A fun sewing project.

Make a flag banner!  The image is Lydia's I love Fall Banner made with our Flag Fabric. Supplies needed:  Polypropylene Webbing, Flag Header Tape, Metallic Flagcloth,303 Protectant Spray, 505 temporary adhesive spray.How to Make a Flag or Custom Banner.

by Lydia Morgan

Lydia's "I Love Fall" Banner Pattern

Everyone wants to Make a Flag! Why not? Making a banner or flag can be a fun project for both adults and children. They can be done in elaborate designs or just using circles and squares. Sewn or glued together. Whichever way you decide to make your flag or banner it will be a custom design by you.

Making a Flag? It is fun, it is easy. It will look nice. The person you sew it for will love you.


Items you will need for easier flagmaking include:

Two pair of scissors, one for fabric cutting and one for paper 
6 bent trimmers-item #090528 are great for fabric cutting

Fabric marker wash out type - item #090281


Temporary Spray adhesive- (505 Spray- item # 090438)

Pattern Paper-item #040040. Has markings every inch.                      

Fray check- item #090272

Fabric Glue if gluing design in place-Unique Stitch (item #090704), Liquid stitch (item#090573).


Fabric choices

Many Fabrics can be used for indoor banners or flags however for those going outside I recommend our Flag Fabric which is UV treated, mildew and rot resistant. We sell the Solar Max Flag Fabric  and Foil Flag Cloth, used by Commercial Flag makers. When all things are considered, a nylon flag will be your best value. Nylon is significantly more durable than cotton. Nylon tends to be less expensive than cotton. One of the key ingredients that contributes to premature flag wear is water. When a flag is wet, its heavier, and that extra weight puts more stress on the fibers of the material as the wind whips the flag around. Because a nylon flag absorbs very little moisture, and dries quickly following a rain, its the ideal fabric for locations where moderate to heavy amounts of rain occurs. See our selection of colors, follow the link below. or, we do have a color palette, at the bottom of this page.
Solar Max Flag Fabric, 60 wide available in 69 colors (1 yd min). 

Nylon Metallic Foil Flag Cloth is 45 wide and has foil on one side only, back side is white knit fabric. Comes in Gold (item #050072) and Silver (item #050071).   We also have Silver (150066) and Gold (150067) Metallic Ripstop Nylon Fabric that is often used for Trims, on flags.    We also have Flag Header Tape (050092), which is the tape that is used by professionals along the fly of the flag, where the grommets are placed. 2 3/8" wide. Fold the tape in half and sew along the fly of the flag, then install grommets. Or you could make your own by useing webbing  on the fly. We also have Flag Clips (030527, Black and 030528, White) and Grommets.   If your flag is going outdoors, consider treating your flag with 303 Protectant Spray.  Need a inner liner between a two sided flag use what the professionals use,

Light Block Flag Liner Fabric, when you do not want one side of the flags design to shadow the other side.     


Thread Choices


If you are going to sew your flag you will need to consider the type thread.

For all the flags I make, I use polyester embroidery thread. It is colorfast, holds up outdoors and is easy to work with if you are going to stitch around a design. Since it comes in many colors there is always one that will match the color of the cloth you are using. We sell Mettler Polysheen® Embroidery Thread that matches the thread to the flag cloth colors. On the flagcloth page of our website, click on the color and you will get a link to the matching thread.




The first step in making a banner or flag is deciding on the design you want and the size. Usually I start the design with a solid background color the finished size of the flag plus seams needed (see finishing section below). Once you decide on the flag size you will need to make your design to fit the flag size. I make a good picture or design and then go to a copy center and get the design resized.  However you can also use grid patterning paper (item #040040) and resize the design as desired.


