Monday, February 2, 2015

Tutorial - Draped Flag on Flagpole

Our club is hosting an all day workshop in February with the theme "Schoolhouse of Yesteryear".  Here is a project from my own prototype for the event.  Every school room needs a flag so the children can say the "Pledge of Allegiance".  Here is how I made mine.


Fabric flag (or print your own on computer fabric sheets)
Fray Check (fabric edge sealer)
Bug pins or very thin silk pins
Steaming board (see this link from my previous blog entry)
Steam iron
Fabric glue or tacky glue
Needle and brown thread (to attach flag to pole)
Supplies for flag pole

Flagpole and stand:
bamboo skewer (from the grocery store – for grilling – thin ones)
beading spring ("cord ends") to fit on the skewer
filigree ball – 4mm or larger for a finial
bead cap and wooden craft button for base
stain or stain pen
Drill and drill bit (same size as skewer)
Black acrylic paint
Straight pin (flat head)
Wire cutters to cut pin
Hand drill or pin vise and drill bit to make a hole the size of the pin
Super-type glue for metal/wood

Directions for Flag
I found a flag on the internet and resized it to about 2 inches by 4 inches before printing it on the fabric sheets.  In the photo above you can see my trial and error with attempting to age them with tea (full strength, half strength and no tea).  I Fray Checked all four edges close to the printed area. 

Cut out flag allowing an extra 1/4 inch on the flagpole side for a hem.  Fold over and glue a hem on the flagpole side (side with the stars).  With a needle, poke two holes in the folded hem, one at top and one at the bottom where flag will attach to the pole

Put a pin in each of the holes you made in the left side of the flag and pin it to your pin board.  Now pull the top right corner down as far as it can go – just as if it were hanging from a pole with no wind—and pin it. 
above shows unfinished flag next to a finished (pinned) one
Gently ease the bottom right corner down close as possible to the previous corner and pin it.  (Ignore the drawings under the wax paper - from a previous project)
Pinch the folds toward the center line and pin until you get something that looks like this (may have to remove pins and adjust them a few times):
Pinch and move pins trying to keep it narrow for a realistic draped look.
Pinch and re-pin some more.

Steaming – I hold the iron over the pinned flag for 30 seconds or so while blasting it with puffs of steam.  Let dry.  When fully dry (overnight?) you can spray with UNSCENTED hair spray (a tip from Judee Williamson).  Remove it from the wax paper and it should hold its shape.

Make the Flagpole
I cut my bamboo skewer to about 7 inches long.  Sand one end of the pole (will be the top) to a taper so the spring will fit over it.  Stain the flagpole with a stain pen (works great for something tiny like this!)  Drill a hole in the button (and bead cap) if necessary to fit the flagpole bottom end in.  Glue the bead cap on top of the button to cover the buttonholes.  When dry, paint entire base black.

Glue the spring to the top of the pole.  I also drilled a tiny hole in the very end of the flagpole so I could secure the filigree ball (finial) on with a flat head pin.  Cut the pin if necessary to fit the hole you drilled.  I left the spring and filigree ball gold as they came from the package.  Glue the pin through the filigree ball into the hole with super glue.

To attach the flag to the pole I drilled two tiny holes on the flagpole at the points where the holes in the flag would be.  Use needle and thread to attach the flag through the holes in the flag and through the holes drilled in the flagpole.  Knot and cut.  Depending on how the flag looks it might be necessary to put a little glue on the pole and ‘squish’ the flag against the pole for a proper draped look.
Watch for more tutorials from this schoolhouse project coming soon!