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Make your Own Bunting and Summer Garlands

Summer is coming, and whether you want to decorate your garden, your campsite, your kids’ party or even your wedding reception, bunting is a classically British way to top off your decorations. Our DIY bunting guide lets you have polka dots, bird prints, candy stripes, letters, lovehearts and more because well, you’re making it and you can choose to make one – or all – of them. And, as they are similar but not the same, we’ve added some brilliant ideas for summer garlands too. So, it’s time to get crafty and bang out some bunting and get garish with the garlands!

Bunting

You can make bunting by folding and gluing long diamonds of card or tissue paper around ribbon or twine. It can be as simple as that and, if you want the kids to make their own bunting, then this is probably the best way to go. You can always make it a bit funkier by cutting the paper with pinking scissors for jagged edges, and having the kids personalise the pennants with their names or painted designs.

Try this: paint red love hearts onto hessian pennant shapes and stitch onto ribbon for a DIY vintage wedding decoration.

But if you’d like long lasting and absolutely fabulous bunting, then there’s no substitute for double-sided cotton. Make a card template for your flag then cut your fabric – remember you will be stitching seams, so they'll end up slightly smaller than the template. Stitch the two fabrics together along the two long sides, snip the excess material off the pointy end to avoid bunching, turn your pennants inside out and iron flat. Then simply stitch them evenly along a length of ribbon or cord. You can leave the seam and stitching showing for a rustic bunting look and feel.

Try this: paint red love hearts onto hessian pennant shapes and stitch onto ribbon for a DIY vintage wedding decoration.

 

Tassel garland

Get a selection of embroidery thread and using one skein per tassel, cut a length about 10cm long then fold the skein in half. Wrap the length of thread about half an inch from the top and tie securely – you can drop some hot glue on the knot to be sure. Then cut through the loop at the bottom and hey presto, you have a tassel! Thread a length of string or ribbon through the top loops and you’ve got a gorgeous garland. Choose one colour or many colours.

Card Garland

Cut strips of card, of any length, and glue the ends together so it forms a loop, punch a hole in the end and string them together. Another cute form of this garland is to cut two short lengths and staple them together to form a love heart. A series of these strung together creates a gorgeous DIY wedding garland.

Try snipping sunny, flowery shapes from felt and linking them together with a bold looping running stitch

Cupcake Garland

Cupcake garlands look really cool, but they aren’t edible. String together cupcake cases (open end to open end) of various sizes and colours for a glorious rainbow garland. You can make a garland out of anything really, take old napkins left over from birthday parties past, fold them over string or tape and glue them together, then snip the ends for a colourful, frilly garland – again, use pinking scissors for some texture. Try snipping sunny, flowery shapes from felt and linking them together with a bold looping running stitch. Another great garland idea is make a Pom Pom garland! You can always add strips of tinsel for a bit of glam!

Fresh flowers

And finally, for a really special occasion, why not make a summer garland with fresh flowers. Peonies, dahlias, roses and carnations with a base of ivy interwoven on garden string or twine. Collect the blooms into small bouquets and twist them into the garland. Add jasmine for delicious fragrance. If you have lots of rose blooms, use rolled rose petals onto a long needle and thread to create a lovely minimalist garland and add leaves as greenery every now and then. Or take inspiration form India and make a chrysanthemum garland with the blooms of various colours. You can hang them, use them as table decorations and even wear them!

Garlands and bunting really make an occasion special, and it’s never any more special than when you’re made them yourself! Have fun, and happy summer!

Inspiration for your home