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How to Make a Small Garden Flag

Updated on March 19, 2019
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren gardens in PA, specializing in earth-friendly, unconventional, creative, joyful artistry. She works for eco & climate health.

Small Garden Flag

This custom flag features my 2 cats and a cardinal.
This custom flag features my 2 cats and a cardinal. | Source

Whether it is prime garden blooming time or winter, a decorative flag always adds a bit of cheer to one's yard.

Choose an Idea

One of the biggest reasons that I sew and create crafts is to get exactly what I want. My passions are not always depicted in the mainstream marketplace (at prices I like), so making things allows me to have the colors, patterns and shapes that appeal to me. Ideas can come from anywhere.

Here are sources of ideas and patterns if you need a little jump start on what your flag will include:

  • Photos you like
  • Cookie cutters
  • Nature
  • Holidays and seasons
  • Motivational quotes

Also, since I am quite the re-user and recycler, I may base my flag idea on what I can create with the fabrics, their colors, and quilt or cookie cutter patterns that I already have at home.

Choose a Flag Size

Small flags can be from 11 to 13 inches (27.5 to 32.5 cm) wide and from 14 to 18 inches (35 to 45 cm) long. Decide what size you would like. Of course, if you own a flag stand or holder, choose a size that will fit it.

Your background fabric will need an extra 2 inches (5 cm) at the top for the rod pocket. Additionally you will be turning about 1/4 inch (1 cm) under on the remaining three sides as a hem.

I purchased background fabric at a thrift store for 50 cents.
I purchased background fabric at a thrift store for 50 cents. | Source


  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Pins (straight pins used in sewing, not safety pins)
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • 1 piece of fabric large enough for the background and rod pocket
  • Other fabric pieces
  • Fabric paint
  • 2 feet (99 cm) of ribbon

Hemming All Sides

Sewing machines make this so easy.
Sewing machines make this so easy. | Source

Steps to Make the Garden Flag

  1. Sketch your idea.
  2. Re-sketch it on paper the size of your intended flag. Remember to avoid putting the picture on the top 4 inches (10 cm) because that is the rod pocket. Make any changes to your design that you need.
  3. Cut out your background fabric to the size you chose plus hems and rod pocket as described above.
  4. Turn under 1/4 inch (1 cm) on all sides and stitch the hem. Yes - you do this on the top also to create a finished hem for the rod pocket.
  5. Turn under 2 inches 95 cm) on the top. Iron it and then stitch along the bottom ONLY to make a roomy rod pocket.
  6. On the other fabric pieces lightly trace shapes you want in pencil and cut out.
  7. If you will be using fabric paint for some of the garden flag graphics, lightly draw them in pencil on the background fabric.
  8. Cut out your other fabric pieces and iron them.
  9. Pin the pieces on you background fabric and sew them on with a straight stitch. Then go around the outsides with a tight zigzag stitch.
  10. Sew on any ribbon which is part of the picture.
  11. Last, apply any fabric paint which is part of the design.

Placing my pattern on the gray fabric for cutting.  As you can see, I decide to lengthen my cat.
Placing my pattern on the gray fabric for cutting. As you can see, I decide to lengthen my cat. | Source
Attaching the pieces in a logical order.
Attaching the pieces in a logical order. | Source

Be Careful - Oops Moments

I can't believe it - as I was coloring my cardinal, the fabric paint splattered. I will fix it later by light sanding or by painting over it with white. Also, the placement of my striped orange cat on the bush caused his tail to extend off the background. I think that I will fix this by putting stiff facing or buckram behind it and allowing it to stick out.

You may have similar uh-oh situations. I am sure that you will be able to come up with solutions.

Seize the Day By Customizing It

Make a garden flag that says "This is ME!" Then, please let us all know how it went by commenting below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Maren Elizabeth Morgan


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