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DIY Patriotic Banner

I cannot believe how quickly this summer has been flying by.  Can you believe it’s almost July?  Me neither!  The 4th of July is just around the corner and I can’t wait! I’ve been inspired by all of the creative Independence Day crafts and DIY decor popping up on Pinterest and the like over the past few weeks and decided to give a whirl myself last night.

Using supplies I already had on hand, I was able to create a patriotic banner in no time flat.  All it took was a little creative thinking and some cutting!  And the banner brings just the right amount of celebratory color to our mantle.  Here are the instructions if you’d like to follow along and make one of your own!

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You’ll need the following supplies:

  • Twine
  • Assorted red, white, and blue scrapbook paper (12×12″ is best)
  • Glue stick (didn’t put this in the picture…oops)
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Paper-edging scissors
  • Black and metallic gold or silver permanent markers
  • Hole punch (not in the pic, but my standard 3-hole punch worked great and saved time!)
  • Optional: small D-rings to attach and hang the banner

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Step 1:  Taking a 12×12″ piece of scrapbook paper, cut it in half twice to create four 6×6″ squares.  Each 6×6″ square will be the base for one flag.  It’s best to use your more patterned paper for this part, and save your solid or less patterned paper for the 2nd layer of your banner which we’ll discuss later.  (This is opposite to what I show in the  in the illustrations below…oops!)  You’ll want to determine what phrase you plan to write on your banner at this point so you know how many flags you’ll need to cut from the get-go.  I chose to have my banner read “God bless the U.S.A.!” but opted to keep the “the” together on one flag, left the exclamation point on its own flag, and didn’t include blank flags for the spaces.  So all told, that meant I needed to cut 13 flags.

July 4th Banner - Step 1

Step 2:  Using one of the 6×6″ flags, cut an obtuse triangle out of the bottom of the paper to create a double pennant shape.  I eye-balled it without doing measuring, but I estimate that the top of my triangles were about 2 inches above the bottom edge of the paper. Repeat with all of your flags.

July 4th Banner - Step 2

{Tip: If you’re having trouble keeping your cuts even – i.e. your triangles are off kilter or lop-sided – try cutting directly up from the center of the bottom edge to a point about 2″ above the bottom edge.  Then cut from each corner towards that point to meet in the middle.  Does that make any sense at all?}

Step 3:  Using another stack of scrapbook paper, and using a similar sequence as above, cut 5×5″ squares.  These smaller pieces will form the 2nd layer or foreground of each flag.  Repeat the process until you have equal numbers of small (5×5″) and large (6×6″) flags.

Step 4:  Repeat the process of cutting away an obtuse triangle at the base of each 5×5″ flag.  Essentially you want to be able to place the smaller flag on top of a larger one and have an even border show on either side of the smaller flag piece.

July 4th Banner - Step 3

Step 5:  Using a paper edger, edge all sides of the smaller flags.  I chose to use a zig-zag edger, but there are lots of different kinds you can pick from to get the particular edge design that fits with your style.

Step 6:  Using a glue stick, attach a small flag to the top of each large flag.  I opted to place blue on top of any red larger flags, and vise versa so as not to have any blue-on-blue or red-on-red flags. But be creative! Whatever looks best to you is great!  Place the flags in a stack under a heavy book to dry for roughly 15 minutes.  This will keep the flags from getting bent or rippled as the glue dries.

Step 7:  Lay out your flags in the order you want them to hang on your banner.  This is important because once you begin to write letters on the flags, there’s no going back!  Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, use your black permanent marker to write on your phrase.

Step 8: Now grab your metallic gold or silver permanent marker and embellish away!  I also cut out a few small stars from my paper scraps to add to some of the flags.

Step 9: Punch holes in both corners at the top of the flags.  I used my standard 3-hole punch and it worked great because the punches were automatically spaced exactly were they should be on the flag.

Step 10: String your flags in order on a length of twine.  Once you’re happy with the spacing of the flags, cut and tie off the ends of the twine.  You can also make a double level banner like I did simply by using two lengths of twine and tying them together at the top.  As an extra trick, I used some super small D-rings that I found in the garage to tie off each end of my banner, making it easy to hang from the hooks I have on our mantle for exactly that purpose.  Of course, this is optional though…and a little tape or some push pins should do the trick if you want to hang your banner on the wall.

All done!  Now kick up your feet and enjoy the fireworks, family time, BBQ and most of the all the amazing freedom we have been granted by our country and even more so by the grace of Christ!

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