes the fun part! Slide each of the pieces onto the dowel in the correct order and hang up your new ribbon flag!
To hang it, you can tie a piece of ribbon, jute cord or baker’s twine to each end of the dowel and then hook it over a nail or small command hook. Another option would be to place two small command hooks on the wall and then hook the dowel on. If you do this second one, make sure the dowel will fit on the hooks before sticking them on the wall.
Do you have a favorite piece of patriotic decor?