After the design is the correct size I cut each piece and position them on the flag with a temporary spray, like 505 ( 090438). See Appendix 1 if you are sewing down your design and the design to show on front and back of flag. See Appendix 2 if you are gluing your design.
If my design includes letters or numbers and I am going to sew the design in  place I normally do not cut them out at this time.  Even though it uses more fabric, I trace the letters or numbers as I want them to appear on my banner and then position this larger piece of fabric on the solid background piece and stitch around with the narrow zig zag mentioned below. Then trim off excess fabric and proceed with the wider zig zag. This saves a lot of time. Remember letters or numbers will be incorrect on the wrong side of the flag.

 If I am sewing a design in place I decide the order the pieces need to be sewn to give me the dimension I want for the finished look. I first go around the piece with a narrow zig zag stitch with a stitch length of 2.5-3.5. After this I do a dense zig-zag with a wider width to give it a nice satin stitch look around each piece. You may need to reposition a piece as you go so again use temporary spray to keep it in position so it does not shift as you stitch your design down.




Mark 1 in from edge around the flag on the right side of fabric along the 3 sides of the flag, which will be the edges when finished. Turn under on the mark line and stitch close to the edge. Turn the flag over tuck in the raw edge evenly and do a second row of stitches along the new hemline. This gives you an even double needle look on the edge.


The fourth side (side that hangs the flag) can be finished a number of different ways depending on your application for the flag or banner.


         Start by deciding how you will hang the flag or banner.

                1) Pocket top: Form a pocket at the top with tabs for placement of a hook. Decide how large the pole will be
                    to determine the pocket size. And add a tab with a buttonhole for the hook if the pole comes with

                    one to hold the flag from slipping around.

                2) Grommets in edge:

                          a) Using Flag Header Tape (050092)- Fold tape in half forming a long strip. Slip the raw edge from your flag into the folded tape and sew along the outside and inside edge.

                               Install your grommets. Normally placed about 1 " from both ends. Long flags may need addional grommets.

                          b) Using Polypropylene Webbing-Fold in raw edge and place between two pieces of 1" polypropylene webbing and stitch around all four sides.

                               After sewing place grommets about 1" fromboth ends.  If the banner is wide you may need additional grommets depending on how you are hanging the item.(we sell grommets and tools).

                3) Think through any other ideas you have and then creatively implement them. (tabs at top, line, buttonholes etc.)


Appendix 1


Two sided Flag or Banner


There are a number of different ways to do a two sided banner.

1) You can make 2 identical flags and sew then together like a pillow case with right sides together and then turn right sides out and stitch around the border of the flag to stabilize it. This is often done when you have numbers or letters. Use Light Block Flag Liner Fabric if you are concerned with a shadow from one side showing on the other.

2) Or after stitching the design with the narrow zig zag mentioned above you can trim out the base fabric on the reverse side of the design and then proceed with the wider zig zag. This is how many commercial flags are made however this is a weakened area if your flag hanging in very windy conditions.

3) Or sew extra piece of fabric on the back side when you are sewing fabric piece on the front. This is done after setting up your design on the front side. You lay a fabric piece on the back the same color as the front piece positioning it over the front piece. You then sew with the narrow zig zag mentioned above on the front side of the flag or banner. Trim off excess fabric on the back side and around this piece with the wide satin stitch mentioned above.


Appendix 2


Purchase fabric glue such as Unique Stitch (item #090704) or Liquid stitch (item#090573). Test a piece of flag cloth. After setting up your design glue each piece in place.


If you run into problems feel free to call me at Beacon Fabric and Notions, 800-713-8157. Or e-mail me at lydia@beaconfabric.com. Beacon Fabric & Notions is your Flag Fabric and Banner Supplies Headquarters.
Lydia's "I Love Fall" Banner Pattern

Below is a palette of our flagcloth colors. To order by phone or fax, the item number is 050 + the color number, underneath the swatch. All colors are 60" wide, except for the foils. Click on the swatch to take you to the flagcloth page on our website.

Our flag and banner cloth color palette. Make a Flag!
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Beacon Fabric & Notions