Making Christmas bunting – ideas, inspiration and tutorials

lauras-buntingI’m feeling very seasonal and have been on a bunting roll for the last few days. There is something really British and traditional about bunting – I love it. And, so many opportunities to vamp it up for Christmas. It can be labour intensive but you will be able to use it year after year – so it’s environmentally friendly as well!lauras-bunting4

I found this gorgeous beige Scandinavian style fabric on Ebay. It is ludicrously expensive so I just bought half a metre and combined it with some cheaper red fabric which was the leftover of Rudloph’s nose. (If you haven’t seen my faux Rudolph taxidermy tutorial – it’s here!)

I have bought some really pretty little dye-cut wooden heats (again from Ebay) and interspersed them with the flags. They came already painted red. I just added the little silver bows and glued them all onto lengths of silver ribbon.lauras-bunting3

This red and green set uses die cut felt snowflakes that I have just glued onto the finished bunting – it’s really effective against a solid colour and it gives a slight 3D effect as well.

snowflake-buntingIf you are clueless and starting from scratch there is a great tutorial here from jen thousand words that talks you through how to make fabric bunting step-by-step. It’s then up to you how you adapt and personalise it. I have put together a whole load of ideas here for different ideas, materials, techniques and styles . They’re not all my ideas. Many are things I have found online that I would like to have a go myself. Several are for sale on Not on the High Street and Etsy. So, if you love them but have run out of steam, you can always just….ahem…..buy them.  I know you CAN make them if you wanted to, but in the end, there is never enough time to make everything you want to……so no guilt!!

I love this advent calendar bunting – such a sweet idea. Each little flag is a pocket to be filled with sweets and goodies. You can buy ready make numbers online if you don’t fancy the labour of cutting and stitching each letter. Somewhere in my stash I have some great iron-on silver numbers that would work beautifully.not-on-the-hight-street

This is a lovely and really effective idea that I have used on may occasion. Paper runs through most sewing machines like a dream. Just cut out a series of little shapes – these gold discs look as if they are pre-cut, but imagine it done with little christmas tree shapes or stars – so pretty. My sewing machine will not sew stitches without some fabric or paper running through it so you will probably need to make your shapes butt up to each other to give the thread something to hold on to.

original_antique-gold-shimmer-circles-paper-garland original_christmas-buntingThis very gorgeous Merry Christmas bunting is pretty high labour with each letter stitched individually. I imagine it would be easier to do it by hand than try and machine it on. But it will last for you for years so well worth the investment of time.

il_570xN.856767251_m04zI know this is a sewing website but I really can’t resist a bit of crochet. Look at these gorgeous crocheted holly leaves. If you got quick enough you could do them in front of the TV with left over scraps of wool. What looks great is that non-uniform mix of different greens and reds. Raid your knitting basket or your friends knitting bags of the charity shops are always good for oddments of yarn. The variety of greens adds to the crafted and recycled look that is so attractive. I’ve found a Youtube tutorial here for crochet holly and berries and another one here for snowflakes. Time consuming – maybe, but resulting in exquisite,  delicate handcrafted decorations – yes!

At the other end of the spectrum, this felt snowflake bunting below is a super easy option. You can buy ready-cut felt shapes online very easily and then string them together on your sewing machine or by hand.

original_felted-snowflake-garland

For the hand sewers out there, this pudding bunting is a lovely option. I love these chunky little christmas puddings, each one hand sewn with a blanket stitch and stuffed with a little wadding to give it a three dimensional feel. The rustic looking twine gives it a great authentic handmade feel.original_festive-christmas-pudding-garland
The felt holly is lovely too – this version hasn’t been stuffed. Its just a double layer to give each one a bit of rigidity. These simple holly leaves and berries could be cut in bulk and then machine sewn.

original_handmade-felt-christmas-holly-garlandJust look at these gorgeous felted balls. You can buy these online too (www.feltandyarn.com)  and then just string them up yourself. The wreath would also be easy to achieve. You can buy a polystyrene wreath base from a shop like Hobby Craft and then attach each ball on with a glue gun or you could probably just sew each one on if you had the patience. original_freckle-felt-ball-garland

Whatever decorations you end up making, it feels great getting them out of the Christmas tin every year. It doesn’t have to take you an age. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. Happy sewing….and Happy Christmas!