Brighten up your garden for a bank holiday barbecue with a classic
string of bunting. Perri Lewis shows you how to make it
The last thing anyone wants to do on a sunny, sticky weekend is to
elbow their way around B&Q, trying desperately to stock up on stuff to
spruce up the garden. But how do you brighten the place up for
(fingers crossed, touch wood and all that jazz) next weekend's big
summer barbecue if you can't take the heat of the superstore?
little tin can lanterns that Sally Cameron Griffiths showed us how
to make this time last year are a brilliant place to start, and, of
course, there's the Guardian's own gardening
blog for all kinds of green-fingered ideas. But once you've
managed all that, then perhaps you can have a go at a quintessential
British garden decoration: a classic string of bunting. Easy-peasy to
make and hang up, it's an excellent way to brighten up even the most
dreary of back yards.
But do remember - it's a bank holiday next weekend. Perhaps we should
hold off cracking out the barbecue and the sewing box for a few more
days. No one wants to jinx anything …
What you need
Scissors (for cutting card)
scissors or scissors suitable for cutting fabric
and thread/sewing machine
2m ribbon (wider than 2cm to make it
Step one: Make a template
To make sure all the triangles are the same size, cut a template from
card to draw around. I reckon long triangles are better than short
Step two: Draw the triangles
Draw around the template on to your fabric using a pencil or piece of
tailors' chalk. Remember to rotate the template each time you draw
another triangle so you can get as many pieces as you can from your
Step three: Cut out the pieces
Use pinking scissors to cut around the triangles - this gives them a
zigzag edge and stops the fabric from fraying. If you don't fancy
investing in any new tools, use normal scissors to cut out and:
a) Put up with the fraying (really, this isn't ideal).
b) Use felt - which doesn't fray - or strong upholstery material
c) Overlock around the edges with a sewing machine
Step four: Attach the triangles
Take a long piece of ribbon and fold it in half, lengthways, so it is
just as long but half as wide. Iron to keep the fold in place (this
makes the next bit easier). Pin the fabric triangles on to the ribbon
at equal distances from each other.
Step four: Sewing up
With the triangles pinned in place, sew all the way along the ribbon,
at least 1cm from the edge, making that sure when you stitch, the
needle goes through the triangle and both sides of the ribbon. A
sewing machine makes this easy, but if you don't have one, hand-sew
using a backstitch.
• Make double-sided bunting. The easiest way to do this is to buy
double-sided fabric. If that's too pricey or difficult to track down,
use fusible webbing to stick two pieces of fabric together before step
two, then cut triangles out with pinking shears. Another way - which
is more time-consuming - is to cut out triangles with normal scissors,
pin two together with the right sides facing, sew together along two
sides 1cm from the edge, turn inside out, then iron flat, all before
proceeding to step four.
• Mix it up and use contrasting fabric triangles: not everything has
to match, y'know.
• Make triangles from coloured paper instead of fabric, and attach
them to a long length of ribbon using a stapler: it's not waterproof,
but it never rains on a bank holiday, right? This is a good project
for older children.
out the homemade bunting